MyCase Law Practice Management Software

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When MyCase launched, it called itself social practice management software because of the way it is designed from the ground up to facilitate secure communication between lawyers and clients. Communication remains a primary focus even though MyCase has dropped social from its tag line. MyCase’s mobile apps, for example, are not just for lawyers. Clients can also use the apps to communicate with you and keep tabs on their case.

Here’s what you need to know about MyCase, from getting started to using the mobile apps with your clients.

Index

Getting Started with MyCase

All you need to get started with MyCase is your email address. Visit the login page and you can be up and running and using the software in moments.

The way to add your first case or contact or appointment should be obvious:

mycase-dashboard

Migrating to MyCase

You can import matters and contacts into MyCase, though you will pretty much have to do it yourself. MyCase has several step-by-step data migration guides, though, and you can always email or call MyCase’s support staff for extra help. That should be enough to help you get started if you are transitioning from another software package.

Still, the data migration options are limited. While you can migrate the important stuff, you will probably have to leave some data behind when you move.

Using MyCase

MyCase’s tabbed user interface should feel familiar to anyone who has used web-based software, and the dashboard contains shortcuts (see above for a screenshot) for most common tasks.

The dashboard also features a feed of recent activity, in case you want to keep tabs on what the rest of the firm is doing, and widgets for upcoming tasks and appointments, pulled from your task list and calendar, respectively. The feed of recent activity is most useful if you have a very small firm (2 or 3 people). Fewer, and the feed will not be very interesting. More, and it will probably move too fast to be useful.

There is also an always-visible “dock” at the bottom with shortcuts for the date calculator, email integration, timekeeping, and a menu for quickly adding anything you might want to add.

Apart from the dashboard and dock MyCase pretty much does the things all practice management software does, with a few things that are worth highlighting.

  • MyCase’s Workflows feature is really well-implemented, and makes it easy to create templates for tasks and appointments.
  • You can create folders and subfolders within your cases to help you organize your documents. You can only create folders within your cases (i.e., not from the Documents tab), though, and as one user points out, MyCase doesn’t yet make it easy to back up your MyCase data yourself.
  • The date calculator (in the dock) is handy for quickly calculating due dates (although it does not account for holidays so use it carefully).
  • You can accept trust account–compatible e-check (ACH) payments from your clients with MyCase Payments.

Sync and Integrations

MyCase comes with several integrations you can choose to use. You can sync contacts and calendars with Outlook, and you can sync your calendars with Google Calendar. MyCase email integration is simple. You can forward emails to a private email address, then associate them with your cases back in MyCase. (You could probably even automate this using filters in Gmail or Outlook.)

There is just one other integration: a $99 QuickBooks sync add-on that reportedly works quite well — until it doesn’t. At least one MyCase user I talked to said the QuickBooks integration stopped working all of a sudden. This seems to be a problem with QuickBooks, however, not with MyCase. The popular accounting software is not built to play well with other software. If QuickBooks integration is important to you, I think you have to expect that it might be unreliable.

So that’s it. As of this writing, MyCase is pretty shallow when it comes to sync and integrations. That seems to be by design. MyCase is focusing on adding features rather than relying on third-party software and services to fill in. So while MyCase will probably integrate with Dropbox at some point, for example, it will probably beef up its own document management, first.

Mobile Apps

MyCase just released its Android app. Together with its iOS app, that means most lawyers and clients can use the apps.

With the app, lawyers get most of the functionality of MyCase in the browser, in a touch-friendly package. Both apps are universal, meaning they work on both phones and tablets. The iOS app still has not yet been update for iOS 7, and that is starting to feel very overdue, especially since MyCase recently launched its Android app.

While most law practice management apps are just for lawyers, the MyCase apps are also for clients. Clients obviously don’t get to see all the information you do. They only get to see what you have shared with them, which mostly means documents and communications, but can include appointments, tasks, invoices, and anything else you can share in MyCase (i.e., most things).

Lawyerist reader Tom Stubbs did a head-to-head comparison of several practice management software apps, and decided that MyCase’s app is the best:

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.

