A Year with MyCase


4-Step Computer Security Upgrade

Learn to encrypt your files, secure your computer when using public Wi-Fi, enable two-factor authentication, and use good passwords.

I use MyCase and its iPhone app daily, and I have for nearly a year. My partner and I use it for all of our invoicing, conflict checks, billing, and general matter management. So, how has it held up?

Overall, MyCase seems to have lagged behind Rocket Matter and Clio in development over the past year. And now that we have used it for so long, a lot of the shine has worn off. We are noticing flaws that did not bother us when we started with it.

What I still like about MyCase

Overall, I really enjoy using MyCase, and I recommend it when others ask about practice management software. The interface is intuitive and it’s easy to input billable hours. Plus, with an ABA membership discount we pay less than $65 a month for two of us, which is a nice discount from the regular price of $78 per month for two lawyers.

There has been no down time or maintenance windows, which is nice. Sometimes I work late at night, and I never have to worry about the site being down. I have never struggled to find a setting or an input for a field. And when I ran into an issue with calendar sharing and posted it to the LAB, I even got a call from their customer support.

What MyCase still needs to improve

While I still enjoy using MyCase, there is a lot of room for improvement. Recently MyCase has rolled out some minor tweaks and upgrades. And it recently announced a new iPhone app at ABA Techshow. But it isn’t enough, and there are still many things MyCase needs to improve.

The dashboard

There is no way to edit the sidebar on the dashboard or customize the order of the boxes. This is very annoying. To start, it means the task list is at the bottom, and I have to scroll past all of the calendar events to see the list. This sounds like a minor gripe, but it takes away from the whole purpose of the software, which is to be a comprehensive practice management solution. In order to do that, it must show users their whole practice at a glance. The dashboard almost accomplishes this, but it could easily free up space by deleting some of the white space and hiding the always-present “Important Alerts” box when there are no alerts.

MyCase also recently added a “My hours billed today” box at the bottom of the screen. This box constantly displays, as you may have guessed, the hours I’ve billed that day. This is something that drove me crazy with Rocket Matter. Because my practice isn’t wholly driven by billable work, it does quite a mind job on me when I log in at 3 p.m. and see that I have only billed two hours. It encourages users to favor time-billable work over other pay structures. There is also no way to disable this feature.


Unlike Rocket Matter, there is no option to sync with QuickBooks. But considering the cost of that feature, I’m okay with that. Unfortunately, there isn’t even a way to export to QuickBooks from MyCase. That means we have to create all of our invoices in MyCase, then my partner has to create new invoices in QuickBooks to keep track of everything and give the information to our accountant.

Speaking of invoices, I hope you like the way they look, because they are not customizable. You can throw your logo on, but that’s about it. It also does not let you display the total number of hours billed. That means if a client wants to check your math, she has to add up all those .2 and .4 hours of billable time, and then multiple by your hourly rate.

Contact management

There is no way to link MyCase with any contact-management software. This means users can import contacts via CSV (but not sync them with a smart phone) or start from scratch. Putting that aside, the contacts don’t work with each other at all. There is no way to link contacts together, besides linking employees to a company and contacts to a matter. For instance, if I represent a child, I want to be able to see at a glance who is involved with that child. I should be able to link the child contact to the parents, as well as any service providers. That way, even if a case closes, I can see how the contacts are related.

There is also no way to have the same contact in different roles. For example, if someone serves as the state’s witness in one case, and a co-defendant on a different case, I have to put them in MyCase twice. This completely defeats the purpose of having a unified system.

Cloud syncing support

In fact, MyCase does not allow any kind of cloud syncing. It does not support Dropbox, SkyDrive, Box.net, or anything else. Nothing. It works fine if all the documents for a case are linked to that case. But that means every document has to be scanned, labeled, and then uploaded to MyCase. Not to mention the fact that when a document is revised, it has to be re-uploaded. This synchronization support is really holding MyCase back.

E-mail integration

The e-mail “integration” in MyCase is great if you just want to connect a particular e-mail to your case. But if you want to quickly see all the communications you have had with various people on a case, just go to your e-mail inbox. Getting e-mails into MyCase is cumbersome. Once you get the e-mails into the system and linked to the correct case, they do not appear to be text searchable.

