As a lawyer, retaining information for your clients while keeping everything as organized and accessible as possible is critical for providing optimal service and maximizing your billable time. Keeping paper records is incredibly inefficient and to a lesser degree, so is storing a hodgepodge of data locally on a computer. To improve your ability to store and access data as well as secure your information, it’s time to start using a CRM.
Several options are available on the market today. We’ll take a look at some of the most popular systems available for small firms and solo attorneys, provide an overview of what each has to offer as well as point out noticeable shortcomings for each service, and review both general and practice area-specific solutions.
If technology hasn’t played a big role at your firm, worry not, as you’re not alone. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system does as the name implies – it serves as a centralized location for storing information about clients and prospects. Across the board, modern systems are designed for accommodating those with minimal technology skills, providing a secure and productive way to store information, provide reporting, and assist with billing.
In the following sections, we point out the primary advantages for a slew of popular CRMs on the market, alphabetized for each specific section. What you’ll notice are a few kinds of CRMs in this list: most mentioned are CRMs specifically geared for law firms, all of which are designed to accommodate any area of practice in the US, and there a few general CRMs not specifically designed for law, but often more adept in driving sales or that have more attractive pricing. Also listed are software solutions for certain practice specialties, like personal injury, bankruptcy, real estate, and estate planning law.
In the following list, you’ll find leading, full-featured solutions designed for law, which include a case management system. Each system provides some level of CRM functionality while focusing on case management tools for a variety of practice areas.
AbacusNext is a software and hosting company with an expansive set of solutions, extending beyond the legal realm. The AbacusLaw product is the flagship service from the company, which has been around for over three decades, serving the legal community with an ever-evolving, full practice management solution.
Rundown of AbacusLaw Highlights
You will find a myriad of different products under the AbacusNext brand but the most appealing for those in law will undoubtedly be the AbacusLaw case management system. Aside from a case management system with a well-developed, legal workflow tool, it includes modern features that people have come to expect from practice management software. You’ll find built-in tools such as independent time-tracking tools for each matter, a flexible billing system for hourly and fixed-rate contracts, an eSign feature, and many others.
You won’t find pricing directly on the website but third-party review sites have the basis for what you’ll be quoted, should you call or utilize their contact form for sales support. The regular AbacusLaw solution runs $47 a month a user and includes all the case management and document solutions you’ll see when reviewing their website. To gain the ability to use the time tracking and billing features, this will require AbacusLaw Gold which costs $67 a month per user.
Full practice management solution, including several supplementary features.
The lowest price point doesn’t include a time tracker or the billing feature.
Several other options are available from AbacusNext to supplement law as well other side endeavors you many have outside of your day job.
Scheduling tasks outside of the workflow system isn’t ideal, as scheduling meetings for business matter outside of case is cumbersome.
Call manager feature allows those receiving the calls (whether you employ a human or use a well-programed IVR) can plug in call information directly to a client matter.
The collaboration system is isolated to other users of the AbacusLaw system.
The AbacusLaw system is one of the most full-featured systems on the market for the price, which is highly appealing for those looking for as much software assistance as possible in a case management solution. To learn more, click here.
The CASEpeer solution for law is a richly featured, practice management solution offering straight-forward pricing for service as well as support to assist you and your team to make the most of the application. They offer some unique features as part of their packages that you won’t find in most other developed solutions on the market.
Rundown of CASEpeer Highlights
It’s hard to find any fault with CASEpeer as they have included virtually every option in a clean interface and offer support to assist their customers in maximizing their experience with the software. They standout by having the best customer service in the market to support team which is highly knowledgeable about the product. With just the lowest pricing tier, you’ll have access to everything from an intuitive intake system that tethers with a referral system, case management for any kind of practice, document management and automation, time-tracking and billing, as well as many other features.
The pricing system is simple, in the sense that it is basically broken down for the number of users who require access to the system. At $55 a month, up to 3 users can access the system under the Solo plan; for 4 to 9 users, you can select the Emerging plan for $70 a month; at $85 a month, you can use the Enterprise plan for more than 10 users that also includes a dedicated support manager for your business.
Awesome practice management solution, jam packed with features.
Limited help with building templates in Microsoft Word.
Competitive pricing, considering the number of features for each tier of service as well as the price points.
