A modern law firm needs a reliable system for managing client matters. Most use Law Practice Management Software (LPMS) for this. The options run from streamlined law-firm productivity software to all-in-one law firm marketing and business management software to software that can be integrated with other software and code for a client service technology stack customized to your firm’s specific needs.
Often, your choice of LPMS systems will hinge on the type of law you practice, the software your firm uses, and your comfort with adjusting the software to your needs. For example, most of the legal management systems included in these reviews integrate with Office 365, and Google’s G Suite products. However, you’ll want to confirm that (among other integrations) prior to purchase.
In this Law Practice Management Software portal you can compare features, read community reviews, get additional details, and find the best application for your law firm. If you see an Affinity Partner badge, it means Lawyerist Insiders are entitled to a discount. (Already a member? Log in here. If not, register here—it’s free!)
Featured Law Practice Management Software
- Our Review of PracticePanther finds it is a good fit for small to medium-sized firms that like a clean and easy-to-use dashboard. Learn more about PracticePanther
- Our review of Clio Manage shows a powerful and connected law practice management software with competetive pricing and an Open API. Learn more about Clio Manage
- MyCase law practice management software is a full-featured and affordably priced cloud-based software for small to medium-sized firms. Learn more about MyCase
- CosmoLex is a cloud-based law practice management software with competitive pricing and a robust feature set that includes full law-firm accounting. Learn more about CosmoLex
How to Choose Law Practice Management Software
There is an abundance of legal management software for lawyers to choose from. And there is more coming onto the market almost daily. Even if you have identified your firm’s specific needs, it’s a challenge to sort through dozens of products to find a good fit.
Whether you are a first-time shopper or considering a switch for your firm, we’ll try to make it easy. Here’s how to choose the best law practice management software for your firm:
1. Know Your Rights
First, know what you should expect from software with our Legal Software Bill of Rights.
2. Determine Your Needs
Next, identify your firm’s specific needs. Break down your law practice management software requirements into must-have and nice-to-have features. (Use the feature descriptions below as a guide.)
One of the best places to start is to lay out your office procedures, from start to finish. Write them down using something like OneNote, or Google Docs. Then, look for legal management software that fits your needs. Find out if your office needs software that has robust workflow systems, or if you needs something that will integrate with third party document automation software. If you are a Personal Injury firm, you’ll likely want something that syncs well with your current CRM and client intake software.
3. Filter You Law Practice Management Software Choices
With your requirements in hand, use the feature filters in the list below to narrow down your choices. Browse the product pages, read the community reviews, and narrow down your choices to 1–3 likely options.
4. Try Before You Buy
Finally, sign up for a trial account with each of the likely options, put them through their paces, and select the one that will work best for your firm.
Law Practice Management Software (Alphabetical List)
Filter by Feature
- AbacusLaw is a good fit for firms that want access to a private cloud server and desktop software. Learn more about AbacusLaw.
- Actionstep is a flexible, cloud-based solution that offers growing law firms sophisticated document management, customizable workflows and full accounting. Learn more about Actionstep.
- Amicus Attorney legal software is a good fit for attorneys needing a wide range of functions & features to manage their practice. Learn more about Amicus Attorney.
- CaseFleet is a good fit for firms looking for law practice management software with a powerful timeline tool to keep track of cases. Learn more about CaseFleet.
- CASEpeer is cloud-based law practice management software for personal injury lawyers, with high-volume intake management and settlement tracking. Learn more about CASEpeer.
- Centerbase is a highly configurable and robust cloud-based law practice management software that offers customizable workflows for each firm’s needs. Learn more about Centerbase.
- Our review of Clio Manage shows a powerful and connected law practice management software with competetive pricing and an Open API. Learn more about Clio Manage.
- CosmoLex is a cloud-based law practice management software with competitive pricing and a robust feature set that includes full law-firm accounting. Learn more about CosmoLex.
- Filevine is a good fit for personal-injury firms looking for a straightforward and distraction-free interface, but it lacks full accounting capabilities. Learn more about Filevine.
- Firm Central is straightforward small-firm law practice management software that is tightly integrated with Westlaw and several other Thomson Reuters products. Learn more about Firm Central.
