New Practice Management Suite Focuses on Family Law
January 7, 2021
Today's TechnoLawyer Buyer's Guide report covers a family law-specific practice management system with key integrations for accounting, document automation, client payments, electronic signatures, and more.
AbacusNext Sees Practice Area Specialization as the Future of Practice Management Software Starting With Family Law
Bruce Springsteen famously sang about nothing to watch on TV despite a whopping "57 channels." Since then, the number of channels has exploded with each serving increasingly niche audiences. A similar transformation is underway in practice management software. A growing number of law firms with specialized practices want practice management software attuned to their areas of focus out-of-the-box rather than a generic one-size-fits-all approach that requires significant customization.
AbacusNext Family Law Suite in One Sentence
AbacusNext Family Law Suite is one of eight new practice area-specific practice management solutions built atop the AbacusLaw platform with key integrations for accounting, document automation, client payments, electronic signatures, and more.
The Killer Feature
AbacusNext has a long history of focusing on specific practice areas. In 2018, we reported on AbacusLaw's Practice Area Legal Solution (PALS) feature, a collection of fields, intake forms, templates, reports, etc. for specific practice areas.
PALS attracted many law firms that would complain about "hitting walls" with generic practice management software. With AbacusNext acquiring and building several products in recent years, the stage was set for the company to double down on practice areas.
AbacusNext Family Law Suite offers a good example of this focus. "Our first practice-specific suite is tailored for busy family law attorneys and delivers an all-in-one solution optimized for a family law firm based on where they practice, who their clients are, and specific functionality designed to meet the unique needs of a family law firm," says Tomas Suros, Director, Global Product Marketing at AbacusNext.
Suros and his team assembled an advisory board of family law practitioners to guide the development of the suite. These lawyers stressed the importance of document creation, which explains why the suite includes document assembly software HotDocs.
Out of the box, AbacusNext Family Law Suite includes intake and court forms for adoption, custody, divorce, domestic violence, guardianship, and paternity cases. You can configure these forms with any additional fields you need. If you need to create any forms beyond those included, you can do it yourself or get help from AbacusNext's Professional Services Team or a certified HotDocs consultant.
"AbacusNext understands that family law attorneys represent clients during emotionally fraught times," says Suros. "Our goal as a firm's technology partner is to provide a practice-specific solution that lightens this burden."
AbacusNext Family Law Suite includes automated forms and other family law-specific features.
Other Notable Features
The HotDocs integration is one of several. The suite also includes AbacusLaw Accounting, APX (Abacus Payment Exchange), and DocuSign. AbacusLaw Accounting provides general ledger and trust accounting as well as custom reporting for analyzing your firm's financial results. APX lets clients pay bills electronically via ACH or credit card. It deducts the flat 3% fee from your operating account to ensure IOLTA compliance. DocuSign facilitates electronic signatures for a fully digital document workflow.
AbacusNext doesn't only see practice areas as the future of practice management but also dashboards. The redesigned dashboard in AbacusLaw lets you add data from any integrated product and create a custom view. For example, you can list tasks you've assigned, your own prioritized tasks, and the matters on which you're working. The Accounting Overview displays the financial health of your law firm, including real-time realization statistics, work in progress, client payments, accounts receivable, and overdue bills. One click generates a detailed report from any dashboard component.
What Else Should You Know?
Implementation of AbacusNext Family Law Suite at your firm includes data migration and training. You can host the suite "on premises" at your firm or in the cloud using either Abacus Private Cloud or Abacus Core Cloud.
As noted above, AbacusNext Family Law Suite is of one eight new practice area-specific practice. The others consist of Civil Litigation Suite, Criminal Defense Suite, Employment Law Suite, Estate Planning Suite, Immigration Suite, Personal Injury Suite, and Real Estate Suite.
Take a Closer Look at AbacusNext Family Law Suite
Meet Neil J. Squillante
Neil J. Squillante is the founder and publisher of TechnoLawyer, an award-winning network of free email newsletters for lawyers and law office administrators. Many consider TechnoLawyer newsletters the only ones they need. A Fastcase 50 award winner, Neil has a long track record of inventing successful advertising and publishing technologies and related best practices. Previously, Neil practiced commercial litigation at Am Law 100 firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher. He received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law and his B.A. from Duke University. At UCLA, Neil served as a Managing Editor of UCLA Law Review.
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