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“Most things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done” – Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice.
Well, the quote can be very well applied to the legal trends prevailing and the legal software associated with the law industry.
A less apparent, yet equally important, is a well-designed law practice management software that allows any attorney to deliver core functionality that enables meaningful growth and benefits every year such as more efficient data entry, more effective data retrieval, fewer data errors, better case management, enhanced bar and public access to case information and others.
Law Practice Management Software streamlines your daily operations and manages all aspects of your firm like matter records, documents, appointments, schedules, targets, deadlines, due dates and accounting. And if as an attorney you are trying to manage everything manually along with your team or with several other legal software, having all in under roof i.e., under a single legal management software can certainly transform the way your firm operates.
Myths about having a Law Practice Management Software –
Despite the fact that the law practice management software has been in practice since decades, there are still myths hovering around them. The reasons for this could possibly be attorneys not interested in making their law occupation as prime business and taking it ahead as a business venture. This in turn may be due to dis-streamlined process management (old truths about older case management software) or even the resistance to change that comes natural to lawyers.
It becomes quite important to chase away the myths and make law firms realise the importance and benefits of the law practice management software, else there’ll be a risk of being left out.
Some common misconceptions about the software could be and not limited to –
- Law practice management software aren’t worth the cost and law firms done have budget for them.
- They are built for small and mid-sized law firms and barely have good software approach for large firms.
- It’s easier and feasible to buy separate solutions than going for one that has all in one go.
- Law practice management software and their software are too hard to use as attorneys are not tech savvy.
- The information shared on the software isn’t secure and could be leaked out anytime.
Having said that, you might want to verify and evaluate the software you are going to install for your firm. And might also want to ask few questions before having one for your law firm –
- How much would a solution actually cost?
- What customer support is being offered?
- Is a customization of software needed or advisable?
- How will the data be transferred and updated to digital process?
- How many attorneys need to be tech savvy for this software?
To help you understand and find best software solution and a law practice software that will be viable for your law firm, we at LawKPIs have researched and come out with top 5 Law Practice Management software –
Clio is a cloud-based law practice management software solution that provides several general practice management features, such as time and billing and client management for the legal firms and their practice.
- Clio integrates with many apps including Google Analytics, QuickBooks, Outlook and offers a lot of features like efficient case management, attorney and client billing and invoice management, reporting of billed hours, document management, task management, scheduling, time tracking and accounting.
- The online solution is so robust that it provides a simplified matter management through a user-friendly software.
- Clio boasts of being the only legal software that seamlessly integrates with FastCase that lets the extensive National Law library at your fingertips.
- Clio revolutionizes law research by allowing you to search, sort and visualize cases and data instantly on FastCase.
- Clio integrates and connects with over 70 business apps, giving its users a wholesome integrated platform that works popular accounting, email, online storage, payment gateways, databases and other software services.
- There are regular (but short) issues that cause delays in load time and documentation.
- The interface is a little chunky.
- Document integration with Google drive could be better.
- Case planning and budgeting could be more robust with Clio.
- Centralized filing of all client files.
- The document management process could be more improved.
Overview of Salient features of Clio –
- Document Automation
- Time tracking
- Bank-grade security
- Legal Accounting
- Fast Case Research
- Matter Management
- Trust Accounting
- Mobile App
- Billing and Invoicing
2. Rocket Matter
With Rocket Matter you can automate and streamline your legal case management workflow with matter templates. An online legal billing and law practice management software that completely integrates with popular cloud applications like Dropbox and Evernote. It includes iMac, iPhones, iPads and Droid. Rocket Matter caters to small to mid-sized law firms and is available on month-to -month subscription with no contract required. There is an unlimited support available with all subscriptions.
- Rocket Matter gives to its clients are calendaring, time tracking, phone messaging, skype integration, paperless office, documentation, user and matter dashboards, tracking invoice, batch billing.
- Rocket Matter integrates with Law Tool Box, so clients and attorneys do not have any scope of missing a court deadline. It allows them to import calendar dates for legal matters from all over US, and to also keep a track on the change in dates and when they get published.
- Rocket Matter also has a collaboration with instant messaging software within its solution that helps to stay updated with anything going on in the firm. This feature allows lawyers and clients to share files, make video conferences and link conversations with cases so as to view the correspondence on matter dashboards.
- Customer service could be more efficient.
- Cancelling the subscription is bit cumbersome process in itself.
- Not easy to navigate between one thing and another.
- Calendar management could be a bit more systematic and easier to use.
- Bit expensive for small law firms.
