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Law Practice Management Software

A modern legal practice needs reliable software for managing the various components of its business. Not only should an office be able to set and organize responsibilities, but it should be able to confirm those actions were performed—and performed well. Many offices turn to Law Practice Management Software (LPMS) for this. However, not all LPMS systems are created equal, and what is right for your practice may not be right for your neighbor.

Essentially, LPMS systems connect several independent functions of a law practice. They can perform some, or sometimes all, of these functions in one system. And many will integrate with software you currently use—or will have an Open API to allow you to integrate them yourself.

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Law Practice Management Software FAQs

Do I really need Law Practice Management Software?

Every law office needs a practice management system. For some, it can be as simple as a Google or Excel spreadsheet tracking your time, while others may need something more comprehensive that helps manage projects, clients, matters, and timekeeping all in one place. Everyone needs some of the features offered here, the question, generally, is, “how many?”

What is the difference between LPMS and CRM?

Although some of the functionalities of these categories of software will inevitably overlap, in general, LPMS software is focused on Matter management, while CRMs are geared more toward Client management. A CRM will help your firm with intake, and keeping in touch with your clients after their case is handled. An LPMS will usually manage what comes in-between those two.

Are cloud-based LPMS applications secure?

No one can guarantee the security of anything on the internet. Yet, most of the cloud-based LPMS providers use SSL security while your information is in-transit and they encrypt your information while it sits on their servers. However, you should feel comfortable asking this question of your provider and be leery of any service that can’t give you detailed information on their security practices.

What does Law Practice Management Software do?

At a basic level, an LPMS should coordinate multiple integral functions of your law practice. In general, they will handle Matter Management, Task Management, Document Management, and Client Management. Although, most of the products in this portal go well beyond those functions.

What is the best Law Practice Management Software for my firm?

As lawyers are fond of saying—it depends. The Law Practice Management Software landscape is vast and diverse. Some software is built for specific practice areas, while others are more general in nature. Some software is all inclusive. Still, others intend to act as solid hubs through which add-ons and integrations interact. Your neighbor’s solution will not necessarily work for you. Determine and prioritize the features you need. Then, search for a provider that fits those requirements. For quick results, use our Product Recommendation Wizard at the top of this page.

What is Law Practice Management Software?

Law Practice Management Software helps attorneys perform many of the practice functions necessary to run their offices. Generally, this software will handle Matter Management, Client Management, and Task Management, at the very least. But it could also include things like a Client Portal, trust accounting, and document assembly. Typically, this application will house information about your files and help organize them in a way that is easy to interact with. Although one can run an office without legal management software, the functions it serves will need to be addressed somehow.

Law Practice Management Software (Alphabetical List)

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How to Choose Law Practice Management Software

There is an abundance of law practice and legal management software 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. If you’d like to skip ahead, use our Product Recommendation Wizard at the top of this page. There, you can sort your options based on your firm’s specific needs.

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:

4 Steps to Choosing Law Practice Management Software

  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 legal 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 Your 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. Or, for a simpler solution, use our Product Recommendation Wizard at the top of this page to narrow down your options for you.

  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 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.