The Importance of Law Practice Management Open APIs

October 18, 2021

As the legal industry shifts into the digital space, the ability to automate and streamline business processes is necessary to remain efficient and competitive (and profitable!) One of the ways firms can do that is by implementing law practice management software.

While it’s important to select one that can meet a firm’s needs and client load, there’s a key component that shouldn’t be overlooked: Open API integrations. Open APIs are a necessity for firms that want to successfully manage their cases, automate tasks, and maintain efficient communication with clients and colleagues.

What is an open API?

API stands for application programming interface, and it’s the connection that allows different software programs to communicate with one another. When APIs are built into law practice management software systems, they give external entities the ability to communicate with that system as if it was their own.

Having an API that’s open means the software is publicly available to connect with. When an API is closed, it means it can only be used with one specific type of software.

APIs can be used by a variety of tools such as client portals, accounting software, and email marketing services. In addition to saving time and increasing connectivity, API integrations also allow companies to access aggregated data from all of those tools.

Law practice management open API uses & benefits

While many law practice management software companies can integrate with popular systems like e-mail, calendaring, and document automation, Open APIs can also connect with other systems to streamline business processes even more.

Automation

Open APIs allow tasks to be completed automatically, without human interaction. API integrations can authorize and deauthorize employees’ access to client portals and case information, and also automate billing processes like ticketing, timekeeping, and expenses.

API’s ensure tools work together for maximum efficiency. By allowing API integrations, firms can complete tasks within single platforms without having to switch between multiple systems.

Client portals

Time is money, and APIs save time by streamlining the access that clients have to their own information. API’s allow user-friendly portals to be created which can give clients real-time case updates, court documents, and other important documents. API integrations also allow external entities to have secure access to client portal data without logging into a specific system.

Business intelligence

API data that is aggregated from several sources can be used to accomplish many business goals. Getting API data into the hands of marketing teams allows them to strategically target new clients by utilizing customer insights gleaned from API integrations with systems like email marketing platforms, contact management software, and accounting solutions.

API’s allow firms to analyze trends in performance, efficiency, and utilization of their existing workforce so you can make informed decisions about how best to meet client demands.

Managing data

Law practice management open API integrations allow teams that manage client data to effectively monitor, track and share information across applications. APIs make it easy to maintain access and permissions for clients and co-counsel by allowing API integration with documents and files stored in external repositories like Dropbox or Google Drive.

For example, if a client uploads a new document to their shared folder in Dropbox or Google Drive, API integrations can ensure that the file is shared with everyone on the team who needs to see it. API integrations eliminate time spent shuffling files from one location to another and ensure legal staff has access to the most up-to-date client information at all times.

Case management

When law firms track and manage client data with API integration, they can easily and quickly access that information from anywhere. API integrations allow staff to monitor progress on cases from different devices, including smartphones or tablets. This ensures team members have the ability to respond quickly to last-minute requests from clients at any time.

By tracking tasks, time spent on cases, and adding notes to files in the API system, firms are able to see at a glance who is working on which case, what their status is, and how much time has been spent. API integrations make it easy for staff members to collaborate with one another even when they’re not in the office.

Why firms should choose law practice management with open APIs

The legal industry is undergoing a period of unprecedented change, and API integrations are essential for law firms who want to succeed in the new digital space. 

API integrations can help attorneys better serve clients by seamlessly giving them the information they need through any device, anywhere. API integrations also improve communication and efficiency across the entire firm by allowing information to flow easily from one system to another.

Choosing a law practice management software that utilizes Open APIs gives firms access to API integrations that work with the existing systems they rely on every day.

Open APIs allow law firms to take full advantage of API integrations without having to make costly investments in new software, which means more time and money for lawyers and staff members who can better serve their clients because of API integration functionality.

In addition, having software that allows for Open APIs allows the opportunity to use future innovative apps that have yet to be released. Being at the forefront of API integrations can increase a firm’s value proposition and keep them at the top of their game.

© Copyright 2021 PracticePanther
National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 291
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