It seems as if it was only yesterday that legal professionals were coping with typewriters and carbon copies. In the blink of an eye, we have dashed through copy machines, computers, facsimiles, scanners, and e-mail. Despite the fast pace of technology, the legal industry has tended to lag behind the times, approaching change conservatively at the risk of running afoul of our ethical duties. Yet, here we are, at the doorstep of a new age in legal practice and legal practice management.
This article focuses on cloud practice management (CPM) services, which let us use software-as-a-service to manage our legal practice—from calendaring, contacts, and matters to documents, e-mails, tasks, and billing. What is CPM, how does it work, how do we get there, and how do we keep it secure? In the sections that follow and in an extensive comparison spreadsheet (activepractice.com/cpm), we offer advice, information, and perspectives on CPM and its major features.