Reporting is available but by design, it doesn’t inherently help drive sales with marketing campaigns like some other solutions.
A unique negotiation function allows you to get the best possible settlements for your clients.
You’ll have a slight learning curve to overcome if leaving another provider for CASEpeer.
Many good solutions are on the market as a CRM for law but CASEpeer is certainly one of the best. The only real fault is that it doesn’t include much for large marketing campaigns, however, this may not be an issue if your firm already experiences adequate growth from organic sources or has another marketing solution. To learn more, click here.
Founded in 2008, Clio has become one of the most popular practice management systems on the market for lawyers. The system is tailored to accommodate different practice areas in the US, even extending to other countries.
Rundown of Clio Highlights
Designed for law firms of all sizes, regardless of practice specialty, Clio is one of the best choices for those who want something that “just works.” Aside from storing information, a complete billing system is tailor-built to quickly track and invoice for both flat-rate and hourly services.
Clio is offered at three different tiers of monthly pricing per user – $39 for the Starter, $59 for Boutique, and $99 for Elite – with each step offering additional functionality. The company offers a well-documented knowledge base for using the system as well as plenty of training collateral to maximize your experience.
Designed to work for legal practice areas, out of the box.
The Starter package, at $39 a month per user, doesn’t include 3rd party integrations.
Higher-tiered services integrates with over 50 popular 3rd party applications used in the industry.
Credit card processing feature requires at least the mid-level service, at $59 a month per user.
Affordable for just about any budget and offers a gradual learning curve.
Likely has more features than is required by smaller firms.
Any flaws with Clio are quite minimal as this is one of the top CRM services for lawyers because of its accessibility and great price. To learn more, click here.
The CosmoLex CRM began as a desktop application, which had been in development for eight years prior to 2012 when it was overhauled to become a cloud-based service. Today, CosmoLex is a full-featured CRM containing all the tools you’ll need to run a firm.
Rundown of CosmoLex Highlights
The biggest advantage CosmoLex offers over the competition is the fully inclusive design which eliminates the needs to link with other software, namely billing software. By using this system, it is possible to wholly eliminate services such as QuickBooks which sometimes has syncing problems when linked to third-party apps.
The pricing for CosmoLex is on par with the rest of the industry at $49 a month per user when billed annually or $59 when paying month-to-month. A great perk included in the pricing is the inclusion of LawPay, at no extra charge, meaning you won’t get charged for every transaction.
No extra charges for processing payments with the system.
Those who prefer some 3rd party apps may be disappointed by the selection of integrations.
Support is done exclusively by phone with a human, not a machine.
No “limited access” client app so not all will take advantage of in-app messaging.
Support will assist everyone with setup, from those using paper forms through users of competitor systems.
Learning curve is gradual but some will not like the interface if already partial to another system
The CosmoLex CRM is great for those who are looking to have one system do it all and not have to pay extra for processing payments. To learn more, click here.
The LawGro system is one of the newest solutions on the market, compared to their more established competitors. Though it was founded in 2016, they proved that being a late-comer to the market is advantageous as it allowed their developers to study and incorporate their own versions of the most valuable tools offered by other solutions.
Rundown of LawGro Highlights
The CRM portion of the system has been designed to not only isolate and manage matters for your clients, it simplifies defining and adding other parties for each case. It also includes time tracking, document management, and an invoicing system, among other common tools found in legal software. One notable feature is a conflict search system, so you don’t accidentally take a case where a conflict of interest exists.
The Standard pricing plan offers all the core features of the system at $34 a month per user. The Pro plan, runs $54 per month a user, and offers all the main features plus, it adds automation for the document management system, customizable intake forms, and more. A Supreme plan is available as well which caters to large-firms where the company will essentially modify the core system to fit your needs at a price you need to negotiate.
Considering the features, it is one of the lower-priced solutions on the market.
The invoicing system doesn’t include a payment feature and does not integrate with QuickBooks.
Has access control features to limit standard users from accessing certain areas.
Does not include a client portal – you’ll have to add client documents yourself.
The delegation feature in the collaboration helps solidify expectations which is useful when you don’t see certain members for days on end.
Few integrations with other applications, namely Google Calendar and other common 3rd parties found in other systems.
LawGro may be missing a few features that others advertise but, as a legal CRM it does an excellent job at providing easy to use tools for just about any practice area. To learn more, click here.