Security

Like all responsible cloud-based software, MyCase uses “bank-grade” security. This means it secures your connection to MyCase’s servers with SSL, and stores your information, encrypted, on those servers. MyCase also offers two-factor authentication, which you should turn on. For (a bit) more information, check out the security summary on MyCase’s website.

So that’s the back-end security. But now that we know emails can be intercepted by just about anyone, security on the front end makes a lot of sense. A secure client portal — like MyCase — for sending messages and sharing documents is a really good idea, whether you just use it for just some messages or for all attorney-client communications.

When you send a message or share a file within MyCase, the system sends out a notice by email, but not the substance of the communication itself:

Lawyerist

The client then has to log into MyCase to get the message or document. This makes the client portal a bit more of a hassle to use than email, obviously, but it is essential. If MyCase included the message in the notification email, there goes the security.

Remembering a username and password may be just enough of an obstacle that clients won’t want to use it, in fact. I have talked to a couple of MyCase users whose clients have shown no interest in the client portal.

Increasing security usually adds complication, but it may be worthwhile, anyway. In this case, communicating through MyCase is far more secure than communicating through email. If your clients use the apps, they can get at their communications much more easily (though you should probably caution clients against using the MyCase apps on an employer-provided smartphone).

Backing Up Your MyCase Data

Backing up your data from MyCase is simple. Just go to Settings > Import / Export > Full Backup and download a .zip file with all your data. It doesn’t get much easier than that. According to the MyCase knowledgebase, you can only do this once per day, but that should be more than enough.

Of course, MyCase also backs up your data regularly, but you should definitely take advantage of the option to download your own copy regularly.

Evaluating MyCase for Your Practice

There is only one way to find out if MyCase is right for your law practice: sign up for the free trial and give it a try. The best way to do it is probably to pick one or two willing clients to act as guinea pigs and try it with you.

However, it doesn’t hurt to see what others have to say. Here is a non-comprehensive list of MyCase reviews. I have included the dates, because anything more than a few months old is probably too far out of date.

Price

At just $39/user/month (and just $29/user/month for staff), MyCase is the least-expensive of the “big three” cloud-based law practice management software packages. More importantly, you can try it free for 30 days, so you might as well.

Updates

Originally published 2014-10-21. Last updated 2015-10-20.

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  • Jonathan Kleiman

    hmm

  • Kate

    OK, I’m a newbie, what are the “big three” packages the author references at the end?

    • Kevin Parker

      MyCase, Clio, and Rocket Matter.

  • Lou

    Please correct me if I’m wrong but the android app (and perhaps the apple version as well) doesn’t permit the user to do any billing.

    • Niki Black

      Hi Lou,

      The iOS app has full billing functionality. We were incredibly excited to recently launch the initial version of the Android app, which includes the ability to view case and contact info, calendaring (view and add), and messaging. Many other features, such as viewing documents, viewing and adding time entries, client login, and notes, are currently being worked on and are slated for release soon.

      Thanks for your interest!

      Niki Black
      MyCase | Director

  • craiggreening

    I have been using MyCase for over three years. My clients simply love it! The interface is very user friendly. My clients love the way they are informed via email every time we upload a file (motions, police reports, audio, e-discovery, etc.), a payment is due, a message has been sent, and a court date is added. Client/lawyer communication is the number one complaint from clients firing other attorneys. MyCase ensures we keep constant communication.

  • Jim Hart

    Thanks for the mention! Just to give you an update since I initially wrote the post referenced in your article – my firm is still using MyCase and I am still loving it. The workflows feature alone makes it worth the investment.

  • roberthouse

    Wish they would reopen the API. Have a few scripts to calculate firm deadlines and automate some calendaring I would like to use. Works in Rocket Matter, but I prefer the task systems in MyCase.

  • pershinglaw

    I love MyCase, and I would recommend it to anyone. As far as calculating deadlines, you can use the workflow feature, which works very well. The only downside to Workflow is that you or someone from your staff will have to sit and configure each workflow. I wish they would offer templates to work with, or perhaps allow users to share their workflows the same way Needles does it.

