It’s hard to imagine modern legal practice without the aid of computers. Software can search through hundreds of cases looking for information in the blink of an eye. But legal document management software is continually improving.
To be the best in the legal profession one needs to use the best software. This article will examine the top eight examples of legal document management software. The ranking criteria will put a heavy emphasis on usability, price, security and features.
AbacusLaw is an outstanding product which ranks somewhat lower due to niche appeal and instability. The software suite offers case management, client conflict resolution and a variety of different tools to make paperless offices a reality. It’s not a perfect fit for every office. But when an office coincides with the tasks it supports than the automation can be a big time saver. However, it’s one of the most costly options at $87 per month per user.
The biggest advantage comes from excellent automation of common tasks. Complex filing can go from time consuming to nearly instantaneous.
The biggest disadvantage of AbacusLaw is the occasional instability. AbacusLaw has often become unstable due to operating system updates. This is made even more significant by the above average price.
LegalWorks is a solid solution to almost any task related to legal documents. It offers the standard functions that one will expect from legal software suites. Some of these functions include document versioning and synchronisation, faxing and even optical character recognition. LegalWorks lags behind some of the other options due to some dependencies on increasingly outdated software. The additional cost of $49 per user per month keeps it somewhat low on the list.
The biggest advantage of LegalWorks comes from sheer versatility. It’s able to cover a wide variety of tasks and should meet most expectations.
The biggest disadvantage comes from dependency on Internet Explorer and Outlook. This might be a benefit for offices that currently make use of these programs. However, their numerous technical issues over the years have made many people somewhat wary.
TimeSolv puts a heavy emphasis on versatility. The software suite was originally developed exclusively for legal use. Over time the system’s flexibility made it a good match for other professions as well.
It integrates with third party solutions when possible to give people more options. And it’s compatible with most popular desktop and even mobile operating systems. The price scales per Timekeeper. A single licence will cost $34.95 a month.
The biggest advantage of TimeSolv relates to usability. It tends to fit legal issues into a more intuitive space shared by other professions. This doesn’t just make it easier for legal professionals to use. It also makes it easier for clients to work with the system on their end of the process.
The biggest disadvantage is that reporting features can be somewhat overly simplistic. It’s often not even possible for users to customize font choice.
Filecenter is one of the best legal document management software suites for almost any office. Most of the other top-tier software suites focus on individual aspects of the industry. Filecenter is remarkable for trying to provide a little of everything. It can handle document scanning, optical character recognition, cloud backups and even offers a brandable client portal. The pricing starts at a reasonable $49.95 one time user fee.
The biggest advantage of Filecenter is its versatility. The general focus on trying to cover as wide a range as possible has created a software suite which can appeal to almost everyone.
The biggest disadvantage comes from trying to be a jack of all trades. It’s often equally apparent as a master of none. Elements like form entry or even dependence on host operating services can introduce bugs and errors on occasion.
CosmoLex earns a place as one of the best legal document management software suites due to its focus on billing. Invoice and billing concerns can place a tremendous strain on small practices. CosmoLex helps ease these concerns by handling not only legal documents, but the charges related to them. The standard price is $49 per month for every user.
The major advantage of CosmoLex is the enhanced billing system. It provides a tremendously simple way to manage even the most complex billing concerns. It even provides free LawPay support with no extra fee.
The biggest disadvantage of CosmoLex will come from offices that don’t want to convert to a new billing system. CosmoLex is fully featured in general legal document management. But if an office doesn’t need the extra billing support of CosmoLex than they’ll be left with a fairly average package.
Smokeball is one of the best legal document management software suites due to innovative technology. It holds special appeal for offices which are eager to make use of cutting edge technology. Smokeball offers mobile apps for both Android and iOS. It also uses cloud based technologies for several functions. Finally, it offers automated support for over 12,000 different forms. It’s priced at $139 per month per user.
The biggest advantages will be found among offices which already make use of cutting edge technology. Professionals used to a modern lifestyle will find the mobile app support particularly valuable.
The biggest disadvantage is that the overall cost per user is significantly higher than average. But if an office is willing to pay that price than it’s among the best ways to stay ahead of any technological trends.
PracticePanther is particularly notable among legal document management software suites for ease of use. All software suites ultimately try to make one’s day to day workload a little lighter. But PracticePanther places special emphasis on always being there to meet one’s needs.
PracticePanther’s mobile app support highlights how ubiquitous its assistance can be. Automatic backups are also integrated into the system to help protect people from accidents. The system can even connect to DropBox, one of the most popular cloud based backup services. Finally, the pricing is especially attractive to anyone trying to save money. It offers an unlimited free trial for one’s first three clients. After that it’s $49 a month per user.
The biggest disadvantage is that PracticePanther has an above average learning curve. For example, some aspects of relational data points in client profiles might not be very obvious at first.
Logikcull stands out among legal document management software for an emphasis on file transmission. All document management software will work with file based metaphors to some extent. But Logikcull takes the concept of file transmission to a new level of simplicity for the user.
The biggest advantage of Logikcull comes from how it wraps complex functionality within easy to use interfaces. Users can simply drag and drop a wide variety of content into the system. From there it will be automatically processed and even converted to new formats when needed. Furthermore this is all done with a cloud based backend. This allows for a pay as you go billing system. Users only need to pay for what they use. This comes out to $40 per GB per month.
The most significant disadvantage is that the cloud based infrastructure can introduce a slight lag at times. This tends to only be apparent with larger documents.
In conclusion, most of the legal document management software is fairly similar in many ways. The average price usually hovers around $50 per seat per month. The major differentiating factors come from how people want their office to relate to the software.
The software suites all have complexity enough to appeal to different tastes. Most also offer free demos for people to try. People should feel free to try them out and report on anything they liked or disliked.