- Law Ruler is an AI-powered cloud-based CRM, client intake, and practice management software for law firms. Learn more about Law Ruler.
- Lawcus is intuitive, workflow-focused law practice management software that's useful for productivity-focused firms using well-defined systems & processes. Learn more about Lawcus.
- Leap is a good fit for small firms looking for a robust desktop solution with mobile apps. Learn more about LEAP.
- MerusCase is customizable, cloud-based law practice management software that's best for small to medium-sized litigation firms. Learn more about MerusCase.
- MyCase law practice management software is a full-featured and affordably priced cloud-based software for small to medium-sized firms. Learn more about MyCase.
- Needles is a good fit for firms looking to work with an on-premise software program, but it isn't cloud-based and its user interface is seriously dated. Learn more about Needles.
- PCLaw may be a good fit for firms looking for powerful billing and accounting practice management software on Windows-based desktops. Learn more about PCLaw.
- PracticeMaster is a good fit for firms who want a well-rounded calendar to keep track of firm-wide appointments. Learn more about PracticeMaster.
- Our Review of PracticePanther finds it is a good fit for small to medium-sized firms that like a clean and easy-to-use dashboard. Learn more about PracticePanther.
- Rocket Matter is a cloud-based practice management software with a powerful and easy-to-use dashboard. We explore Rocket Matter pricing and highlights here. Learn more about Rocket Matter.
- SimpleLaw is a unique law practice management software that features a network of clients and attorneys and on-demand paralegal support. Learn more about SimpleLaw.
- Smokeball is hybrid desktop and cloud-based law practice management software with great legal document automation. Learn more about Smokeball.
- Time Matters law practice management software is a good fit for firms looking for hefty, customizable, desktop-only management software. Learn more about Time Matters.
- Our review of Zola Suite finds it excelent for law firms looking for full-featured, cloud-based law practice management software. Learn more about Zola Suite.
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Law Practice Management Software Feature Descriptions
Core Features. For law practice management software, the following are essential features, and you should therefore expect to see a check in every box in this section.
Case/Matter Management. Matter management is the defining feature of law practice management software, of course. However, some software is targeted at specific practice areas and may implement case management in different ways in order to manage information specific to those practice areas.
Client/Contact Management. Managing clients and other contacts is a core feature of law practice management software.
Task Management. Basic task management includes creating tasks with due dates that can be associated with cases/matters and assigned to different lawyers. Some products stick to pretty basic task management, while others offer enough features to make any Getting Things Done devotee happy.
Calendar. As with email, this feature means a full calendar client, not just an integration with Outlook or Google Calendar.
Timekeeping. Timekeeping is a core feature of practice management software, essential for lawyers who bill by the hour but useful even for those who don't.
Conflict Checking. An actual conflict checker is more than just a search box. This applies to software that actually has a conflict checking feature. Implementation varies, but at a minimum you should be able to search the entire database for matching names. It should check for conflicts accurately and intuitively, allow for a lateral hire to input their conflict database into the system, work quickly when new clients call, and comply with the rules of professional conduct for checking conflicts.
Email Client. Does it include a full email client? (Alternative solutions that don't amount to an email client, like plugins for Outlook or Gmail, do not earn a check for this feature. See software integrations, below.))
Text Messaging. Can you send and receive text messages and associate them with your matters?
Document Management. Basic document management allows you to add documents and associate them with your cases/matters.
Document Assembly. Loading your firm’s document templates into your law practice management software can save time and ensure consistency. This check means basic document assembly suitable for form letters, invoices, etc. For advanced document assembly, you’ll probably need additional software.
Basic Bookkeeping. This means basic checkbook register–style bookkeeping, which is more limited than full accounting. You should be able to keep track of your operating accounts and reconcile your balances, but you may still need full accounting software.
Trust Accounting. This means you can track your client trust accounts, including expenses and payments. It is normal to see trust accounting without basic bookkeeping or full accounting, in which case you will need something else for accounting.
Full Accounting. Some software includes full double-entry accounting features, making additional accounting software unnecessary.
Billing & Invoicing. Does the software allow you to send bills or invoices?
Online Payments. Payment processing is increasingly offered either as an included or add-on feature, especially with cloud-based law practice management software.