    • roberthouse

      Yes, that works, but it requires much more interaction. Clio and Rocket Matter have APIs, and MyCase did, not sure why they removed it. With it firms could add/develop features found in Needles (or other case mgt apps).

  • BOBILO

    No the problem is not with Quickbooks, but rather with MyCase. Quickbooks changed the process for syncing to a new platform but MyCase has no interest at this time to adopt the new sync platform. It’s only a problem, however, with Canadian version of Quickbooks. Bummer

    • Mspiegel

      We hear you loud and clear BOBILO! Unfortunately, the problem does stem from Quickbooks. Quickbooks recently dropped support for the Canadian version of Quickbooks in the API that we are currently using to sync with Quickbooks. While utilizing a different API version is planned I do not have a time frame for that change. I can assure you that we wish Quickbooks didn’t drop this support but unfortunately we are at the mercy of Quickbooks as Sam mentioned in the article. Thank you for your feedback and we will keep you posted with any developments regarding this issue.

  • AJ

    Would love if MyCase could keep track of the time and dates of client logins so that we can note the file how many times they have logged in.

    • nikilblack

      The Dashboard does provide a running list of logins, but I’m assuming that you would like to be able to create a specific list for each client. I appreciate the suggestion and feedback and I’ll pass that along to the product development team.

      Niki Black
      Director | MyCase

  • Jeffrey L. Hoffer, Esq.

    I have run the gamut with Law Practice Management programs. I have used Abacus, Clio, RocketMatter and ProLaw. Mycase is simply the best out there. It is not perfect, but it is extremely intuitive, user friendly and very easy to use. Not much to figure out. My clients like it too.

  • Chad Murray

    I currently use MyCase and will probably continue to do so into the future, but one thing that really grinds my gears is the inability to remove the “activity” field from invoices. It’s a small complaint, but the redundancy annoys me. I’m a bit controlling (understatement) about what my product looks like to clients, so the lack of control over invoice layout bothers me a bit. Other than that, my only other qualm is the lack of Android features on the app. I’ll cut slack there, since it’s a new addition.

    • nikilblack

      Chad–

      Thanks for the suggestion re: the activity field and invoices. I’ll pass that along to the development team.

      And really glad you’re enjoying the Android app! As you acknowledged, it’s a new release, but we’re continuing to develop the app and many other features, such as viewing documents, viewing and adding time entries, client login, and notes, are currently being worked on and are slated for release soon.

      Niki Black
      Director | MyCase

  • Vladimir Gagic

    My few months of using MyCase has ended poorly. MyCase support is terrible and ineffective, and worst of all, I have spent my own time and money with my IT staff to make it somewhat functional. If any lawyer is considering MyCase but would like more details, feel free to contact me.

    • nikilblack

      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

  • Matt

    The inability to set up folders in the documents in MyCase has proven to be a dealbreaker for me. Well, that and the lack of integration with Dropbox or Google Drive.

  • Jacob

    I just got MyCase. Very good program, and I have used them all. The biggest drawbacks that I see are:

    1. The time entries and various items that you can attach to a matter/contact (notes, messages) are not linked. For example, if you make a new note in a contact, that note does not have a ‘time entry’ link that opens the time entry field. You have to make a separate time entry for the note. The problem is, they aren’t linked, so for any given entry you have no idea exactly what note or message it is linked to, and vice versa. If you forget to do a time entry at the same time as the note, then good luck trying to find out which notes have been accounted for. This is, IMO, a huge flaw. I’m puzzled about why it hasn’t been implemented yet.

    2. Communications – the only method for tracking past communications with contacts is through the ‘note’ tab. This is fine, for what it is, but there is no way to link the note in the contact with the matter to which that note applies. Thus, if you have two cases with the same opposing counsel, it is impossible to link the note with each matter. Moreover, in order to see the history of communications in a case you need to click on each individual contact. It would be much more efficient to simply make a communication tab in the matter, which links communications (or at least contact notes) in the case file itself.

