Best Practices: Engaging Managed Services Providers to Build Your Firm’s Legal Data API Integrations – Josh Blandi Writes in Attorney at Work
on Topics: News
With the growing maturity of managed services providers in the legal industry, law firms don’t have to go it alone when integrating APIs and new data streams into their operations, and they are no longer limited by needing to hire a team of developers and data scientists to take advantage of the latest legal technology.
UniCourt is excited to share our CEO, Josh Blandi’s second article in our three-part series published in Attorney at Work, “Best Practices: Engaging Managed Services Providers to Build Your Firm’s Legal Data API Integrations.”
In the first article in our series, “Why Lawyers Should Use Managed Services Providers for API Integrations,” we talked about the advantages of lawyers leveraging managed services providers, or MSPs, and the top reasons law firms should consider hiring them to build the API integrations they need to modernize the way their law practice does business development, litigation strategy, and docket management.
Josh’s second article in this series goes into more depth on best practices for law firms seeking to work with MSPs and shares the top dos and don’ts from two MSPs who have worked with law firm clients on building out API integrations.
Both Kevin Reinsch, CEO and Lead Consultant of Switch Analytics, and Joshua Watson, Vice President of DreamBuilt Software, share some great insights and practical tips for law firms using MSPs on how to handle budgeting appropriately, measuring ROI, data management, scalability, and other key topics.
Here below is an excerpt from our latest article in Attorney at Work:
With the impacts of an economic slowdown still not fully in the rearview mirror for law firms, it’s important, now more than ever, to take advantage of advances in legal technology to streamline internal operations.
In the first article of this series, we looked at how lawyers can reimagine their firms with legal data APIs, the core reasons for using managed services providers, and the overall maturity of the MSP industry. We concluded there’s no reason for law firms to sit on the sidelines when it comes to fully using legal tech since there are ready-to-use alternatives to hiring expensive teams of engineers and data scientists to make their API integrations a reality.
This second article provides a more holistic view of what it’s like to work with MSPs to develop your firm’s own API integrations. We will share the perspective of MSPs who have assisted law firms in automating manual processes and modernizing the way they ingest, process, and utilize data.
Best Practices for Engaging Managed Services Providers
It takes two to tango in the context of a law firm engaging a managed services provider. If your law firm doesn’t leverage best practices when engaging an MSP, you will not only waste precious resources but also likely miss out on the benefits API integrations can provide — namely, enhancing your firm’s business development, competitive intelligence, litigation strategy and process automation.
As a part of developing this post, we asked two MSPs with experience developing legal data API integrations for advice on how law firms can get the most from their relationship with an MSP — along with common pitfalls to avoid. Here are their top dos and don’ts.
Dos and don’ts from Kevin Reinsch, CEO and Lead Consultant of Switch Analytics.
- Outline all the data fields you seek and what you want to accomplish. Create a mockup to discuss with your MSP and help them visualize your end goal to make it easier to discuss what can be accomplished.
- Provide a budget and a timeline to your MSP so that everyone is on the same page with requirements.
- Consider what information inside the firm could be augmented alongside the API data to provide more value for what is being obtained.
- Consider storing the information you pull from the APIs in an SQL database, so that it can be used for other purposes or referenced later.
- Get more insights out of the data you pull beyond just one use case. Consider using reporting tools such as Power BI to display the information and analyze it for other potential use cases.
- Consider your timing of API usage to control your costs and make sure you have time to utilize any remaining blocks of API calls. Pulling the data once a month versus weekly may meet all your needs and reduce processing costs.
- Assume that there are no associated costs. A good provider should make you aware of any costs that are involved. Make sure to ask your MSP directly if there are any associated licenses or costs that could be necessary for the project during scoping.
- Use an MSP without an internal security policy and an insurance policy in case something goes awry. Ask for client references as well to make sure you have a reputable provider.
- Allow access to a server with other firm information unless necessary or until production. Instead, have the MSP develop on their server or in a sandbox server to help ensure security and potentially speed up the development process.
You can read the full article here on Attorney at Work.
Want to integrate UniCourt’s APIs, but don’t have the time or budget to hire engineers and data scientists?
Contact Us and let’s talk about you can use MSPs to achieve faster API integrations for your firm’s business development, litigation strategy, and docket management.