I spoke to Matt Spiegel from MyCase about this issue. He explained that MyCase’s goal is for all correspondence to remain in their system. That way, according to Spiegel, the messages are much more secure.

Task management

MyCase recently rolled out some new task features which are great for working in teams. It now has sub-tasks, which I think are a great step. But there are no saved task lists. In other words, I can’t create a new matter and add the tasks for “Open File,” “Create IOLTA Account,” and have MyCase automatically create the appropriate sub-tasks.

The future ahead

Now that MyCase is owned by AppFolio, I think the company is ready to really take off. Unfortunately, it comes after a year of stagnation. I have had a lot of contact with their team, and I believe they are driven, but are they driven enough to keep up with an increasingly crowded market? Ask me again in a year.


Get Lawyerist in Your Inbox, Daily

Current Articles
Current Lab Discussions
  • Josh,

    Thank you for taking the time to put up a post discussing your experiences. It is important to have such awesome customers like you who are willing to give us great feedback. This type of input is cherished by our team and is truly the only way that we can really improve MyCase.

    To that end, you will be pleased to know that over the past couple months we have tripled our headcount and invested significant resources in engineering. We are working diligently on releasing new features and are establishing an industry leading and unique feature release schedule. It is our absolute commitment to continue to make MyCase the best practice management solution on the market.

    -Matt Spiegel, Founder and GM MyCase

  • You’re gonna give them another whole year to get their thing together? Good luck.

  • Andrea

    Wow, I was really about to sign up for MyCase due to other great reviews, the excellent and convincing info on their website, and the very competitive price, but now I see this post and I’m concerned and otherwise disappointed that I may have to rethink everything. =( I do see that they have a 30 day free trial so perhaps I can at least try it and see if any of the above things have been fixed and/or true concerns for me in how I will be operating my practice….Anyone else have other backup suggestions that they have used for 1-2 years plus and really stand by, such as RM, Clio, Amicus, etc? Thanks!

    • I think you should try all of them. I retried Clio and still didn’t like it. MyCase is still my favorite, but this post shows they have some work to do.

      • Franc Medina

        Has anyone tried Rocket Matter? Pros and Cons?

        • Try the search form in the sidebar. I predict you will find what you seek.

  • Ted Hoppe

    Josh – I am looking to sign up for MyCase and saw your post. How do you think the program has progressed overe the past year? Do you still recommend it?

    I do alot of hourly work so the efficiency of invoicing is a big issue for me. How have you found the invoicing process with MyCase to be?


    Ted Hoppe

  • Vladimir Gagic

    My year with MyCase has been a disaster. Even worse than all the time and energy I spent trying to make it work, is the time and money I had to spend on my IT staff. It has too many bugs and hasn’t been properly vetted. If you are considering MyCase, feel free to contact me and I will happily share the details.

    I am switching to Clio and if anyone is interested I will let you know how that turns out.

    • Nicole Black

      Vladimir: I’m sorry to hear about your experience with MyCase. Although your reports about your experience don’t square with the typical comments made about MyCase, both online and off, I certainly appreciate your viewpoint and your frustration. Should you choose to move to another provider we’ll be more than happy to assist you with that process. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.

      Niki Black
      Director | MyCase

  • Tom Stubbs

    Last year, I decided to re-assess my case management program (“CMP”) choice after using MyCase for two years. It is an excellent program and an incredible value, but there are some fundamental shortcomings for what I need that have lingered long enough for me to re-evaluate. So, while I maintained my subscription to MyCase, I also subscribed to Clio and Rocket Matter for several months. I have not yet made a final decision about whether to switch and, if so, to what program. This note is a report about what I found. I am not an expert on all of these programs and their features. I apologize in advance if I got something wrong.

    There are two interrelated aspects to an evaluation: features and ease of use. The most important features are highly specific to the nature of your practice and your personality. What’s key for me may be irrelevant for you. The ease of use looks at how many clicks and how much trouble you have to go through to use features or add data. You may find my complaints about having to click a mouse three times to get a piece of information juvenile, but I think number of clicks is a critical metric for efficiency. Finally, know that reviews quickly become stale because of the constant feature evolution for all three. For example, at first, only Rocket Matter had delegable tasks. Then MyCase offered them, along with task templates. Now Clio has delegable tasks and task templates, and theirs is the best implementation of tasks between the three programs.

