Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped dozens of law firms choose the right case management software so they can manage sensitive information and automate daily tasks.

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PracticePanther Legal SoftwareFrontRunners 2021

PracticePanther Legal Software is a legal management solution for small to large practices specializing in areas including bankruptcy, personal injury, family, divorce, estate planning, litigation, criminal law and many more. The ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 142 recommendations

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ClioFrontRunners 2021

Clio is a web-based legal practice management system designed to meet the needs of small to mid-sized law firms. It provides a way to track goals and deadlines, manage cases and documents, and track time.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 131 recommendations

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MyCaseFrontRunners 2021

MyCase is a cloud-based legal management solution that helps attorneys in small to medium size law firms manage communications with their clients and carry out daily business operations. The solution also provides functionalities ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 74 recommendations

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CosmoLexFrontRunners 2021

CosmoLex is a comprehensive legal management software designed for smaller and solo firms. It offers integrated features to manage all aspects of a practice: document management, case management, time tracking, and calendaring.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 51 recommendations

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SmokeballFrontRunners 2021

Smokeball is a complete cloud-based legal productivity software to automatically record time for you, allowing you to increase your firm’s profitability and productivity by over 30%. Whether you bill hourly, fixed fee, or on conti... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 39 recommendations

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Zola SuiteFrontRunners 2021

Zola Suite is a cloud-based legal practice management solution for law firms of all sizes. Key features include task management, built-in email, document management, client portals, calendar, contact management, automation, report... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations

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Tabs3FrontRunners 2021

Tabs3 Software offers practice management, case management and financials for small to midsize firms in any practice area. Tabs3 enables legal professionals to manage their schedule and matters as well as track their time and bill... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

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CloudLex

CloudLex a cloud-based legal management solution built exclusively for plaintiff personal injury law firms of all sizes. CloudLex’s Matter Manager enables users to collaborate through matter-specific communication tools and o... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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SmartAdvocateFrontRunners 2021

Conceptualized by a partner at a personal injury law firm, SmartAdvocate is a legal management platform that offers flexible deployment options and a modular suite of applications. In addition to case management, attorneys a... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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ProTempus

ProTempus is an on-premise practice management solution designed for small law firms. Key features include timekeeping/billing, contact management, document management, case management, AR, AP, GL and trust accounting. Two clicks ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

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Litify

Litify is the all-in-one, next-generation legal software solution. Designed for medium to large-scale law firms, Litify enables every team member to do their best work. Our robust legal software combines intakes, matter mana... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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Rocket MatterFrontRunners 2021

Rocket Matter is a cloud-based legal billing and management solution designed to cater small and midsize law practices. It features time and billing management, calendar, document management, payments and collaboration management ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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Legal Files

For government agencies, corporations, universities and insurance companies, Legal Files legal case & matter management software centrally organizes your contacts, documents, emails, deadlines and other data. Rely on our seamless ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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Needles Neos

Over 2,500 top law firms trust Needles case management software to optimize workflow and maximize bottom line. Combining legal know-how with next-gen innovation, our web-based solution, Neos puts even more tools in your hands: a... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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GrowPath

GrowPath is an AI Powered, cloud-based case management and client intake solution designed for attorneys and paralegals in small, midsize and large legal firms. Features include lead scoring, document management, matter trackers, ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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LegalEdge

LegalEdge is a Case and Matter management solution for government; city and county attorneys, agencies, tribal government and school districts as well as prosecutors and public defenders. Civil Case screens include claims, co... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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CoCounselorFrontRunners 2021

CoCounselor provides a cloud-based legal management solution tailored specifically to the needs of plaintiff’s lawyers. With CoCounselor, users gain access to a suite of solutions that provide information on the performance of the... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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CASEpeer

CASEpeer is the leading practice management solution built for personal injury law firms. Designed with input from leading plaintiffs’ law firms, CASEpeer provides industry-leading best practices and support. Supercharge your l... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Mitratech

Mitratech is a legal management system suitable for midsize to large corporate law firms. Key features include case management, contact management, document management, calendaring and docketing, time tracking, billing and invoici... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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TheraNest

TheraNest is an HIPAA compliant web-based mental health solution used by solo practitioners, large mental health practices, and nonprofit organizations. The solution is suited for therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and soci... Read more

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Buyers guide

 

Law firms receive and process an incredible amount of sensitive case and client data through various mediums, such as phone calls, emails and documents. Firms must maintain organization and professionalism when handling this information, or risk losing valuable time and money. Case management software helps law firms handle case and client data more effectively and with less manual effort.