Overview of salient Features of Rocket Matter –
- Task and Time Tracking
- Reporting, Billing and Invoicing
- Calendaring and Timer
- Phone messaging and Mobile Access
- Account receivable reports
- User and Matter dashboards
- Document management
- Skype, Dropbox and Evernote Integration
- Contact Management
- Paperless Office
3. Practice Panther
Is a general management and billing legal software that is powerful but easy-to-use leading solution in law practice management software. The company’s SaaS Solution is designed to be robust, intuitive and user friendly and has included capabilities such as client and case management, time tracking, billing, expense management, payment processing, calendaring and much more that a law firm needs.
- Among the many features that Practice Panther allows it clients, it also offers to view invoices, making payments and receive /respond to messages.
- What differentiates Practice Panther from the rest of the legal management software is that its smart functionalities including generating multiple billing with just one click, accept credit cards for invoices, bill hourly, track trust account balances and integrate with leading business apps.
- This cloud-based solution coupled with mobile apps enables the attorneys to work anytime, anywhere and helps access data with secure messages with client portal among others. It’s quite user-friendly and helps save a lot of time for the users.
- There is no single backup software to backup and restore all your files with just few clicks.
- Billing software can be systematic to show all the history of bills paid and received.
- The software could allow a report of vendors’/payee’s payments over various time periods as it does with tags and categories.
- There is still room for improvement in terms of features and functions of calendar management and time and task management.
Overview of Salient features of Practice Panther –
- Online Payment Processing
- Custom Fields
- Online Legal Billing
- Legal Case Management
- Trust Accounts
- Internal chat with team within the software
- Real-time notifications
- Emails and calendar sync
- iPhone, iOS and Android Apps
- QuickBooks accounting integration
MyCase is a cloud-based law practice management software that offers attorneys with small and mid-size firms to manage communication with clients and carry out daily operations. The solution also provides functionalities for accounting and scheduling purposes.
- MyCase offers user applications like time tracking, accounting, case management, contact management and docketing. Attorneys can access the solution via computer or mobile devices including iOS devices.
- Attorneys can manage and sync their calendars to collaborate with clients and co-workers. The solution enables attorneys to organize critical contact and case information, send secured information/messages directly to clients, online billing and invoicing calculate billable hours, generate reports and sync schedules with clients and shareholders.
- MyCase integrates with QuickBooks too provides support via phone, email and through online knowledge base. It also allows two-way communication between attorney and client as well as records and tracks the communication.
- The software is available both on Android and iOS apps and lets the user access vital documents and precisely do anything and everything via the apps.
- Document automation could to be more user friendly.
- Email integration as well could be more improved.
- Having sync with mobile apps can be more user friendly for downloading data on phone.
- Reports to track on billing and invoicing for preferred clients for discounts provided by law firms needs to be provided.
Overview of features of MyCase –
- Legal Practice Management
- Document Management
- Invoice and Billing
- Payment Scheduling
- Client Portal
- Time and Expense tracking
- Online Payments
- Android, iOS Apps
- Automated Calendar and tasks
- Integration with Outlook and Google
HoudiniEsq a cloud based legal software was developed to assist small firms with their business-related functions such as organizing documents, setting schedules and appointments, making calendars and more.
- HoudiniEsq allows its users with a number of features such a time and expense tracking, billing, invoicing, case and client management, so as to provide the best legal service to your clients.
- HoudiniEsq has a centralized information and communication process to streamline your law firm and business including managing clients, cases, dockets, client contact and client communication through emails and certified mails.
- The solution comes with a unique feature of determining and eliminating conflicts of interest as it lets you view how an individual is associated with any case.
- The platform is fully integrated with a number of business tools and services such as Adobe Acrobat, MS-Word, MS-Excel, QuickBooks, Calendar apps, Google and more.
- The software can be more user friendly for lawyers to use.
- It’s difficult to switch from one area of file to another area (i.e., documents to billing and back to contacts).
- Multitasking with the software is a bit difficult.
Overview of Houdini Features –
- Track time, Trust and Case Budget
- Billing, Invoicing software
- Complete Case/ Matter Management
- Document Management and Automation
- Client, Staff and Security Management
- Email Management
- Custom Fields, Labels, Reports, List, View
- Ad Hoc custom reporting
The Law Practice Management Software are the choice for the law firms or for the individual law practitioners. This software seamlessly consolidates your front end and back-end operations. A law practice management software increases the overall efficiencies as they have the capability to retrieve, archive and store client’s case history and data, case management, case dates, time history i.e., the time spent on case or client, associate time history and much more.
As the legal practice management software are cloud based, they are accessible anytime, anywhere and the software are suitable for all types of law practices and are upgradable and expandable to cater to the needs of any law firm and to suit each firm’s growing needs.