Founded in 2017 by the creator of MyCase, Lawmatics is a legal CRM and marketing automation platform designed to take work off your plate so you can focus on the practice of law.
Rundown of Lawmatics Highlights
Designed specifically for law firms, Lawmatics offers new client relationship management, streamlined intake, and marketing automation. It includes custom reporting, CRM organization, intake forms and automation, e-signatures and file requests, email drip campaigns, and a custom email design platform.
Lawmatics is offered at two pricing tiers: $99 per month for client intake and $129 per month for intake and marketing functionality. These prices include one user and 10k or 15k contacts respectively (a number you’re unlikely to hit as a small law firm). Both pricing plans require a $399 one-time setup charge.
Makes client intake extremely easy and customizable.
Integrates with LawPay to simplify payment collection. Offers public booking for consultations.
Includes robust automation and reporting functionality.
E-signatures and additional users will cost extra, which can run up your monthly price.
Lawmatics is newer on the market and still growing so they may lack features included in other platforms.
Certain features may not be necessary for less tech-savvy firms.
Business-minded law firm owners who understand that following up with leads is the key to growing their business have found what they need in Lawmatics. To learn more, click here.
Law Ruler came to fruition in 2013 after a successful run riding the achievements of an app known as the Oil Claim Calculator™, which a variety of companies and private citizens used to manage settlements from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This idea morphed over time, forming the core of what would become Law Ruler.
Rundown of Law Ruler Highlights
The most prominent features of this system are designed to help with the business aspect of a legal practice. This cloud-based system runs from the web and takes advantages of Google Chrome plug-ins for agentless softphone (meaning, no extra software is required) to capitalize on the app’s powerful intake system.
If you’re browsing the company site, you’ll find that pricing is provided in ranges, depending on the number of features and users. You will find free a demo which allows users to try out the intake features and get a taste for this can help firms looking to grow.
Designed to assist with surface-level business operations, increasing productivity with an intuitive intake system and AI-driven messaging system.
Pricing isn’t directly designated as a direct rate per user a month but is set as a range.
Plays nicely with other case management systems for a fuller experience.
Isn’t as full-featured as some systems but does offer capabilities for just about every area.
Augmenting systems such as Clio, Needles, FileVine, TrialWorks, Client Profiles, SmartAdvocate, etc. supplements case management with business tools.
The extra cost may not be justifiable when stacked against competitors who offer more complete, standalone solution.
While not the most robust solution on the market, legal businesses looking to improve efficiency can benefit from Law Ruler, whether as a standalone solution, or as a complimentary service to another case management system. To learn more, click here.
This system is among the least expensive, law-oriented solution on the market, with a stripped-down set of tools for firms or solo practitioners looking to be more efficient and organized, without getting too involved in the system. Its refined interface is ideal for those looking for inexpensive software who aren’t interested in the bells and whistles offered by other systems.
Rundown of LeanLaw Highlights
LeanLaw may be stripped down compared to other solutions, but it still offers prominent tools found in other systems with heavy focus on capturing billable hours. The case management system pairs with a time tracking feature which is available for all popular device platforms. It allows users to plug in pertinent information in an organized fashion as well as create and distribute invoices with ease.
At $28 a month when billed yearly, this is among the most inexpensive systems on the market that include a CRM designed for law, a time-tracking mechanism, and case management features. A month-to-month plan is available as well, lacking the 20% savings, at $35 monthly.
Simple system for case management and tracking time.
Virtually no integrations other tools, minus the exception of QuickBooks.
Easily invoice clients for fixed-price services or billable time – also integrates with QuickBooks.
No advanced analytics for granular insights on performance.
Very affordable at $28 per month, when billed yearly.
Only suited for sole practitioners as it doesn’t allow for multiple users or include a workflow system.
If you’re on the ball with running your solo practice but need a little extra assistance in organizing client information as well as invoicing, this system could be for you. To learn more, click here.
The Lexicata system is yet another great CRM system designed specifically for law firms. As a full-featured software for managing clients and tracking everything relevant for clients, it’s one of the most adept systems for business development while providing useful tools to the legal industry.
