First Look: LawStudio

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LawStudio is web-based legal file management software built for lawyers who need to organize and annotate a large number of exhibits, depositions, and documents as they get ready for trial. However, it is made by court reporting juggernaut Veritext. This means that LawStudio is easily able to deal with depositions and transcripts and scheduling of court reporters, but it also means that you have to be using Veritext to get the maximum benefit from the software.

Features

LawStudio doesn’t have many of the things you typically see in practice management software, such as invoicing or time-tracking. Instead, you see features specifically tied to document-intensive litigation.

LawStudio does build in some neat tricks like the ability to annotate, edit, and securely redact PDFs without needing to fire up Adobe Acrobat or something similar.

LawStudio Annotation

There’s also a built-in proprietary video chat client for virtual depositions and virtual meetings. If you use Veritext for the video deposition, it will stream immediately to your LawStudio account.

There’s a calendar, but it ends up feeling clunky because it seems to be designed to calendar the events where LawStudio interfaces with Veritext, so it seemed to want to treat everything as if I was scheduling something in LawStudio but with Veritext. It didn’t seem possible to schedule my own meeting that didn’t involve a Veritext service.

The “killer app” part of the software is LawStudio’s dead simple secure HIPAA-compliant file-sharing. Right-click a file and you get a menu with a number of ways to ensure the document you are sharing is secure.

LawStudio Link Share

Because Veritext is already HIPAA-compliant and complies with all the business associate standards under that law, LawStudio is too.

LawStudio also keeps a full audit trail—who accessed the file and when, who the file was shared with, where the file was uploaded from, etc.—so that your firm can perform or pass a security audit.

Pricing

LawStudio is not cheap, though it does drop the price for each user you add. The single user cost is $299/month. For firms of 2-20 individuals, the cost drops to $259 per user per month. For 20 people and above, it is $239 per user per month.

Final Thoughts

The way LawStudio is seamlessly combined with Veritext is great if you are a trial attorney and already relying on Veritext for depositions, exhibits, transcripts, and virtual meeting needs. Being able to one-touch schedule and track all those moving parts is no doubt a huge time- and money-saver. However, a lot of that one-touch functionality disappears if you don’t use Veritext.

Much like with FileVine, there is nothing wrong with practice management software that focuses on a specific niche. Indeed, it is probably a great way to stand out in an increasingly crowded market. However, FileVine is meant to be full-service practice management. LawStudio is much more of a file management solution rather than a practice management solution, so you would likely be paying for practice management software on top of LawStudio.

On the other hand, LawStudio gets one thing resoundingly right: all legal practice management software should have simple and secure file sharing that allows for an audit trail. Lawyers—whether they access medical data or not—need to maintain a high level of security, and their software should help them do so.

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