Now you might think what would the relation be between automated calendaring software and risk management, and why should an article on a law related website preach about the use of software? That's what we are going to show. A look at the ABA's “Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims” will show that calendar related errors form more than 30% of all legal malpractice claims, and calendar related errors are the major cause for firms facing malpractice action ensuing from paralegal mistakes.
Small firms with 5 or less number of attorneys, typically firms which depend heavily on experienced paralegals and legal staff constitute more than 70% of victims suffering from calendar error and consequent malpractice actions. That's the case for learning the use of calendar software and being meticulous on issues related to calendaring. Calendaring mistakes are costly.
New software in the market that follows rule based calendaring technologies include offers from CompuLaw, Westlaw Legal Calendaring Outlook Integration Software, AbacusLaw, and Amicus from Capterra. There are also other good and cheaper alternatives in the market, but the software mentioned here are widely used. Another very trusted resource is the Legal Technology Resource Center of the American Bar Association. The use of calendaring software greatly reduces the risks of missing deadlines and consequent malpractice actions.
Despite the information technology boom with teenagers excelling in computer technologies, and applications competing with each other to become more and more user-friendly, it remains a surprise that according to the International Legal Technology Association's survey, most small law firms did not use software related to automated calendaring and close to 20% relies solely on manual tracking of deadlines and dates with Microsoft Outlook.
Rules-based computerized calendaring are now pretty affordable, and there are also online services that provide a SAS or “software as service” model that do not require small firms to buy, install, upgrade, and deal with new software and accompanying glitches. This also opens up the access of calendaring platforms to lawyers and paralegals on the move and data can be accessed from anywhere.
With the development of Smartphones, and mobile based delivery of services lagging behind in the adoption of automated calendaring solutions is a mistake that can lead to heavy losses.
Some areas where paralegals and attorneys can more efficiently deploy calendaring practices include:
- Establishing rules-based and widely accessible lawyers' calendars and centralized calendaring to ensure quick response and disaster recovery
- Ensuring that in-house calendaring practices adhere to and accommodate malpractice mandates of insurance companies
- Integration of work-calendars with desktop calendars firm-wide thus maximizing exposure and notice
- Integration with software already used by the firm including Outlook
- Creating a portal based calendaring system that can be accessed from anywhere
Automated calendar technology plays a significant role in risk management and reducing risks of malpractice accusations. It is something that cannot be ignored by today's paralegal.
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