Rundown of Lexicata Highlights
Lexicata has all the key features you’d expect from a CRM, in addition to a highly business-oriented dashboard. For firms looking to broaden their horizons, this is perhaps the best option for lead management because of the focus on data analysis for the sake of engaging leads plus, pain-free digital intake forms.
Pricing isn’t immediately revealed as a monthly flat-rate; you’ll have to enter your info first on this form. Regardless of your firm’s size, the cost will be $49 a month per user ($25 per each additional user) or $499 a year when billed yearly (or $249 a year for each additional user). The system separates each practicing lawyer, allowing for insights into the performance at an individual level as well as broad, company-wide view.
Business development minded, thanks to easily digestible analytics and reporting.
Pricing isn’t exactly flexible yet, it’s one of the most economical in the market.
All features are included within a single a tier or service.
Though the system automates invoicing, it doesn’t include a payment processing system.
Growing firms pay little for additional team members (i.e. $25 or $249).
Other CRMs may be a little better for sizable, well-established firms.
Lexicata is fantastic for small and mid-sized firms requiring a turn-key system focused on helping a business grow. To learn more, click here.
Built on top of Salesforce, the Litify system is backed by the leading CRM solution for business across the globe. The system has been modified to cater towards law firms with powerful applications for case management.
Rundown of Litify Highlights
The primary feature of the Litify system is case management, which tethers with other applications in the system. The great part about Litify is that it is far less convoluted than most systems, offering a solid intake system to gather as much as possible from new clients or leads with a process they call DICE (Dynamic Intake Calling Environment) which organizes prospects in an effective arrangement for call back. The case management system, known as Litify Matters, coincides with a tasking system that plays well with a variety of third-party integrations. Also included is a document manager and reporting mechanism called Litify Insights.
Despite having a great solution, the pricing requires a bit of searching, as there are no internal links to this page currently on the Litify website. The Litify Access plan is the most basic, starting at $65 a month per user which includes all the core features, including an activity tracker. At $100 a month, the most useful set of options become accessible with the Litify Standard plan that features case staging for advanced planning plus, the ability to log time and expenses.
One of the most liked solutions for case management with highly simplified structure, both in terms of pricing and operation.
Seemingly fewer features than many competitors however, several solutions are integrated more tightly the modular design used by several case management systems.
Intake application is structured far better than most competitor systems.
Higher cost than similar solutions, many of which include time-tracking and billing with standard pricing
Task system helps supplement matter management with more specific processes such as delegation.
Reporting mechanism is useful to understand various aspects of your firm but may be a little extraneous for smaller firms.
The Litify system is bit on the pricey side, with respect to competitor solutions. With that said, the simplified system and organized dashboard is great for those looking for an efficient case management application. To learn more, click here.
Designed by a company known as AppFolio that originated in 2006 with a real estate solution called Property Manager, MyCase is their CRM solution designed specifically for law firms. Born from the opportunity to address needs resulting from the complexities of legal matters related to property and estate law, this CRM has since evolved to assist a multitude of legal verticals.
Rundown of MyCase Highlights
MyCase has successfully integrated easy-to-use functions for attorneys. Like other CRMs designed for law, this system offers an abundance of tools for managing documents and automating workflow.
One of the best parts about MyCase is the straightforward pricing at $39 a month per user. For the feature set, this is perhaps the best value on the market for a lawyer-centric system. Another great perk for the system is the client portal, allowing your customers to securely login and access information you choose to share, a messaging feature for communication, as well as the ability for clients to make payments.
Save time by providing access to key documents with client access to information.
Credit card payments cost a flat 3% per transaction but eChecks are free.
Mobile app is available on all popular platforms for tracking time and communicating on the go.
No “limited access” client app (i.e. client's must access from the web alone) so not all will take advantage of in-app messaging.
Real-time notifications allow you to stay on task during busy days.
The lead tracking/follow-up portion is lacking compared to other solutions.
Because of AppFolio's background in property management software, this cultivated a solid understanding for needs in the legal world and as such, MyCase is among the most trusted solutions for lawyer CRMs. To learn more, click here.
The idea for PracticePanther first came about when the two co-founders had their first meeting 2012 that eventually spurred the creation of the system which is now a global solution. While not a perfect system (as none are), they consistently achieve among the highest in customer satisfaction ratings.
