Rocket Matter entered the practice management software market in 2008, and has gone through several iterations since then. It integrates with a number of cloud-based services, including Box, Dropbox, Skype, and Evernote. Rocket Matter also places emphasis on mobile access with an iPhone and Android app.
In addition to its practice management software, Rocket Matter offers law firm marketing, with a number of free eBooks covering search engine basics, legal productivity tips, and blogging basics. If you want a company that can address practice management, billing, and marketing all at once, Rocket Matter may be a good choice.
From signing up to backing up your data to pricing info, this is what you need to know about Rocket Matter.
Rocket Matter arbitrarily canceled our review account, which means we may have difficulty keeping this guide up to date. —Ed.
Getting Started with Rocket Matter
Signing up for Rocket Matter only requires basic information. It does offer a 30-day “free” trial, but it is more like a money-back guarantee. In order to get access, you have to pay in full for the first month. Rocket Matter says if you do not bill and collect more than you did before, you can get your money back. No word on whether you have to prove you are not billing more.
For about $125 an hour (or $100 a hour if you buy in bulk), Rocket Matter offers one-on-one trainings. Rocket Matter will contact you aggressively by phone and email to offer these training opportunities.
Migrating to Rocket Matter
Rocket Matter can import contacts and calendars using a .csv file. Most general-purpose contact and calendar software like Gmail and Apple’s iCal will export .csv files. Exports in .csv format may not be supported by your existing practice management software, so check it out.
Rocket Matter specifically recommends bringing over only active data, which means leaving old matters in your legacy system for reference. That may be possible if you are currently using a desktop practice management system, but might not be the case if you are already in the cloud. This will require you to check the terms on your existing system before moving only active data. Some like MyCase will give you read-only access to your old files in perpetuity. Others will not.
If you have a lot of data that goes beyond contacts, calendars, and matters, Rocket Matter can put together a customized import package for you.
Using Rocket Matter
Rocket Matter’s interface will look pretty familiar if you have used other practice management software packages. The dashboard acts as a central hub that allows you to create matters, add to your calendar and contacts, perform billing tasks, or check your task list. Using drag and drop, Rocket Matter lets you attach documents and links to matters. The dashboard also shows a running total of what has been billed, your pending invoices, and your trust account balance.
Additionally, Rocket Matter lets you create and assigns tasks to team members in the dashboard. Once you click on a task, you can bring up a billing timer, and add a billing description to that task. However, Rocket Matter will not let you create recurring tasks.
In order to perform more administrative-level tasks like importing calendars, you will need to be on the admin page.
From there, you can add users, run reports, and manage other users, among other things. If you are the only user, it can get a bit clunky to hop back and forth between the dashboard and the admin page, but the separation makes sense in an office environment. Administrators can also create document templates so routine documents can be automated.
Like MyCase, Rocket Matter offers a client portal for clients to access calendar events, shared documents, shared invoices, and other information.
You can bill clients directly from within Rocket Matter, but it is not versatile or complex. To address those with more sophisticated needs, Rocket Matter integrates with both Quickbooks and LawPay, making it easier to use for those who need advanced billing and accounting software.
In a nice value-added touch, Rocket Matter offers relatively robust email integration. Each user can have his or her external email account integrated, as long as it supports the IMAP protocol, which almost every email service does. After integrating an email account, you can associate your IMAP folders with matters and search your email without leaving Rocket Matter.
Mobile Apps and Extensions
It is also easy to integrate external document storage services like Dropbox, Box, and Evernote with Rocket Matter. While Rocket Matter allows you to sync your Google Calendar, it does not integrate with Google Drive.
On August 11, 2014, Rocket Matter announced Outlook integration. Currently, it only supports email integration, but Rocket Matter says contacts, calendars, and tasks are coming soon.
Here is a video showing Outlook sync in action:
Rocket Matter runs in your web browser and uses both SSL and 128-bit encryption. In practical terms, this is the same level of safety used for banking, and is sufficient for storage of sensitive legal data. Rocket Matter’s website also details a number of other security measures in this white paper, such as strong physical security of their servers, and a multi-point backup system.
Strong encryption aside, Rocket Matter allows clients to use weak passwords, and it does not yet support two-factor authentication. Of course, you are free to set up strong passwords yourself and ask users and clients to do the same.
Backing Up Rocket Matter Data
Rocket Matter takes several redundant measures to keep your data backed up. First, it backs up its databases throughout the day to standby machines, copies those backups to a remote facility daily, and the data-center specialists keep backups as well.
Those security steps are laudable, but they do not address you actually backing up your own data. Rather, they relate to the system-wide steps Rocket Matter takes to ensure data security and integrity. Unlike Clio, which offers a data escrow option for your data that will automatically push your data to a cloud backup, Rocket Matter (like MyCase) only offers the option to manually download your billable time, matters, calendars, and contacts. After you get that information from Rocket Matter, you can back it up locally, but you may find this multi-step process a bit burdensome.
Evaluating Rocket Matter for Your Practice
In evaluating case management software, keep in mind you are looking for a tool that best fits your practice. Your needs may differ greatly from the reviewer.
Last year, Josh Camson noted that Rocket Matter’s philosophy seems to be integrating with the services you may already use rather than incorporating everything into Rocket Matter itself. If you prefer a one-stop-shop approach, you may not like using third-party services to get the best results out of your case management software. On the other hand, if you already feel invested in products like Google Calendar, you will probably find Rocket Matter’s integration approach very appealing.
Here is a selection of other Rocket Matter reviews. Reviews are dated, and anything more than a few months old may no longer represent Rocket Matter in its current form.
- “Cloud Practice Management: Rocket Matter” on _The Droid Lawyer (October 9, 2014)
- “Cloud-Based Case Management Software – Rocket Matter” on the Cyber Advocate (November 6, 2013).
- “Battle of the Cloud-Based Practice Management Software (Part 3): Rocket Matter” on Everyday Law (July 3, 2012).
- “Educated Attorney Software Review: Rocket Matter” on Rekall Technologies (January 7, 2013).
Like most practice management software, Rocket Matter will give you a deal if you are willing to lock into a longer contract. If you are paying month-to-month, Rocket Matter is $65/month with an additional $55/user. Paying by the quarter will drop the monthly cost down to $58.50, with each additional user costing $49.50. Paying up front for an entire year brings the cost down to $55.25/month, and $46.75 for each additional user. Finally, if you pay for two years up front, you will pay $52 a month, with each additional user costing you $44/month.
At those prices, Rocket Matter costs slightly less than Clio, which is $72/month, or $65/month billed annually. However, Rocket Matter costs a good deal more than MyCase, which will run you $39/user monthly, and just $29 for staff. Even if you are willing to pay up front for two years, Rocket Matter will still cost you $156 more per year than MyCase, assuming you are the only user.
Is Rocket Matter worth the cost difference? If it is a good fit for your practice, of course it is, but adding additional users will scale your costs quickly, so it is worth doing the math and checking out your options first.
Originally published 2014-07-31. Last updated 2014-10-21.