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The Strength of Filevine

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by Greg Hamblin

on 16 March, 2016

The world of legal tech is saturated with “case management” options. We’ve watched over the last few years as new challengers have started up, attracted a few users, and then failed. There are dozens of companies like these – case management startups that imagined taking a piece of the pie only to close their doors a few months later.

In some ways, this failure is perplexing to industry outsiders. After all, big names like Needles and AbacusLaw are running on software from three decades ago, and more modern competitors like Clio and MyCase offer no new innovation beyond being cloud-based. There is ample room for good competitors, yet none of the new voices are making a dent in the marketplace.

Why?

To put it bluntly, it’s because case management software has remained relatively unchanged since the 80s, and most new software companies are just copying the same old formula with a new coat of paint. Apart from the change to cloud storage several years ago, changes in software are largely cosmetic.

cosmetic

Case management software remains essentially a paperless version of the old paper case files and filing cabinet. New versions can dress it up and arrange the sections, but this isn’t genuine innovation: we’re still looking at a virtual version of the old paper folders.

But is this a bad thing? Could it be that case management software has simply reached the end of its apex, the end of its development?

One group of attorneys and developers didn’t think so. They saw room for radical innovation in one key problem with current case management software options: for the last three decades, case management software has been fine at organizing data, but has done absolutely nothing to help your team get work done.

startups

In the meantime, other professionals have benefited from a wave of ‘project management’ software solutions. As the internet hones the tools of online collaboration, these software solutions have flourished. Startups like Basecamp and Trello have rocked the productivity world, giving even the smallest of businesses the project management power that was once only available to behemoths like DuPont and the U.S. Military.

The makers of Filevine asked the question: why can’t the modern law firm benefit just as much from this revolution in project management? Could project management tools – specialized for the work of attorneys – be built directly into our case management software? Could we have software that not only organized our work, but helped us get it done in the first place?

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Filevine is focused first on productivity and project management, and then on case management. You’ll see this from the moment you log in, but it’s also built deep into each aspect of the system:

  • When you first log in to Filevine you are given a broad overview of the work going on in the firm, to help establish your work within a team-wide context.
  • Your tasks list is built to facilitate the ‘Getting Things Done‘ method for time management, allowing you to quickly sort through your tasks, make assignments, postpone action, or prioritize work based on the needs for that day.
  • The tasks themselves carry their entire history with them, wherever they are assigned, allowing for more comprehensive collaboration without confusion.
  • For the productivity systems aficionado, you can easily initiate a ‘Kanban‘ method using Filevine tasks, sending your digital ‘materials’ through your preset production system.
  • Every project can also be divided into phases, with each phase including customizable tasks and assignments. This is not only incredibly unique in both case management and project management software systems, but tremendously helpful when handling repetitive case types.
  • Teams are totally flexible and team members can be divided by function within the projects, with managers overseeing multiple teams.

Even without the tools specific to legal case management, Filevine is a powerful project management tool capable of supporting any professional who needs an intuitive way to move work forward. We’ve seen Filevine put to use by accountants, insurance companies, marketing companies, content management teams, and even video game “leagues.”

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But Filevine really shines when used by attorneys.

 Filevine includes all the typical ‘sections’ and ‘folders’ you would expect from any modern case management software. However it also makes some innovative leaps that make it a perfect fit for attorneys. For example, Filevine creators noticed that many law firms were bogged down by client interruptions. To help alleviate this, Filevine has the patent pending ‘Text-To-Case-File’ feature which allows clients and law firms to communicate via text from within the same system where work is getting done.

Add to this important features like our ‘vital statistics’ display, deadline reminders, document generation, email integration, document storage, and comprehensive reporting, and Filevine becomes a true innovation in the world of legal technology.