Rundown of PracticePanther Highlights
All CRMs, whether for law or general use, include a document management system but PracticePanther is arguably the best of all the top competitors. Uploading documents and using media, such as audio or video recordings, is handled well by the system. If using Dropbox, syncing is nearly instant.
The cost for Practice Panther is in line with the rest of the industry at $59 a month per user or $49 a month when paid annually. The payment processing is powered by industry-standard LawPay on the backend. The $20 a month fee is waived for LawPay with at least one transaction a month. Costs then amount to $0.20 for each transaction and an additional 1.95% and 2.95%, depending on the card issuer.
The document management system is responsive and intuitive.
Those who rely on their workflows report some frustrations with the layout
Works incredibly with Zapier to link up to nearly every web app imaginable.
Allowing apps to get too far out of date will affect syncing with the system.
Accounting is highly simplified, allowing funds to easily transfer into operating or trust accounts.
No separate, standard accounts for staff so login info should only be divulged to trusted members.
For those looking for a great way to organize information in a system that works with all kinds of file formats, PracticePanther is the way to go. To learn more, click here.
As a decade-old practice management and billing CRM for lawyers, Rocket Matter has had time to refine kinks that some of the newer solutions haven’t quite mastered. The core of the software is centered on both data retention as well as a hyper-focus on granular level time-tracking with optional mobile or desktop applications.
Rundown of Rocket Matter Highlights.
By design, Rocket Matter features a broad set of customizable tools for retaining client information from intake through case resolution. The backbone of the system is a great workflow management system, integrating time capturing tools available on multiple platforms.
The pricing for Rocket Matter is slightly higher than competitors, but it doesn’t break the bank at a flat rate of $65 a month per user ($55 a month when billed annually). In addition to highly accessible time tracking apps, payment processing is included at no additional charge.
If moving from another CRM, staff will help you migrate your data.
Some 3rd party integrations are available though, selection is small compared to other solutions.
Well-defined templates are programmed for matter management.
Certain features may be a little advanced for small firms with fewer tech needs.
Flexible payment options for clients allow your to work with different budgets.
Additional time-tracking apps are helpful so long as they’re used in a timely manner.
For businesses handling legal matters and needing a trusted, well-established CRM, Rocket Matter is perfect for most applications. To learn more, click here.
The Smokeball system is designed specifically to meet the needs of smaller firms who don’t want to spend time learning or using the more intricate features of other systems. The system has several useful features built-in, saving time and increasing productivity.
Rundown of Smokeball Highlights
By design, Smokeball has a familiar enough interface to appeal to most users. Within the system, various forms for different practice areas across the US are installed, meaning you won’t need to add most standardized forms into the system yourself. A time-tracking feature is easily initiated whenever you’re working with a client as it ties nicely into the invoicing and billing features, ensuring all billable hours are notated and itemized for the client.
Pricing is not revealed on the website without filling out a form to request a quote or calling the sales line at (877) – 758 0449. The standard rate runs $139 per user per month, with discounts available for larger firms. All the billing features are included so you won’t need to worry about extra fees for processing payments. The website you get with this is tailored to your liking and training is offered to use useful features of the site, such as the blog.
Over 14,000 forms for different practice areas available on system, saving a firm time for searching and manually uploading.
Pricing isn’t a straight-forward, set amount, published on web page with features laid out for different price points.
Integrations with LawPay and QuickBooks automates the entirety of invoicing account reconciliation.
Advanced insights and other features may not be as valuable to small practices already running near peak performance.
A website and training comes with your subscription to Smokeball.
Those not capitalizing on all the features find that this decreases the value of the system.
As a comprehensive solution for practice management, the Smokeball system does it all while integrating with other productivity suites such as Microsoft Office and even VOIP phone services to make sure your calls are logged and time is captured. To learn more, click here.
Some firms may have a system in place (possibly, one of the solutions listed above) that suits their needs for retaining information, such as documents and logging hours. The systems listed below are designed for general industry, meaning most don’t inherently cater to law by design, but they can work for lawyers. These systems prove useful in a couple scenarios: meeting needs for those looking for just simple CRM features or those seeking more powerful engagement tools to grow a business.
The Bitrix24 system is unique, standing out as a powerful CRM with heavy emphasis on communication at perhaps one of the best rates in the market. Built in 2012, the company has evolved to offer solutions as an on-premise software and cloud-based service.