    Overall, each program is excellent. I did not say perfect. Far from it. Each program has strengths and weaknesses. What I found to be consistent across all programs was outstanding service. While they did not fix every problem I had, response time was quick and the substance of the response was usually helpful for each program.

    My practice is focused on civil and criminal litigation, as well as estate planning and probate. The civil litigation is almost all done on a contingency basis. The criminal defense and the estate planning and probate work are primarily flat fee. So, while I have the occasional hourly case for which time tracking and billing are important, they are not critical for me. Instead, these are the features and ease of use issues most important to me.

    1. Ease of adding data. My daily practice involves a lot of jumping from one case and one contact to another. So, I need to be able to add new stuff no matter how far away that new stuff is from what is on my screen at the moment. There are two parts to this issue: ease of getting to the screen where you can input new data, and the ease of entering new data. MyCase wins the first one and Rocket Matter wins the second one. On every page of MyCase, at the upper right and lower left hand corner is a button that allows you to add a new contact, case, message, task, time entry, etc. It is wonderful. No matter where I am in the program, I can jump out to add that new piece of data. Rocket Matter comes close, with its side bar that allows adding new stuff. However, that side bar changes is contextually sensitive and changes when you stray from the opening screen. For example, when you are in the “matter dashboard,” all of the “add new” features buttons give way to matter-related additions. When it comes to adding new data, Rocket Matter wins. This is because RM has the most streamlined method for entering the most common piece of new data, contacts. In particular, RM uses an add-on called Copy2Contact. This add on allows you to copy all of the address information from the signature block of an email or a law firm’s website, paste it into a square and click a button. All of the contact fields are automatically populated, and populated correctly about 99% of the time. It is amazingly easy. By the way, all of the programs frustratingly make you re-enter the address data when you are adding employees under a company. When a contact is first being entered, and you note that the contact works for a company, the work-related address fields should import the previously-inputted company’s address information. None of them do that. Overall, MyCase is an incredibly easy to use program, whatever its shortcomings. Out of the box, without a peek at the instructions, you can use almost all of its features. Don Norman’s seminal book, “The Design of Everyday Things,” could use it as an example of a well designed program whose features provide almost all of the clues you need to know how to use it.

    2. Robust contact fields. I represent individuals and families. My clients and contacts have seemingly unending amounts of contact information. I need to be able to capture the many addresses, phone numbers and emails for a client and the client’s spouse. You should also have “powerful” custom fields for this. If it is a contact-type field, it should allow search of your contacts. If it is a phone field, it should have telephone number format. You should also be able to create groups of custom fields. For example, if I am probating an estate, I need fields like date of death and social security number. If I am handling a personal injury case, I will want fields like date of accident, claim number, client’s insurance company, policy number, etc. I should be able to call up such custom groups as appropriate. Clio’s program is outstanding in every respect in this regard. Rocket Matter is very good. MyCase is inexcusably poor, with very limited fields (only a single address for any contact and a single classification for each contact) and almost useless custom fields.

    3. Good messaging systems well integrated with mobile apps. Ideally, a message iin your CMP should appear in three places: A. Your overall list of messages. (You want to look at one screen to see all of the phone messages and client messages you got in a day.) B. In a message tab for the contact involved where you can see notes from every conversation you’ve had with the contact. C. In a message tab for the matter if the message relates to a matter where you can see notes from every conversation you’ve had linked to that matter. Finally, critically, any message, whether from a co-worker or a client, should appear on you’re the CMP’s phone app. None of the programs succeeds on every point. Except for its phone app, Clio comes the closest to making this work. Under Clio’s “Communications,” I can create a message, relate it to a matter and to a contact, and send that to another person in the office or any of my contacts. The problem is that the “communication” tab is buried and not linked to my “inbox” where all incoming messages are designed in Clio to appear. Clio’s “inbox” icon you easily click on to access messages presents a completely different dialogue box and does not include “communications.” That dialogue box does not allow you to link the message to the contact who called. Clio should integrate its message icon with the communications dialogue box, and it will be there. Rocket Matter has a good interlinked telephone messages system, sort of. My assistant can take a telephone message from a contact, note any matter to which the message relates, and send that message to me. That message then appears in my inbox. It also will appear if you look at the contact’s information under the messages. Strangely, since the message includes a notation of the relevant matter, there is no list of messages under the matter itself. MyCase has the only phone app that shows messages. I find it astounding that such an important feature is not available on Clio or Rocket Matter’s phone apps.

