A modern law firm needs a reliable system for managing the various components of its practice. Legal Practice Management Software (LPMS) is designed to make your life easier. But the market is full of solutions that claim to do just that. This makes it difficult to determine which one is the best choice for your business.
What is Legal Practice Management Software?
The best legal practice management software streamlines your daily operations. IT helps to manage all aspects of your firm like client and case records, documents, appointments, schedules, deadlines, and accounting. Systems within a practice tend to build over time. This can lead to many different pieces of software in the business. Or even things being managed manually.
There is a lot of software out there for legal firms. Some does very specific jobs very well, such as case management or billing. However, what we refer to as legal practice management software gives you a single, unified system. This can transform the way the business operates.
The Best Legal Practice Management Software for your Firm
As with the majority of software there is actually no ‘best’. The best choice is always going to be the one that works best for your firm. One of the best places to start is to lay out your office procedures. Get these documented and then, look for legal management software that fits your needs.
You should the consider the strengths and weaknesses of the practice. If you know that document management is poor, then look for software which gets good ratings for document management. You’ll also need to make the choice between cloud and on-premises software. If you’ve a lot of staff working remotely cloud might be the best choice. However, you may have concerns over security. And cloud brings ongoing monthly costs, which can rise significantly as the practice grows.
To compile our list we’ve looked at the features, reviews and recommendations from reputable organisations. A lot of the reviews and solutions are American. As it’s difficult to tell how effective software designed for the US would be we’ve stuck to those with websites designed specifically for the UK.
Recommended by the law society and with over 1,000 reviews on Capterra, it is difficult to find a list of the best legal practice management software that doesn’t include Clio!
Clio includes everything you would expect such case management, contact management, calendars, task management, document management, form letters, basic accounting and billing. Where Clio excels is its ability to integrate with your other software including Microsoft 365, Outlook, Zero etc. The Clio app directory has 150+ integrations. If something doesn’t already integrate you can use the API to make it work.
However, Clio is not the most simple option. The integrations provide some complexity and you’ll possibly need some external support to get everything up and running for you. Clio is based and works on a subscription model costing £49/per user per month when billed annually. The cloud/subscription model does provide flexibility.
Insight Legal Software
Insight Legal is a Legal Accounts, Practice Management and Case Management system. It is specifically designed to meet the needs of UK and Irish Law Firms. Insight themselves design, develop, deploy, train, service and support the Insight Legal system. The software is entirely their own and they are proudly independent.
All the expected features are present. Case management, compliance, billing, time recording and legal accounts. There is comprehensive support and a thriving community. However, the software does appear to lack integrations with other products. Pricing is a little more complex too. There are consultancy and training costs up front, and then a cost per user of £54 for the first licence and £32 for additional licences. This is based on annual billing.
This would seem to suitable for those that want more of a partnership experience with their LPMS provider.
Access Legal Case & Practice Management Software
Access boasts that you can save time and increase efficiency by automating routine tasks to ensure accuracy and consistency across your processes. Unlock more value from every client relationship with quick and easy views and approvals that free your team to arrive at outcomes sooner.
Ready-to-go, configurable, sector-specific workflows (including conveyancing, probate, personal injury, family law, and employment). The software is suitable for everyone from sole practitioners and boutique organisations to large firms.
Access has a greater emphasis on business development in its marketing than other tools. A focus on enhanced productivity along with data driven business insights. Cloud based and on-premises options are available. And ISO27001 accreditation should take care of security concerns.
Unfortunately pricing is on application only.
Which One’s Right For You?
There are a number of other options. The 3 we’ve shown are all recommended by the Law Society and would definitely be where we started. However the choice of the best option comes down to what you want to get from your Legal Practice Management Software. Take your time, map out your tasks and ensure your choice matches your budget now and in the future.