When an immigration lawyer is thinking about setting up a law firm, a case management system is probably one of the first things that has to be put in place. But immigration law is very wide in scope, and not all firms have the same needs. Thus, how do you approach your search for a case management system?
There are two important considerations you should keep in mind when thinking about adopting a case management system for your practice:
Different law firms need different features. For example, solo or small firms may need flexible billing for individual clients while larger firms may need more sophisticated reporting and dashboards to support their corporate clients.
This article aims to give you some ideas on what to look for in a case management platform based on the size of the law firm, and we’ll split our discussion between family-based and employment-based as well.
When we’re thinking about the size of law firms, let’s think about solo and small, mid-size and large law firms. At the same time, it’s important to consider options for both family-based and employment-based or business immigration clients. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully this will be helpful as you explore getting your first, or switching, case management platforms and deciding what’s best for you and your firm.
Smaller firms tend to work with both fewer clients and smaller clients. A small firm may also be actively involved in the client acquisition process, and its stream of clients may depend on word-of-mouth referrals and more active outreach. At a high level, this means you need your case management platform to have options that are ideal for individual applicants and companies that likely have low volumes and thus low sophistication around immigration. This might look like:
Most importantly, it’s very likely that in a firm of your size, you are doing most of the work yourself, legal and otherwise. That means that an ideal case management system should help you with multiple types of tasks, whether they are financial, administrative, or managerial, for example, and allow you to complete all that work in one place.
If you’re not the only lawyer or staff member at your firm, and have a more steady stream of cases because you’ve become better known or have some larger-size clients, in case you practice employment-based immigration, your needs and the needs of your staff are going to be different. Let’s look at what would an ideal case management system include for a mid-size law firm:
At this point in time, your law firm may have a handful of attorneys and other staff members, and either a steady stream of family-based clients or maybe a few sizable employment-based or business clients (or at least a large enough number of small clients). That means you will likely have higher communication volume and handle more personal information for more clients. So, for a mid-size firm, it’s important to look at how a case management system fares in communication and security to decide if it’s a good fit.
Here are a few things to consider for this size firm in addition to the ones noted above:
When firms get larger with more consistent caseloads, and may have either a large staff, or multiple branches, a case management system takes on a different level of importance. With that in mind, your choice of a case management system should be informed by the needs of a potentially more demanding client base.
Finally, in this instance, you will likely have a large staff and either a huge, consistent stream of family-based cases or large corporate clients that provide you with steady, volume-based immigration work. Here is what to consider for firms this size:
Ultimately, different immigration law firms have different requirements, and finding a case management platform that truly suits every type of immigration law firm isn’t easy. But at Docketwise, that’s what we’re aiming for, because why not aim high, right?
At Docketwise, we strive to build an immigration case management, forms management and CRM platform that suits law firms of all shapes and sizes. We pride ourselves on our entrepreneurial spirit, our focus on building features for all types of clients, and our industry-first open API that allows our users to connect Docketwise to a number of other platforms, to streamline your work with easy access for you, your staff, and your clients as needed.
If you’re new to Docketwise, and would like to try and see if it’s a good fit for your firm, schedule a demo on our website today.
If you’re an existing Docketwise client, thank you for preferring us for your immigration case management needs!