    4. Good integration with document repositories. Don’t make me manually upload documents. Just let me point to the Dropbox folder. Also, don’t force your folder structure on me. MyCase has nothing in this regard. Both Clio and Rocket Matter integrate well with Dropbox. Rocket Matter is the most flexible. I can point to the folder and all of the documents appear. Clio more or less forces you to adopt its folder structure and it is fairly logical in some ways. If I was just starting out, that would not be a problem. I have been practicing for more than 20 years, though, and I have a folder structure that is just right for me. I don’t want to have to change it to conform to Clio’s notion. I can live with Clio’s system, but Rocket Matter’s is the way to go. MyCase’s latest offering of “folders” does not remedy its failure to link to Dropbox, Box or anything else. Note: Rocket Matter also links to Evernote, where I keep all of my case research and copies of articles. That is very helpful.

    5. Easy-to-use client portals. Client portals beat email every day. They provide a great way to communicate with clients, saving you huge amounts of time by eliminating transmittal letters and other communications. They also tie together in one place a lot of case information and communications. MyCase has an outstanding client portal system. Once a client has joined MyCase and been linked to a matter, it is easy to send them a copy of any document or notice of any appointment or any message. MyCase does not allow delegation of tasks through its portal, though, which is a feature that Clio allows. Clio’s portal is also very good, though a little more cumbersome to use than MyCase. The opening MyCase screen for the client shows a clear, clean list of the most recent things that have happened in the matter. That is a nice overview that my clients seem to like better than the clean, but somewhat less informative opening screen of Clio. Rocket Matter offers a client portal and it can be used, but it is not as developed, perhaps because of RM’s inclusion of emails in its program. Before working with these programs, I would have told you that clients will always prefer to communicate with emails. Some do, but more and more of my clients seem to love the client portal. I love it as a timesaver and an efficient way to keep information together about a case.

    6. Strong task management. Tasks should be easy to create, with an ability to delegate them to other firm members or contacts. You also should be able to create templates for repeating sets of tasks, such as responding to with discovery requests or probating a Will. Clio has the best offering here, with tasks that be delegated to any firm member or contact and great, customizable task templates. MyCase has good task templates and good tasks, but tasks can only be delegated within the firm. Rocket Matter has good tasks that can be tagged in a way that makes them useful.

    7. Calendaring. Events should be easy to create and easily linked to relevant contacts and matters. Clio and Rocket Matter have excellent calendaring systems, although I find the new blue color scheme of Clio much more readable than RM’s. MyCase has a clear calendar, but falls short here with its lack of repeating events and the clumsy way it synchronizes with Google Calendar.

    8. Powerful screens. By “powerful screens,” I mean that you should be able to do lots of things by looking at a screen that is easily available. So, for example, I spend lots of times calling folks who are involved in a case. It is nice to have a single, easily accessed (i.e., with very few mouse clicks) screen that has a list of all a matter’s contacts, their phone numbers and their email addresses. Notes from previous conversations with any of those contacts should be easily accessible from both the matter, as well as the individual contact’s screen. When I talk to an insurance adjuster or an assistant district attorney with whom I have worked on previous cases, I should be able to see on his contact page all my notes from prior conversations related to those earlier cases as I am talking with them. Similarly, on a matter page, I should be able to easily see the notes from all conversations I have had with any contact that relates to that matter. Clio, for example, has a nice listing of all contacts (except the client (ugh)) with their phone numbers on one page. So, with one click, I have access to the information I need to call a range of folks about a case, one of the most frequent things I do. MyCase has no such page and makes me open the matter, click the contacts link for that matter, then click into each contact to get their phone number, then click back to the matter, and click another contact to get the number for that contact. Rocket Matter relegates contacts associated with a matter to the bottom corner of a screen. Sounds trivial, but it gets really aggravating to repeatedly have to go through lots of hoops for a simple piece of information that you use frequently. RM strangely puts its matter-related contacts at the bottom of a screen, making them unnecessarily difficult to access. Clio win on this criteria.

