6 Top Cloud-Based Software Options for Law Practice Management
The rise in popularity of cloud-based software options has created increased affordability, security, and flexibility for small businesses searching for the best ways to manage their organizations. Where before a firm was tied to a steep price for the installation of software on-site, now cloud-based software allows for subscription payments with very little upfront cost, predictable billing that covers backups and updates, and increased security for important files and patches.
Most businesses, large and small, like law practices, have embraced the shift to cloud-based software, and now are looking to see what type of law practice management software is available to help increase productivity, profitability and cost-savings.
Here we’d like to offer some top choices in cloud-based law practice management software that can help your office move forward, increasing revenue and saving money for the partners. We’ve offered our top pick in six categories below. As a note: while there are many products that promise to provide everything your law practice needs, as you might imagine, even the full-service products have their strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we will be highlighting the particular strengths of the “full package” software products.
Productivity Enhancement: MyCase
MyCase is an affordably priced software package that streamlines the productivity of smaller firms that do not need to integrate with many other third-party software providers. MyCase provides its subscribers with a dashboard that integrates a calendar, contacts board, case organization board, documents organizer, billing file, reporting organizer, message board, expense, and invoicing tool. The dashboard allows attorneys and other employees of the practice to easily access various elements of open and closed cases, refer to and add messages and notes, and send reminders, invoices, and emails. MyCase is customizable and user-friendly. We like it as a way to keep your practice organized and your workflow running smoothly.
If your law firm needs accounting help, we recommend CosmoLex. CosmoLex offers other practice management tools, but the most impressive feature of its package is the full-service and comprehensive accounting feature set. CosmoLex’s accounting offering means that you will never need to import in or out of the software and use Quickbooks or Xero. No data migration is necessary. CosmoLex will help you with everything from billing to accepting payments, managing payroll to tracking settlements. This is a real asset and the major advantage to CosmoLex over its competitors. In addition, CosmoLex is a full-service practice management system, though some of the other features are less user-friendly than other tools.
Appointment Reminders: AppointmentReminder.com
Any law practice knows the importance of using and maintaining a robust and reliable appointment management system to reduce no-shows and maximize billable hours. AppointmentReminder.com offers precisely this type of service at affordable rates with streamlined integration into Google, Outlook and Office 365 calendars. The service offers customizable options and will allow your law practice to send email, phone, or SMS text message appointment reminders automatically.
Document Management: Actionstep
Law practices generate large quantities of highly sensitive documents, and secure document management is a key concern of any law practice. There are many cloud-based software products that can help you manage your documents. We, however, recommend Actionstep. Like some of the other products listed here, Actionstep is an overall law practice software package, but its particular strength is highly organized document management. This is not a software option for a firm that needs a basic practice management tool. This is a specialized tool that is designed to manage documents securely. The tool offers a secure client portal that allows for secure messaging with clients and the sending of secure documents as each matter is automatically assigned its own inbox and outbox. The software also allows you to save documents within each individual matter as opposed to saving documents separately in another folder. They backup automatically.
Settlement Tracking: CASEpeer
For attorneys who work in personal injury and who would benefit from enhanced settlement tracking, we recommend CASEpeer. CASEpeer is a flexible piece of software that price adjusts based on the size of your firm. It allows you to track both potential and new clients and track key information on property damage, patient treatment status, medical bills, discovery, expert witnesses, and accident details. Where CASEpeer really excels, however, is in the way it allows personal injury attorneys to track negotiations with third parties and lienholders, providing a way to keep an eye on the progress and results in settlements through a user-friendly dashboard that lists pending offers and demands.
Time and Billable Hours: Clio
Clio is the gold standard in tracking the billable hours that your attorneys generate. The standout feature of Clio’s software is its list of apps, which integrate seamlessly into its software. These apps allow attorneys to track their time easily and with little interruption to their workflow on their phones and computers, keeping track of the time they spend on their work tasks as related to the law practice’s business. Clio strives to be, and all reviews credit it with being, user-friendly and highly reliable. It’s an irreplaceable tool for many law firms.
With the amount of reasonably priced cloud-based software available today, law practices should be actively looking into what they need, what will be most useful to them and their attorneys to manage, and what will run their practices in the most efficient, productive and lucrative way. These tools will help any practice begin generating more revenue as they work smarter and let the software work harder.