CosmoLex Law Practice Management Software

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CosmoLex is cloud-based practice management software for lawyers. It encompasses timekeeping, calendars, reminders, and, as of its most recent set of updates, billing and accounting. Its goal is to try to eliminate the time attorneys often spend — and the errors attorneys inadvertently create — manually moving data from billing to accounting and back again.

Index

Getting Started With CosmoLex
Migrating to CosmoLex
Using CosmoLex
Mobile Apps and Extensions
Security
Backing Up Your CosmoLex Data
Evaluating CosmoLex for Your Practice
Price
Recent CosmoLex News

Getting Started With CosmoLex

CosmoLex’s signup is dead simple. Provide a name, email, and phone number, and you are set. A ubiquitous chat box will pop up asking you if you need any assistance or have any questions, but you do not need to interact with it in order to sign up. You can also request an on-demand demo. There is a free thirty-day trial period, and you do not need a credit card for the trial. This flexibility is refreshing for lawyers that would like to try out several types of case management software.

Migrating to CosmoLex

CosmoLex, unfortunately, remains less than ideal in terms of data migration. You can only import your contacts, and only via CSV, so if you have been using another practice management software, you will not be able to port that data to CosmoLex.

Confusingly, CosmoLex calls its advice on how to set up your accounting “migration.” Migration by CosmoLex is not used in a software context. Instead, CosmoLex shows you options on how to best enter your existing trust account data, how to enter starting balances from your previous third-party accounting software, and an explanation of some internal migration details. There is no way to actually import that data.

Using CosmoLex

When you first start using CosmoLex, the software will have you enter your firm and bank information. You can enter account information for both an operational and a trust account. Optionally, you can set up information about your bank, your default check style (you can print checks from within the program), and the default payee when trust funds are drawn.

After you have done an initial setup, CosmoLex opens into its Dashboard screen, which gives you a snapshot of firm billing, timekeeping, balance, and client data. On this Dashboard and throughout, CosmoLex prioritizes accessing financial data, particularly data about what remains unbilled or unpaid.

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Other sub-tabs on the Dashboard screen will give you your upcoming tasks and events and a stream of your recent activities, billing and otherwise. The at-a-glance interface is nice, and from the Dashboard, you can move everywhere else in the program from this start screen. Using the top tabs to move around the program is intuitive, stays out of your way, and means that you do not have to crawl back through nested folders or links to get back to your overview screens.

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That top tab interface would benefit from a Clients tab; however, you can get to your clients via the Contact tab, and you can add clients from both the Contact and the Matter screens. Adding a client is simple and you can have multiple parties per client if you need to organize in that fashion.

New Client Cosmolex

Regrettably, CosmoLex only allows you to sync a Google Calendar, not an Outlook calendar, to its internal calendar (though that integration may happen in the future). CosmoLex will also let you link your Box and Dropbox accounts if you wish. If you are trying to move your practice entirely to the cloud, having that sort of document integration is key. You can also do things the old-fashioned way and just attach documents via CosmoLex, linking to the appropriate matter as you go. 

CosmoLex has added support for tasks, which you locate by going to Activities then clicking Task. Tasks can be linked to a specific client or matter as billable or unbillable work, but that linkage is not necessary. Glancing at the Task screen will show you all the tasks for everyone.

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There is also a neat new feature called “Workflow,” which allows you to add a series of tasks that are triggered by the completion of the previous task or another time frame you set. If your practice has recurring tasks that always need to occur in the same order, this is for you.

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One of the major strengths of CosmoLex is its accommodation of the myriad of ways in which lawyers charge for services. Fixed rate? You can do that. Hourly? No problem. Need a localized billing rate that is different from your usual rate? Sure. Need to note that there is a retainer? Of course.

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Generating an invoice is slightly less intuitive. You get to the Invoices screen via the Matter button on the main page, and that will take you to a different screen where you can generate the invoice. You can generate invoices through any time period you set.

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However, after you click Generate, rather than getting a pop-up with the generated invoice, you get no information. CosmoLex is actually generating the invoice, but you won’t know that until you navigate back to the Activities screen, choose the Invoices tab, and then click the Action button. It is an odd hiccup in an otherwise smooth user experience. The invoices themselves can be customized with a cover page and your law firm’s logo, which is a nice feature.

Checks can be printed directly from CosmoLex, and you can specify if those are being drawn on your trust or operating account. From the Bank screen, you choose which account you will be paying funds from, which brings you to a transaction screen where you choose the checks you need to print. A pop-up box gives you a number of choices as to how the check should look.

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Checks print as a PDF with the stub and design information you have selected. You can then print those on your computer checks.

The reporting system in CosmoLex is excellent. With one click, you can generate accounting reports, billing reports, bank reports, and trust account reports.1

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With its most recent release, version 3.0, CosmoLex added fully integrated business accounting. The ledger system aims to remove your need to use QuickBooks or anything similar in an attempt to eliminate the time you spend importing and exporting data between your timekeeping software and your accounting software. The ledger system has a chart of accounts that you can use out of the box or customize.