Rundown of Bitrix24 Highlights
The CRM portion of Bitrix24 features several kinds of “template setups” that can be applied to a service - one of which happens to be designed specifically for general law purposes. Contacts are easily imported from other databases (or spreadsheets), which serves as the foundation for the CRM system and can be later modified with other existing data to include relevant “tags” for related items stored in the system. Tools for social media are included for those looking to increase visibility on a social intranet or on a broader scale by integrating with social media.
The pricing tiers are on par with the rest of the market however, the Free plan has the most generous offerings among competition with support for up to 12 users with one administrator and 5 Gb of storage. The Plus plan essentially doubles the capacity of users and storage for $39 a month with discounts offered when paid in full for longer terms, up to 24 months. The built-in VoIP calling feature is optional, with phone number rentals ranging from $4 to $11 a month and rates as low as $0.015 per minute.
Ideal solution for those who want to build rapport as a thought leader, gauging influence through social media.
Pricing isn’t a straight-forward, set amount, published on web page with features laid out for different price point.
Free for those looking to simply manage contacts and incredibly inexpensive rates compared to both legal and regular CRMs.
Feature set is quite expansive and not ideal for those who won’t take advantage of the collaboration tools.
Integrates with several apps, notably Skrill which makes collecting payments easy and inexpensive.
The on-premise solution likely only appeals to companies still using an internal server.
The Bitrix24 system is remarkable in several ways, namely by allowing lawyers to leverage their knowledge and publish content to social media for modern marketing efforts. To learn more, click here.
Though not a CRM specifically geared toward the legal community, Contactually is fined-tuned for business development efforts. This system offers a multitude of data retention tools as well as an alarm clock-esque kind of function to keep you on point with business matters.
Rundown of Contactually Highlights
Even though the system doesn’t include a slew of custom features for law, Contactually is incredibly useful for those inclined to drive business. As an intelligent system, the more it’s utilized, the more it learns, and the greater impact it has on identifying business opportunities by drawing on your network.
The systems main objective is found in it’s best feature which reaches out to leads with an automated messaging suite. Pricing starts at $59 a month per month with a 15% savings if paid annually, with more advanced features at higher pricing tiers as well as great savings when paying annually.
Ideal for those with a drive for new client acquisition.
System requires time and tweaking to suite legal needs.
Great if not looking for an intricate CRM software solution.
Few integrations but great for those who are more inclined to stick with existing communication tools.
Powerful analytics for those on the business end of a law practice.
Not ideal for those seeking something designed for law for little to no effort.
Though not intrinsically a custom fit for law firms, the Contactually software can drive sales by assisting with identifying and converting leads. To learn more, click here.
The main purpose of Infusionsoft is for lead generation, sales, and marketing. If your law firm is looking to grow and do so quickly, the investment in this powerful system may prove to be well worth the cost.
Rundown of Infusionsoft Highlights
The system isn’t inherently designed to help with law as it doesn’t feature a case-by-case document management, time tracking, or the same kind of payment processing like legal CRMs. What it does offer powerful engagement and email marketing tools, which proves particularly useful for those looking to grow in high-need, competitive practice models such as personal injury or bankruptcy law.
Plan pricing varies and the company often runs specials. The most basic service starts at $199 a month for up to three users for contact management and marketing automation, storing up to 2500 contacts and enabling up to 12,500 emails to be sent a month. There are a few other tiers included between this and the highest plan which runs $379 a month for 5 users, 10,000 contacts, and 50,000 emails.
An incredibly powerful tool for small law firms looking to turn every stone and grow as a result.
Not for firms seeking a law-oriented system but rather for the marketing/sales end of your company.
Reporting analytics revealing successes and failures, easily track marketing expenditures for the best ROl.
One-time setup fee of $299.
A substantial amount of support is available to subscribers as well as a knowledge base for advanced operations and marketing tactics.
Very expensive and not a great fit for small firms handling criminal or civil cases outside of major metropolitan areas.
If you’re ready to go full-speed on marketing, Infusionsoft provides the tools for your team to grow the business through sophisticated tools for lead intake and client retention. To learn more, click here.
As a CRM used the world over, Insightly’s large user base speaks highly of its support, both from the company standpoint and user base perspective. Founded in 2009, people who have adopted Insightly have come to prefer this system for its malleability, power, and low cost.