    Also, there is no way to open a new internal message within a contact. Thus, if you want to send a message you need to open the message folder and then type in the contact’s name. It would be nice to be able to open the message tab within a contact file and have the field already populated with the contact’s name.

    3. Dropbox integration. This is huge. I understand on a surface level that they want to keep documents ‘in house’. This probably has to do with sort of customer retention. The thought of having to download all documents from the database is a daunting one after several years of being entrenched with the program. Having a dropbox link that can simply be severed is an easier thing to do. I get it. That said, the customers, I believe, probably would prefer the link, whether or not MyCase wants to do it or not. Is this a deal breaker? No, but it is a big deal and I wish it were different. That said, the folder feature is nice, and I am getting used to the scan – > dropbox – > upload to MyCase work flow that i have set up for my practice.

    4. Documents sharing, contacts, email integration – my biggest problem with these features are all related. You can’t simply select a number of documents, contacts, or emails, and do the same task, such as deleting or sharing. Having to do each task (deleting, sharing) individually is a huge time waster. For both contacts and email integration, if you want to delete an email or contact you have to open the email or contact file, then click delete, then back out again and go to the next one. It is inexplicable why there is no ability to select a number of emails or contacts and do a single action, such as delete.

    Similarly, when you do a mass document upload, there is no option to ‘share all’ before or after the upload. Rather, you have to click the ‘share’ button beside each one. I am transferring documents from existing cases to MyCase, and the prospect of having to individually select hundreds of different files to share with a client is daunting.

    EDIT (02/19/16): Thankfully, MyCase has made a massive improvement by implementing the mass-share feature. You can now upload numerous documents, click boxes beside the ones you want to share, and then share them all with a single contact. HUGE Improvement! Now that they have this feature integrated into the program, I hope that they will add this to the email integration/contact deletion issues above. Great step in the right direction.

    So far, these are the biggest drawbacks that I have seen with MyCase. The problems I mention above should, IMO, be sort of standard practice across all programs, but some adopt at least one or two of them to one degree or another. . Adopting them would make a WORLD of difference, and I hope that they take note.

    Other than these things, I am happy with MyCase. (I know it might sound like a lot, but in the scheme of things, the pros definitely outweigh the cons). I tried it out for a short time a few years ago, but left due to some things that, at the time, were deal breakers. The document management system was the biggest. The implementation of the folders feature was a huge factor in my return. Other things that I think are beneficial:

    1. My clients and I love the internal messaging feature and the client portal. The communication feature with the clients is simply the best that I have seen. and I like the overall look and feel of the program. Very intuitive. The messaging feature that is connected with documents and the calendar events is really great. Allows you to connect with clients to communicate instructions or receive feedback regarding a document or calendar event.

    2. The task and workflow features are nice. It would be nice to have a time entry option that opened every time you complete a task.

    3. I don’t do much invoicing but I still have to track time and expenses, and this is easy to do and track. My only drawback is the lack of internal connections between time entries and the communications or notes they are actually tracking.

    4. Contacts – This is fairly standard stuff. I would like to see the ability to connect a contact with more than one group, but that is not a huge deal. I think the option to do this would be a nice addition, even if it might only be useful once in a while. It would be good to have more internal fields for contacts, such as home/work addresses, rather than just one address.

    5. I like the date calculator at the bottom of the screen.

    6. Email integration. I think this could be more intuitive. It isn’t terrible. The use of forwarding on Gmail can make all incoming and outgoing messages go to mycase. however, the downside is without the ability to mass delete emails, incoming emails can get cumbersome, since you have to go through the extra step of ‘resolving’ them before doing anything else. You can’t delete them in the ‘resolve’ tab at the bottom of the screen, on the messages tab. This creates some added steps that could stand to be cleaned up.

    That about sums it up. Overall, good stuff. Of all of the companies out there, I think that MyCase truly has the best ‘base’ on which to build. I also think (or hope) that the issues above could be easily fixed. If they were, MyCase would leap light years beyond the competition, IMO.