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HotDocs Review: Document Automation For Lawyers

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Lawyerist Rating for HotDocs


Rating Breakdown

Our Rating: 4.3/5

Our rating is based on our subjective judgment. Use our resources—including our rating and community ratings and reviews—to find the best fit for your firm.

Community Rating: 3/5 (based on 2 ratings)

The community rating is based on the average of the community reviews below.

Composite Rating: 3.9/5

The composite rating is a weighted average of our rating and the community ratings below.


Product Details

Services Offered
  • Document Automation
  • Web
  • Windows
Software Integrations
  • LawBase
  • ActionStep
  • Word
  • Amicus Attorney
  • AbacusLaw
  • Amicus Cloud
  • Zola Suite

Core Features

For Document Management & Automation, the following are essential features, and you should therefore expect to see a check in every box in this section.


Free Trial

Open API

An open API means that the program has an application programming interface that will allow it to directly integrate with other software programs such your firm's timekeeping, accounting, or custom relationship management software.

Version Control

This means the software provides information on document revisions and makes sure you are using the most recent version of a template.


Built-In E-Signing

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Metadata Scrubbing

Document Templates

The document management program creates resuable templates.

Court Forms

Guided Interviews

The program can create a guided interview and then use the client's answers to automatically create a document.

Conditional Logic

If the software uses conditional logic, this means that you can choose to have certain text in your assembled document included only under certain conditions


This means the software can generate tables of any size and place them in your assembled document.


If this field is checked, it means the software can perform calculations based on numerical or text input.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the price of HotDocs?

HotDocs does not advertise the price of their services online. As they have a lot of solutions to choose from, it is probably best to contact them for a demo to determine pricing. Attorneys who are looking to automate will likely need to include the price of creating their documents into their review.

Does HotDocs integrate with my Law Practice Management Software?

Many law practice management software products integrate with their document automation software. Since AbacusNext owns HotDocs, they definitely integrate directly with Zola Suite, AbacusLaw, Amicus Attorney, and Amicus Cloud.

Can my law office accept eSignatures through HotDocs?

At the time of this review, HotDocs does not have a native eSignatures solution. However, users may find that their LPMS software has a relevant solution.

Can my law firm accept ePayments through HotDocs?

Yes. Users can accept ePayments using AbacusNext’s APX platform.

Does HotDocs have Guided Interviews or client-facing forms?

Yes, they have an intelligent interview process that lets users gather information from clients directly.

Is HotDocs easy for lawyers to use?

HotDocs is not a no-code or low-code solution. Some lawyers will find it easy to use, however, the majority of users who want to use the extensive power of HotDocs will need to consult one of their implementation partners.

Can my law firm use our own templates?

Yes. Although they have some pre-made template solutions, HotDocs is mainly intended to be used with a law firm’s own documents.

Does HotDocs have ready-made templates?

Yes. HotDocs Market provides ready-made templates from the likes of LexisNexis, and various state bar associations.

How difficult is HotDocs to set-up?

HotDocs is not a simple turn it on and go solution. Law firms will need to know what they want out of the system and will need to spend some time setting it up correctly from the beginning.

Will HotDocs work on my computer?

Yes. The platform is a cloud-based solution that will work from any modern browser.

Additional Details about HotDocs

Robust documentation. HotDocs offers a resource library with a wide variety of ebooks and webinars to get new users up to speed on how to use the program.

Financial and mathematical calculations. HotDocs allows users to embed complex calculations in document templates. This includes calculations such as determining payment rates and terms, using exponential functions, and calculating dates.

Who HotDocs is For

HotDocs is a powerful program that integrates with many business process management systems. Because of this, it’s a good fit for firms that are already technology-oriented and are making use of customer relationship management (CRM) software or additional content management solutions.

HotDocs is relatively technically complex, which makes it a good choice for attorneys that feel comfortable with that complexity and would appreciate the program’s ability to scale as a firm grows. In contrast, solo practitioners with fewer document assembly needs may find the program to be more than they need.

Not sure where to begin? Download our Field Guide

Take the guesswork out of researching, purchasing, and implementing the right legal tech products and services for your law firm. Our Field Guide answers your essential questions and breaks down the features most important to your business, so you can buy with confidence.