Rundown of Insightly Highlights
A lot of times, users may find that the stock setup for the “pre-fab” legal CRMs doesn’t quite flow the way they’d like which is where Insightly comes into play. With a little time, you can tweak Insightly to do everything you need with highly customizable forms that are simple to modify to suit your needs. Several integrations are available, such as TimeCamp for tracking time or Xero for invoicing.
You can get started using Insightly for free with a limited set of options and 200 Mb of online storage. When you’re ready to dive into the system, the $29 a month per user (when billed annually or $35 monthly) for the Plus plan that includes a customizable CRM, reporting, and basic dashboards. When you’re ready to take advantage of the customizable dashboards and advanced automation, the Professional plan will run $49 a month per user, if paid annually.
Highly customizable system for those who want something tailored to their firm’s needs.
Requires some work to make the system as powerful as other market solutions.
Several app integrations mean a wide variety of tools are available.
Slight learning curve and some apps will take longer to “figure out” than others.
Case management behaves just like project management with a different label and you can design it to behave in a way that works best for you.
Requires some time to tweak the project management tools as you’ll need to define certain aspects to work with law.
Insightly is a powerful tool with almost endless options, allowing you to make your own flavor of legal CRM with added capabilities for handling marketing initiatives to facilitate growth. To learn more, click here.
As one of the more unique CRM solutions on the market, Prophet CRM is a solution that exists within Microsoft Outlook. Functioning as an embedded application, it seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office tools, making workflow a breeze simply by design.
Rundown of Prophet CRM Highlights
Prophet CRM allows users to easily integrate information into the system where many fields will populate automatically by syncing data from Outlook. It assists any legal practice area by helping users prioritize tasks, providing systems for easily collecting and consolidating information, and also providing insights via analytics reporting. In this sense, it can be used to manage the workflow like solutions labeled “case management” as well as assist with building relationships through analyzing metrics from various interactions.
Three different pricing tiers of service are available, billed per user a month when paid annually. The $25 Contact Manager plan provides an advanced contact manager with sales automation and email tracking. The Team plan at $55 expands on this solution by adding sales pipeline management and advanced analytics. The $75 Enterprise plan adds broader containers, which could be useful for large practices with several lawyers in different practice areas, working under a single firm.
Simplified system for contact management that works within Outlook.
Not specifically designed for law practices – requires some setup.
Captures data from emails, making it easy to retain contact and other information from clients and prospects.
Does not include a time-tracking tool to capture work with hourly clients.
Analytics reveal performance and insight that will help a firm grow with proper attention.
An API is available for advanced integrations however, Zapier is inherently included.
Lawyers relying on Outlook as their preferred email client may find that Prophet CRM includes the perfect amount of power to leverage their existing operations, without including all the extensive features found in applications designed specifically for law. To learn more, click here.
Of everything you’ll find on this list, Streak is perhaps the most refined and most unique. Rather than existing as a standalone CRM with various integrations, it in itself is an integration for Gmail, similar to Prophet CRM covered earlier.
Rundown of Streak Highlights
This is one of the most minimal systems you can find on the market while still qualifying as a full CRM. It is not inherently designed for law, however, it supplements those using Gmail with workflow functions and accessing advanced customer relation features for tasks like sales and document management. Being part of Gmail, it natively works with all Google apps.
There is completely free version, providing simple CRM features, advanced email templates, and up to 200 tracked emails a month. The pricing at the next step for the Professional Plan runs $49 a month per user, unlocking full CRM capabilities, advanced reporting, and integrations beyond Google via Zapier. At $99, custom permissions become possible for a minimum of 10 users plus, you acquire a dedicated customer success manager that can help with marketing side of your business.
If relying on Gmail and other Google products, this is the best answer for a refined CRM.
Best for a single user although paid plans allows for more users.
Works much the interface for Google products so learning is pain-free.
Less powerful reporting compared to other services at the same price point.
Self-starters can grow their business on their own by capitalizing on the 200 tracked email allotment in the free version.
Not designed to help with any specific legal tasks out of the box.
If you’re seeking a minimalist solution and like to roll up your sleeves, then Streak is for you. To learn more, click here.
