Small law firm CRM

More and more firms are adopting CRM solutions to help attract new clients, streamline client intake, and dramatically transform how they conduct business.
Small Law Firm CRM

Small Law Firm CRM

As anybody who has worked in the legal industry knows, it’s easy to lose sight of important information, and coordinating follow-ups and communications with clients requires continual effort. An estimated twenty-six percent of law firms admit that they don’t track their leads at all.

Law firms must record and follow up on all potential leads to avoid losing a prospective client. However, manual processes involving notebooks, Excel spreadsheets, and post-It notes are no longer enough. Legal CRM (client relationship management) software is the modern way for firms of all sizes to convert leads into clients and build strong, ongoing relationships. With tools that easily create, edit, import, and export your contact list—no matter how big or small - it’s easy to update client information, tag contacts, and create groups without maintaining separate lists.

How do law firms manage legal clients?

Many law firms, particularly smaller operations, use various procedures for tracking and updating client information, and work is often done manually with rudimentary tools. When firms use paper files, spreadsheets, and legacy software to manage client information, the process can be extremely time-consuming, error-prone, and diverts valuable resources from substantive legal work. However, legal automation software can solve this problem.

Legal CRM software is a specific database built for client management that is easily accessed, managed, and updated. These systems frequently include features such as self-scheduling for appointments, automated reminder and follow-up emails, and online intake forms that can be personalized and sent to clients.

What software do most law firms use?

The most successful law firms use technology tools to work more efficiently and securely in an increasingly remote workplace. What works best for an individual firm depends on firm size, geographic location, and practice area. Consequently, not every firm needs the same tech stack. It’s generally a good idea to begin with the basics and add more tools later to plug gaps, improve productivity, and enhance client service.

Can law firms use the cloud?

Yes, they can, and whether they realize it or not, many have already begun to use the cloud through hosted email and file storage and sharing systems like Dropbox. Too many benefits are associated with moving to the cloud to avoid it. From more predictable operating costs to the low cost of entry, firms are beginning to realize the advantages of cloud adoption and are doing so in more significant numbers.

However, according to the American Bar Association’s 2021 Cloud Computing survey, lawyers still use the cloud much less than professionals in other industries. The ABA survey found that cloud usage among attorneys increased by only one percent (from 58 percent to 60 percent) from 2020 to 2021. In spite of this, lawyers are becoming increasingly familiar with cloud technologies and are attracted by the anytime, anywhere access it provides.

What is a legal CRM system?

Legal Client Relationship Management (CRM) software is a tool that helps lawyers keep track of all their client contacts and interactions. It also helps manage business functions like client intake, scheduling, follow-up, and more. In short, legal CRM software addresses the full process of turning potential leads into retained clients. There are many benefits to using legal CRM, such as:

  • Improved client relationships. Keeping current clients happy while looking for new ones is the number one goal of law firms. According to the 2022 Legal Trends Report, cloud solutions help keep lawyers connected with their clients. Those using cloud-based software to manage their practices were 60 percent more likely to have positive client relationships.
  • Effectively manage employees. When working with a legal team on a case, everyone must be on the same page. With CRM software for lawyers, firms can clearly understand how well their team collaborates. The Legal Trends Report found that lawyers using cloud-based solutions were 44 percent likelier to interact positively with colleagues.
  • Organize documents in the cloud. With a legal CRM, a paperless law firm becomes a reality. CRM for law firms provides secure, centrally located repositories for all documents to reduce clutter and improve the firm’s overall efficiency.
  • Analyze firm performance. Legal CRM allows firms to keep tabs on their overall performance. For example, data can be collected regarding how many people have used the firm’s services, which cases were settled, and which channels are most effective at obtaining new clients. Instead of manually monitoring and evaluating performance, you can focus on fresh, innovative ways to grow your firm.

Want to send an email blast only to past clients? No problem. Forward it to everyone BUT your past clients? That works too. With custom email templates and automatic scheduling, your email sequences, blasts, and campaigns are going to the right people at the right time. When you have a lead, you can send personalized emails introducing them to your law firm. Each new contact is funneled in the right direction without someone writing every email or making a personal call to build the relationship.

Why do small law firms need CRM?

Regardless of how big or small your law firm is, you should have a CRM system. Why? According to Statista, using legal technology increased the efficiency of 84 percent of law firms surveyed. Your present system might work for your law practice, but what about the long-term picture? Although small law firms might be handling less volume than bigger firms, they might benefit the most from CRM software that includes tools that help them streamline, personalize, and improve the relationships they form with clients.
Employees of small law firms often still find it challenging to keep track of everything, and as the firm grows, so does the demand for efficiency, productivity, and effective communication with clients. While a different piece of software could be used to handle each task, law firms can benefit significantly from the use of a single platform. A legal CRM will help you keep track of your legal team’s responsibilities, provide
 targeted client communication, and store all your firm’s documents in a secure cloud environment.

