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Thomson Reuters Firm Central:
Comprehensive Law Practice Management for Your Firm Part 2

Jeremy Byellin, Blog Writer at Thomson Reuters
Published: January 15, 2018

In this article, I’ll be delving directly into additional Firm Central practice management features, which all integrate nicely into the central matter management feature.

  1. Firm Central Time & Billing

    The Firm Central Time and Billing interface is linked directly to your matter management in Firm Central, so it can access information about your clients and cases. I would actually need far more space than I have available to go into all of the features of the billing function, but I’ll just highlight a few of my favorites:

    • Track Time More Efficiently

      There is a wide range of customization options available for keeping track of your time, billed and unbilled. There’s a built-in timer that allows you to clock exactly how much time that you spend working on a specific matter, and the settings allow you to round to the nearest certain minute (e.g. you can set the timer to round up to the nearest six minutes).

      Using this billing system has helped me track my billable hours in a more complete manner.

    • Create Professional Invoices Faster

      Produce professional invoices more quickly. Your tracked time is attached to a specific client matter, which allows you to collect specific billed time segments together into an invoice. The invoice is also quite customizable.

      Create Professional Invoices Faster

      Receive Client Payment

    • Receive Client Payment

      You can set up website access for clients to view their invoices through the Firm Central client portal. In addition, you can link to a ClientPay account (if you have one), to receive payments from clients. In the works is further integration that will automatically apply payments directly to outstanding invoices.

  2. Firm Central Matter Management

    The next function to cover is Firm Central Matter Management.

    • Manage Contacts

      “Contacts” is something that I, perhaps, should have gotten into a bit sooner, since you need to add contacts into Firm Central before creating a client matter.

      “Contacts” can be anyone from a client to an opposing counsel to a judicial clerk to a witness. You can add information that describes your relationship with the individual as well as which matters the contact is associated with.

    • Store, Review and Retrieve Documents – My Personal Favorite

      As I mentioned throughout this series, Firm Central can securely store and allow you to view your legal documents remotely, meaning you can access them from anywhere you have internet service. But what I find most attractive is a function that allows you to search through the contents of all of your uploaded documents if they’re in a text-readable format.

      Search Results

      This is especially helpful when you need to locate a specific term or phrase quickly, and you may have a huge assortment of documents to sift through. Being able to find an exact phrase in one of your documents in just a few keystrokes is always useful.

    Save Within Your Computer Network: If you use Windows, you can move or copy documents from your desktop folders directly into Firm Central. Just download the free Firm Central desktop plugin.  When you update or save documents from your Firm Central folder on your desktop, you'll see them updated within the Firm Central dashboard, too.

  3. Westlaw Integration

    Finally, Firm Central is tied directly to Westlaw. I mentioned this feature briefly in my previous post; the link between the two allows you to:

    • Save research to client matter folders, allowing you to tie together specific cases, laws, and rules to a particular case that you’re working on.
    • Do a quick Westlaw search directly from your Firm Central dashboard, saving you the trouble of switching applications.
    • Include Firm Central documents automatically in Westlaw searches. Westlaw returns relevant results from within your Firm Central documents – truly creating an all-inclusive experience.

Inclusiveness is the overarching benefit that Firm Central offers in all of its features: It’s a one-stop shop.  It allows you to collect every piece of information you could need for your law practice into one place, accessible from anywhere.

Jeremy Byellin

About the author
Jeremy Byellin is an attorney practicing in the areas of family law and estate planning. Jeremy is knowledgeable in legal technology and enjoys writing about the benefits it can bring small law firms.

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