    9. Phone App. I use an iPhone. I can’t talk about Android. Sorry. All three have good iPhone apps. Rocket Matter’s app is the easiest to navigate and use. Clio’s is beautiful, but takes too long to load even though I never close it. While I think the other apps look better, MyCase has the best app for two reasons. First and most importantly, it allows you to get messages. Clio and Rocket Matter’s apps unbelievably fail to allow that. Second, the search function is better on MyCase. It easily allows you to search across all sources of data. I input a name and it searches contacts, cases, events, etc. In the other apps, the search (at least initially) is limited to the area (contacts, calendar, matters) in which you reside at that moment.

    10. Price. MyCase costs less than half of what Clio costs. Rocket Matter is between the two, but close to the cost of Clio. If you purchase two or more licenses, that difference gets to be big number.

    11. Other Features. Something critical to many folks is timekeeping and billing. All of the programs have outstanding features in this regard. Rocket Matter rightly prides itself on how easy it is to convert calendared events, tasks and other data into billable time entries. Clio also has outstanding features in this regard. MyCase is good here, as well. For my purposes, they are all good, but this is not a critical area for me and there are differences here that may be important for others. I just don’t need document assembly, so I cannot give you any guidance on that front if that is important to you. (I use theformtool for my estate planning documents, a program I highly recommend.)

    Four things weigh against switching from MyCase: inertia; cost; the lack of messaging on Clio and Rocket Matter’s iPhone app; and hope that MyCase will suddenly address some fairly fundamental shortcomings that I have waited for two years to see addressed.

    Inertia is huge. I don’t have a lot of time and it is a pain to fully transfer all of my work to a new program, and bring all of my clients over to its new portal. This factor is why owners of storage units say they are the physical equivalent of annuities. Transaction costs just keep people doing what they’ve been doing.

    My love of a client portal argues for staying with MyCase or for going to Clio if I were to switch. Overall, I would say that Clio is the most polished product, especially with its new, blue interface. I am haunted, though, by how long the program stuck with that god awful yellow color scheme. If they took that long to remedy that, how long will they take to address other issues?

    Rocket Matter is also an outstanding program and can go toe to toe on most features, and its history shows it to be a leader in features I like (such as tasks and an iPhone app). I find its interface harder to read, which sounds silly, but the reliance on fainter colors just is not as readable to me. That being said, Larry Port’s postings and presentations seem to show that he and I read and think about a lot of the same stuff when it comes to practicing law and living (reading Daniel Pink, David Allen, Mihaly Csikscentmihalyi, for example). That makes me like his company and know that his program is likely to develop in ways I probably want.

    Matt Spiegel has called me while he was standing in line at Disneyland to resolve a technical problem. He seems to be a great guy and had provided wonderful service. His program’s phenomenal ease of use makes it amazing, even if I find it has fallen too far behind in its feature offering. I have voiced my concerns and they have been graciously acknowledged, but I have waited a long time for some very basic reforms.

    Based on my experience, I created a table listing for each of the three programs each feature important to my practice, rating (on a 0 to 5 scale) these features. I also assigned to each feature a weight giving a rough approximation of how important a particular feature is to my practice. (For example, price was weighed 1.5 while time tracking was weighed 0.6.) Amazingly, despite the significant differences in the programs, the weighted scores came out fairly close. I will make my decision over the course of the next month, but commend to everyone a lengthy trial (that, yes, will cost you money and time) with all three for you to make your choice.

    • Wow, thanks for sharing this. Would you mind sharing your table, too? It sounds like it might be a really helpful framework for others who are facing the same decision you are.

      • Tom Stubbs

        I am happy to share my table, although I am not sure how to import an Excel spreadsheet (or the pdf of that spreadsheet). How do I paste a spreadsheet or a pdf into one of these comment boxes?

    • MyCase and Clio get my recommendations, and I see the same issues with all of them. Im testing Firm Central from Thompson Reuters. Initial thought: solves some of the issues above, but does introduce new ones (e.g. no mobile app).

      FYI: I posted a similar review/comparison of MyCase, Clio, Firm Manager, and RockerMatter.

    • This was an amazing review, and done much along the lines that my review was done last year, comparing the exact same three products. The biggest thing your review reminded me was how much I need to update the reviews! I actually find it incredible how much all three companies are working to constantly update and upgrade their systems (even if they don’t necessarily always update the things I believe are most critical).