Login | August 12, 2020

Case management software implementation plateauing

Technology for Lawyers

Published: December 13, 2019

The 2019 ABA TECHREPORT is out, and it does not have particularly good news for practice/case management software companies.
Across the board in all sizes of law firms, case management systems have less than a 40% market penetration. Makes me wonder how the rest of the firms handle all of their data—maybe stacks of files all over the floor like it was 1999?
The four segments of the legal business—solos, small firms, mid-size and large firms—all basically held steady on a percentage basis in case management deployment from the previous year. Usage divides interestingly among users by firm size for what seems obvious reasons. Solos have virtually no case management, and neither do firms over 100 lawyers.
These systems find their highest usage rates among firms from about nine to 99 firm members. This is because small and solo firms can’t really afford these systems, or don’t have enough business to justify them. The large firms have their own IT departments who probably have developed their own data management.
So that leaves the firms in the middle, who both can afford and need third-party data, document and office management.
This segment has slowed virtually to a stop.
The reason for this plateauing may be as simple as a lack of robustness in the platform, the report stated.
For the most part, case management systems have built-in functionality limitations that may limit their market penetration, the report found.
The most popular cases management systems, like Amicus Attorney and Rocket Matter, for instance, provide a centralized hub that coordinates the functions of the office—say word processing, billing and timekeeping, front office and back office functions, etc.
But none of them to this point are an out-of-the-box, full featured platform that in and of itself runs and entire law office, according to this report.
That certainly militates against growth in the very large firms, which require (as I know from personal experience and you know who you are) entire, full-functioning systems from the ground up.
Maybe, the report said, that approach will win over the rest of the market. But that’s what everybody said last year, and the year before. Keep waiting.