Small and solo law firms are often run with a small but mighty crew, and they frequently employ fewer full-time staff. However, with a legal CRM, it’s like having an extra employee in the office who is equipped to:

  • Take charge of new leads
  • Collect contact information
  • Provide notifications
  • Send timely email sequences to the right people
  • Solicit feedback that keeps firms on the right track

A personalized client experience is one of the biggest selling points for small law firms. However, it can be challenging to keep up, especially as the firm grows: Leads fall through the cracks, and promising contacts go elsewhere because they don’t receive the response they need from you to make an informed decision. But CRM software notifies you of the leads coming in, allows you to leave fewer contacts hanging, and does a whole lot more to keep you engaged with prospects and clients.

Just like a well-trained employee, an agile CRM can carry out the tasks that need to be done – exactly how they need to happen. Imagine what you could do with just one employee dedicated to improving your relationships with clients and referral sources, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. That’s the power of CRM software.

What is the most commonly used CRM?

According to Statista, Salesforce is the leading vendor in the CRM market worldwide, with a market share of 23.8 percent in 2021. Next in line behind Salesforce are SAP, Microsoft, and Oracle, with around five percent shares of the market.

As part of the Salesforce sales and marketing platform, Salesforce CRM is designed for small businesses but is highly scalable and offers a comprehensive suite of contact and lead management tools. When combined with other Salesforce apps, the CRM tool delivers seamless marketing automation, analytics, and cloud storage abilities.

Is there a free CRM?

Few things in life are free, and CRM software is generally not one of them. However, HubSpot has a free option that combines the solution’s CRM, marketing, sales, and services tools. With Key features including contact management, deal tracking, form builder, email and ad management, live chat with site visitors, and ticketing support for customer service, HubSpot’s free CRM is suited for sales teams in need of CRM and marketers seeking to automate communications. Some alternatives, like Sendinblue or Engagebay, have free plans, but charge for their most robust features.

That being said, HubSpot’s CRM is not a legal-specific platform, and access to premium tools like sequences and prospects comes with a monthly fee.

Is HubSpot good for lawyers?

HubSpot is one of the more robust, user-friendly, and scalable CRM solutions available. In addition, HubSpot’s pricing is very affordable, and the platform also offers some free solutions so law firms can maximize their potential, regardless of budget. However, while the Hubspot CRM may be a solid choice for entrepreneurs across the spectrum of various industries, it does not offer legal-specific tools that aid legal professionals in conducting client intake, marketing their business to legal consumers, or converting prospective clients into matters. For example, HubSpot does not check leads for potential conflicts, which is a crucial ethical step in a firm’s intake process.

Is there a better CRM than HubSpot?

While HubSpot is one of the most well-known general CRM systems available, there are some options for legal professionals and attorneys:

  • Lawmatics is the #1 CRM for law firms. Lawmatics includes features designed specifically for law firm intake: automated workflow pipelines, appointment scheduling, document management, email and SMS communication, time and billing including a payment gateway, e-signatures, tasks, and advertising insights.
  • ActiveCampaign offers eCommerce, B2B, and B2C solutions. ActiveCampaign provides email marketing functionality, automated follow-ups, contact engagement tracking, and marketing campaign performance reporting.
  • Sendinblue is designed for small and medium-sized businesses, SMEs and SMBs, and digital marketers seeking to broaden their outreach and boost new contact acquisition. Sendinblue offers email marketing, SMS marketing, shared inboxes, landing pages, sign-up forms, pop-ups, and Facebook ad builders.
  • Keap, a sales automation and marketing automation tool, is perhaps the most similar CRM to HubSpot. It is recommended for startups, small businesses, sales and marketing teams, and eCommerce. Keap offers automated lead capture, follow-ups based on personalized data or custom events, SMS marketing tools, automated workflows, and partners with Stripe, PayPal, WePay, and others.
  • EngageBay provides startups, SMEs, WordPress users, and any company on a budget with all-in-one sales, marketing, and customer service tools, including 360 customer views and insights.

Is Clio a CRM?

Clio Manage is a legal practice management software designed to help law firms organize cases, collaborate with clients, manage their documents, and bill clients for services performed. Clio Manage is not a legal CRM, but it is easy to integrate your Clio Manage account with the Lawmatics platform. If your firm uses Clio as a case management solution, this integration will enable you to sync matters from Lawmatics to Clio automatically, eliminating the need for multiple data entries. Partnerships and integrations like these make it plausible to mix and match solutions for your tech stack to cover the entire client lifecycle.

What is Lawmatics?

Lawmatics is a legal CRM with client intake and marketing features and offers a client portal, task management, automated billing, and much more. Lawmatics CRM for lawyers enables firms to:

  • Streamline workflows including follow-up emails after potential client inquiries, pre-consultation questionnaires, new client onboarding, and more.
  • Schedule appointments by allowing potential clients to schedule meetings directly from the firm’s website.
  • Sync email and calendars to see emails sent and received and associated appointments while reviewing a client’s record.
  • Use document and email templates to generate personalized intake questionnaires or engagement letters and quickly and easily create marketing workflows.
  • Text message current and potential clients and view conversations connected with leads.
  • Offer eSignature capabilities to clients, allowing them to sign and return documents quickly with their computer or phone.
  • Drive growth using marketing tracking tools and analytics to take your small law firm to the next level.

Want to learn more about how Lawmatics Legal CRM will help your small law firm drive efficiency, attract more prospects, and accelerate growth? Request your free demo today.

Contact us if you have any questions
(800) 883-1105