According to our research, over 75 percent of legal professionals say using legal management software has positively impacted organization and workflows, and has increased the firm’s billable hours, as well. However, firms have several variables to consider before purchasing a system, such as breadth of functionality, integrations and deployment options.

We’ve created this guide to help buyers understand case management systems and how they factor into the larger legal software market. In it, we’ll cover:

What Is Legal Case Management Software?
Common Functionality of Case Management Software
Key Purchase Considerations
Market Trends

What Is Legal Case Management Software?

Legal case management software can help law firms automate their daily workflows, such as viewing tasks, tracking billable time and calendaring. This helps firms increase efficiency and maximize revenue, thus growing their business.

Firms can purchase case management software as a stand-alone or “best-of-breed” solution, or as part of a larger practice management platform (whereby case management functionality would be bundled with others, such as legal billing applications or legal document management applications). Typically, practice management solutions handle the entirety of the firm’s business functions—including accounting, reporting and even marketing. Case management systems, on the other hand, focus on the firm’s internal needs regarding the processing and storing of case and client data. The complexity of these systems can vary, as we’ll cover in the section below.

Buyers who purchase stand-alone case management software should ensure the product integrates with other software solutions the firm uses, such as its legal accounting platform or document management system.

Common Functionality of Case Management Software

Legal case management software may include some or all of the following capabilities:

Centralized database Complete with search functionality, access controls and data import/export, legal professionals can easily store and retrieve information on cases—including client contact information, file attachments and email correspondence. They can also share case information with other users who have approved access.
Conflict checking With these systems, users can more easily check for conflicts of interest and statutes of limitations. Users run a search through the database, and the software can automatically scan client/case data and flag potential issues. This helps save time and reduce errors associated with manual methods of checking.
Calendar Users can schedule tasks and appointments, set reminders and view upcoming deadlines and meetings. They can also sync calendars with common email tools, such as Microsoft Outlook.
Time tracking Allows users to easily track and record billable time. Many systems include customization options to accommodate alternative fee arrangements, allowing users to record billable hours based on an hourly, a transactional or a user-defined fee basis.
Task tracking Users can manage to-do lists, assign staff to cases and specific roles and monitor the time spent on tasks to improve workflow efficiency.
Client portal Some systems include a client portal, which more easily allows for and accommodates the secure transfer of case files and client data.
Access to online legal research databases Some platforms connect with legal research services such as Westlaw or LexisNexis. This provides users access to legal materials and services (including primary law, litigation resources and public records).

Key Purchase Considerations

With the expanse of legal solutions on the market, it’s important to keep the following considerations in mind when selecting a system that fits the needs of your firm:

Integration challenges: Integration with other systems was cited as a “major challenge” by 27 percent of users in our 2015 study (linked to above). To combat this issue, firms are encouraged to vet case management systems prior to purchase to determine whether they’re compatible with current accounting and document management programs. Many vendors offer free trial periods, and firms can demo products before buying to ensure the platform supports current business needs and can scale appropriately.

Security concerns: Security is a top priority for both law firms and their clients. Before purchasing a system, consider checking with high-priority clients to see if adding capabilities, such as a client portal, would make them feel more at ease about the security of their data. Client concerns over information safety may also play a role in your firm’s decision between on-premise and cloud-based software (see below).

Deployment considerations: Many cloud-based systems offer enhanced, bank-grade security and encryption services and run daily backups to ensure the safety of client data. However, despite these safety measures, some clients may simply be opposed to having their data stored in the cloud. On-premise solutions allow data to be stored on your firm’s own servers, but also come with higher upfront costs, ongoing maintenance and support fees and typically necessitate on-site IT staff. It’s important to carefully weigh client concerns with firm budgets and needs when choosing a deployment option.

Market Trends

Firms should be aware of the following market trends as they evaluate different case management products:

  • Alternative fee arrangements: As opposed to charging based on a billable hour, some lawyers and/or firms may charge clients based on a collar or fixed fee. As alternative billing models become more commonplace, firms should consider investing in case management software with reporting functionality. This will allow them to track costs associated with tasks, people, etc., more closely.
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  • Legal process outsourcing: Outsourcing work to a third-party provider, for example legal research, data collection and other labor-intensive tasks, can help firms decrease costs to clients.
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  • Social media used for marketing: Research has shown that reviews sites, such as Yelp, are popular ways of evaluating an attorney prior to meeting. Important information for prospective clients include how many years of experience the attorney has and how past clients have rated the lawyer for quality of service. Specifically, how well the attorney explained their legal options to them.

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top Case Management Software, July 2021

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Case Management Software products in North America.

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: The reviews analysis period spans two years and ends on the 15th of the month prior to publication.