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You can also set it to automate your revenue allocation, paying liabilities and costs first, and track your income via practice area, just in case you are trying to figure out who in your firm is the best rainmaker.

If you are the kind of attorney that likes to crunch your financial data in every possible way, CosmoLex gives you exactly what you need. You can run reports that give you a high-level overview of your firm’s finances or drill down to matter-by-matter transactions. There is a wide variety of trust account reports you can run, and you can also run key banking and compliance reports such as three-way reconciliation. CosmoLex calls it “audit ready.” If your main concern in selecting software is that it helps you get a handle on knowing exactly where your firm is at financially and eliminating bouncing back and forth between an accounting program and a practice management program, CosmoLex would be a good choice.

Mobile Apps and Extensions

CosmoLex states it has a mobile app. In actuality, it is just a responsive mobile site. As responsive mobile sites have gotten more sophisticated, using them has gotten less arduous, and CosmoLex’s site is perfectly functional. Some users, however, prefer a dedicated app experience.

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Security

CosmoLex is browser-based and encrypts all traffic via 256-bit SSL, which is bank-level protection. All servers are located in the United States and, CosmoLex notes, are subject to U.S. jurisdiction, which may be a plus or a minus depending on your viewpoint.  CosmoLex has McAfee run a third-party security audit every 24 hours.

CosmoLex also offers role-based user security, which means that different users can be assigned different access rights and roles. These roles can limit exposure of financial data within your firm.

Backing Up Your CosmoLex Data

CosmoLex backs up your data every four hours. They do not allow you to keep your own backup copy.

Evaluating CosmoLex for Your Practice

On the practice management side, CosmoLex is less robust than some of its counterparts, lacking Outlook integration and easy export of your own data. On the other hand, it is outstanding if you are looking to streamline the way in which your firm deals with its finances. However, switching to CosmoLex is not trivial. The fact that you cannot import your current financial data into CosmoLex may pose a problem for established attorneys. But if you are just starting out, the clean interface and traditional and trust accounting features may make CosmoLex appealing.

Price

Billed annually, CosmoLex costs $49 a month per user. It costs $59 a month per user billed monthly. This makes it more expensive than MyCase and roughly comparable to Clio.

Recent CosmoLex News

Originally published 2014-10-21. Last updated 2015-08-10.


  1. One quibble: when you generate a report, it does not show up as a pop-up that you can view at a glance. Instead, your report shows up as a PDF or Excel file. It would be preferable to have the report pop-up and give you the option to print or export instead. 

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  • Rick Kabra

    Thank you Lisa for a comprehensive review. I am the CEO of CosmoLex and appreciate your efforts.

    Regarding your point: CosmoLex is going to need to make a choice soon: does it want to be a complete case management solution or would it like to focus solely on billing?

    We have made that choice from very beginning:

    Our core differentiation from competing products is offering fully integrated trust accounting w/o need of 3rd party software for say disbursements or bank reconciliations. However, within next 2-3 months, we are rolling out extensive set of case management solutions: calendering, task management, reminders, quickbooks integration, etc.

    We look forward to your additional reviews in coming weeks.

  • H. Hunter

    Does less than mycase? Costs more?

    • Rick Kabra

      Thank you Hunter. Our business is not built around competing on features or price with any other product. Different users have different needs and value it different. Our entire focus is to provide best value for the segment of market we are concentrating on.

      For example, only CosmoLex integrates 100% integrated trust accounting that includes check printing, bank reconciliations. Multiple state bar associations recommend CosmoLex for its ability to provide robust trust/IOLTA compliance to its members and 1-click generation of three-way reconciliations etc.

      I invite you to try CosmoLex and let us know what you think. Our next release around September 10th includes team calendar, docket controls, reminders, task management systems and much more! We will be happy to demo if anyone wants to see pre-release version.

      Rick Kabra
      CEO
      CosmoLex

  • rickkabra

    Update: CosmoLex now offers fully integrated calendaring, task-tracking, billing and trust accounting – All in One Software. For example, CosmoLex users don’t need to use third-party software for disbursements, check printing or trust three-way reconciliation reports.

    CosmoLex goes even further, by making sure each function is fully integrated with the others. Completed calendared meetings & tasks automatically flow to billing workflow ensuring that every billable activity actually gets billed! Earned fee checks drawn off trust accounts updates trust ledger balances as well as invoice balances.

    You can learn more about CosmoLex or try it yourself at http://www.cosmolex.com

  • Pat Marlow

    Still waiting to convert after the finance charge issue is corrected. We have finances built into our retainer agreements and when client’s don’t pay in a timely manner we charge fiance charges. Really is a necessity in our billing software program

    • rickkabra

      Thank you Pat. CosmoLex billing supports manual addition of finance charge to bills but it currently does not include “automatic calculations” of finance charges. Its something we will look into near future now that CosmoLex includes complete business accounting built-in.