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HotDocs Community Reviews


Based on 2 Ratings

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  • Christopher B. says:

    Love hate relationship

    There is a lot I like about Hotdocs…in some ways it is part of the foundation of my estate planning and probate practice. I mean this as literally as I can since Hotdocs was the very first legal software I purchased in 1996, the year after I graduated law school. Not only did I get Hotdocs back then, but for my initial purchase of $49.95, I got a quite complete Texas Library (which I still use…updated, of course). Back in the day, I enjoyed learning the program. While complex, much of it seemed to work in a logical way. It also integrates with Time Matters pretty well (yeah, I guess I am old school and Time Matters is another software I have a love hate relationship with. It does so much right…but can be a bit maddening). Also, in addition the the templates I have created, two of my after market template sets, ForeTrust and Lawyers with Purpose use Hotdocs.

    HotDocs has bee sold, resold, rebought and sold again. Pretty tight little company back in the 90’s. NOW however, I cringe with thinking of dealing with the new parent company Abacus. Rude, dismissive, tech support is such a mixed bag and bureaucratic it can be not worth the time. Thankfully, after 20 plus years, I am versed enough with it that tech support is not a key issue. What is, is I have 20 plus years of commitment…Abicus’ “new” subscription model is pathetic. The “hiding” the pricing, having several “team members” reach out to you with different costs (for the same product), different contracts….being EXTREAMLY anal about the contract, not returning calls and emails, AND not honoring a contract they forced. Full disclosure, I had a credit card that was subject to fraud and made inactive (yes, my issue, but no notice from Abacus…yes, I checked the spam folder too). I had forgotten to change the autopay. When I discovered it, I called immediately to pay what I owed. NOPE, they forced a new contract at a significantly higher monthly rate AND then back charged me. Ok, if they charged me for the few months fine, but then I was current and should not have been forced into a new “agreement” and higher rate until mid 2022. I still like the product, but am pretty disgusted with Abacas….and, and I am vested…thus kinda a prisoner.

  • Christian P. says:
    Summary: GREAT product nearly overshadowed by TERRIBLE service.

    THE GOOD: Let me start out by saying I love the program. I bought it 6 weeks ago. I have been working with it for the last couple weeks, and I can tell my practice efficiency is going to see a huge improvement. HOWEVER…
    THE BAD: they only get 2 Stars because of their training. I won’t say who I tried to be trained with because I never got the chance to actually get trained, and I don’t want to unfairly belittle his abilities as a trainer.
    As I sit here 2 hours earlier than I usually start work, when I was supposed to be trained, I am reminded of the other times I sat here waiting to be trained on HotDocs. They cancel appointments at the last minute like it is a bodily function.
    The first time, the trainer emailed me at 2 am the day of the training to say he was out of the office and needed to reschedule. Life happens. It was annoying, but I worked in customer service for 15 years before becoming a lawyer, so I let it slide and rescheduled.
    The second time, he called 5 minutes before training to say that Microsoft Teams was having widespread service issues, so the meeting would be delayed. He said he would call back that day. He did not. Also, my office uses Teams all day in the interest of social distancing.
    I will admit to rescheduling the third appointment because my paralegal was going to be out of the office. I did that 3 days in advance. The next appointment I could get was 3 full weeks out. To be fair, I could have selected one of the sessions that started before 6AM (1:30AM perhaps?), but I just set it up anyway. BTW if you use their trainers and you’re in the Pacific time zone, the latest appointment you can schedule is 7:30AM. Say hello to overtime for your staff and lost billable hours for your attorney(s). Say hello to it 3 times if you have my experience.
    Oh, and the final time (today, in the dark), I tried to click on the link for my appointment. It took me to a big red-orange screen that said my appointment was cancelled. I looked back in my email inboxes. I saw one that said “appointment reminder” in the subject line. As I already had it on my calendar, I just deleted it. Turns out there was a link I had to click to finalize the appointment in that reminder. Where was my 2am email from the trainer on that?
    Basically, I am done. I want my $450 training fee back (my office manager is on it).

    THE GOOD (again): Ending on a positive note, I reiterate that the program is great. It is super intuitive, and they give you a link to a whole slate of training videos on the various features. Using these, I have updated not only our estate planning documents, but also fee agreements, authorizations, personal injury intake forms, and pleadings. I work in an office with 3 attorneys and 5 full time staff. HotDocs is practically a new staff member (or 2) for a couple hundred bucks a month. Once the templates are perfected, it also greatly reduces the chance of errors making it into the finished product.

    I would recommend the product, but be prepared to teach yourself how to use it.

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