      Accurate calculation of finance charges is lot more complicated than it seems for two reasons. (a) Since lawyers frequently work with retainers, you now have to deal with complex calculations that take into account dates/amounts of various retainers, dates of various open invoices, partial payments etc. (b) Consequences of any type of errors in finance charges which results into overcharges are lot more severe for lawyers than other service businesses.

      Thank you for bringing it up. We will discuss it further internally and update you with release date in future.

      • Pat Marlow

        Thank you for your quick response. I am aware it is very complex and please do let me know when it may be a function. This might not be important to many but it is important to us. Manual calculation would be far to cumbersome for us.

  • April King

    I plan to take the 30-day trial soon, but I think the client portal is key for me. Is it true that a secure client portal is coming in the next 90 days or so?

    • rickkabra

      Thank you April for your interest. Sorry for delayed response as we did not pick your comment. Client portal is #3 in our top feature list and should be available in next few months. Top on our list is comprehensive email integration. We release a major update every 6-weeks or so. Please see my other comment today which lists all the additions since this review article was last updated by Lisa (August 10th, 2015).

  • Joseph Dang

    One of the biggest timesavers is document assembly. Sorely lacking in many of these cloud systems.

  • rickkabra

    Update: As an FYI, we added following major new functions since last update of this article by Lisa (August 10th, 2015):

    * LawPay Integration: From charging to reconciliations, all in one platform.
    * SMS based two-factor authentication
    * Advanced collection & distribution reports
    * New accounting reports including trial balance report
    * Electronic bank statement imports for initial and ongoing data entries
    * Auto-reconciliations with electronic bank statement data imports

  • Nola Legalmvp

    So it’s basically a billing and trust accounting software not a case management program? So I would have to have Cosmolex for billing and accounting while another program for actual practice management?

    Can I just merge Cosmolex with Meruscase or another and create the ultimate program?

    • No, CosmoLex is practice management software (cases, tasks, calendars, etc.) with full accounting built in.

      • Nola Legalmvp

        Very thanks for your reply! I was wondering if you could recommend a software that works well for plaintiff attorney’s (contingency fee-PI mostly but also labor and employment law)?

        I would really appreciate it.

        • Sure thing. Start here.

        • Erica Birstler

          Hi Nola. Just a note… CosmoLex also allows contingency fee billing (in addition to hourly and fixed fee) so you can absolutely handle your various cases within the program.

          • Nola Legalmvp

            Greetings Erica, do you practice law and use the program? If so could you answer a few questions? I used the free trial but one problem I came across is adding medical bills. It seems odd that a legal program would not have a slot made for adding medical bills. Maybe it does and I am missing something?

            Medical bills are costs incurred on the client but still must be paid out from a settlement. So I am trying to figure out how lawyers incorporate that part into Cosmolex?

            • rickkabra

              Nola,

              Greetings.
              Full Disclosure – Erica is Manager of Client Services @ CosmoLex. I am the CEO.

              CosmoLex does cash basis accounting meaning you enter bills as you pay them. Almost ALL small law firms use Cash Basis Accounting. So, post settlement, you can disburse funds from trust account or business account for all medical bills and print checks. These will all be visible on client ledger for accurate tracking.

              What we currently don’t have is “Accounts Payable” module. This would basically allow you to enter bills Now which are to be reimbursed in future. We will be adding Accounts Payable module in next 3-4 months but for now CosmoLex users keep these bills as scanned documents within CosmoLex instead of entering. And they enter as they are ready to pay.

              Please let me know if I am not making it clear. We can always chat on phone and discuss this further.

              • Nola Legalmvp

                Excellent. Any other additions coming soon, like on the practice side?

                • rickkabra

                  Nola, We have some super exciting work going on in many areas. In next few days we will release our LEDES98B Electronic Billing as well as Advanced Fee Collection & Distribution Reports. And then in June, we will release native document storage as well as comprehensive client portal features.

                  In general, you can expect a major new release every 5-6 weeks. This has been our schedule for a long time as can be seen at: http://support.cosmolex.com/customer/en/portal/topics/605711-recent-updates/articles

              • Nola Legalmvp

                I guess I will wait to see if you guys update to add the accounts payable module. I am looking to maybe use Cosmolex as my billing and accounting software and just use another program for my law practice management side.

            • rickkabra

              Nola,

              This very same issue was brought by another prospect today (David R.) and we now understand much better what you meant by “medical bills incurred by client”. Adding Accounts Payable would not have solved the issue as that is for Law Firm’s own bills (rent, phone bill etc).

              I discussed this with this prospect at length today and now we have a clear idea what PI firms are looking for. We will certainly make it a priority and address both regular bill payment needs (Accounts Payable) as well as 3rd party client bill payment needs from trust settlement funds.

              None of this is easy and it will take time. We have some amazing great things being released every 5-6 weeks. But I personally want to thank you for bringing this up and we will make it happen.