The company behind Zoho has been around since 1996, developing technology solutions for companies all over the world. This has led the company to produce some incredibly useful tools over the years, including the Zoho CRM.
Rundown of Zoho CRM Highlights
For those who like to save money and consider themselves self-starters when if comes to learning technology, the Zoho CRM can offer a lot of functionality if you’re willing to put the time into it. That said, it’s not a turnkey solution for a law practice, but it can be tweaked to do exactly what you need for the lowest price among competitors. This is ideal for solo practicioners or small firms with just a few people who will find some of the features included with other services unnecessary.
Starting at $12 a month per user, pricing for Zoho CRM is cheap. Higher paid plans unlock more features, so if you find yourself wanting more features such as workflow or sales signals (part of competitor systems specifically designed for law) you can simply upgrade your service instead of migrating to a new provider.
The best value in the CRM market, starting at just $12 a month per user.
Requires a lot of fine-tuning to rival the power of systems designed for the legal industry.
Features such as time tracking, payment processing, and more are available as mostly free integrations.
Third-party apps all have their own usage stipulations, and some may come with fees.
Easy creation of web forms and connection to calling services to hand receptionist or sales functions to someone else.
Some may find to build something replicating successful competitor models, pricing (including 3rd party integrations) is only slightly less.
If you’re willing to put a little time into Zoho CRM to save a good amount of money in the long run, this is perfect for those who economically conscious and good with technology. To learn more, click here.
Various solutions exist on the market that mostly focus on case management or some other features. Though most applications have a contact management system, they’re not as rich as the CRMs found in legal or more general services. These systems tend to focus on the workflow aspect for managing cases, rather than overemphasizing reporting analytics for firm operation or marketing endeavors.
This software came on the market after a gathering of the co-founders to discuss a dissatisfaction with the legal field, namely the limitations of popular software. This immediately spurred collaboration with some engineers and Filevine was created as a result. The system is designed for the legal community with a focus on collaboration and smooth operations via the workflow system.
Rundown of Filevine Highlights
Alongside the contact management system is a document manager that securely retains information in addition to automatically creating a network of hyperlinks to easily pull up relevant information when reviewing case files. A unique texting system is available to send one-way SMS updates to clients, meaning they won’t get access to a personal cell phone number. A collaboration feature allows communication with colleagues but has the capability to integrate with other parties (e.g., a medical provider, client, guardian ad litem, etc.) for individual cases.
Modern SMS system for engaging clients.
A bit higher on the cost spectrum, compared to competitor systems.
Helpful indexing and hyperlinking saves a substantial amount of time looking for relevant documents.
No integrated credit card processing system.
Integrates with a variety 3rd parties, including QuickBooks and Vinesign to eSign contracts, to name a couple.
Automatic tools will require some manual interaction when the system doesn’t pick up on the triggers programmed to create a hyperlink.
Though it is on the more expensive side, compared to most of the competition, extra features like the SMS and collaboration tools to reach parties beyond your internal team is not only unique, but useful. To learn more, click here.
Originating as a data processing business in 1982, this is arguably one of the most experienced companies in the market. Years of working with data, most notably for legal clients, drove development to cater to law firms, big and small. Today, they offer a hosted solution called Needles for case management.
Rundown of Needles Highlights
The primary focus of Needles is case management but without a lot of the relationship-building tools found in other developed CRM systems. The platform includes what the company refers to as “Checklist” which describes the workflow management system. This is supplemented by a document automation system that readies required information, based on how the case is flagged.
Needles uses an unconventional pricing schema compared to most systems which bill per user every month. For the first 10 users, you pay a flat per-user license fee of $1000 a user for a lifetime license of the server software. After the user threshold is reached, different, less expensive tiers apply for additional users. You are also required to pay for a year of support for at least the first year which equates to 18% of each user license fee. Hosting (versus installing the software on-site) will run $100 per month.
Refined contact management system for keeping track of client system.
Extremely high cost to start.
Document automation saves time when starting a case as this has the capability of putting all required information at necessary party’s fingertips.
Extra fees for training, support, and hosting, make the ongoing costs higher than many hosted competitor systems with more features.
The intake management system allows easy entry of new clients into the system.
Other systems can be hosted alongside the Needles applications (whether they host or you do) however, this is considering a poor practice in managing IT infrastructure.
Needles has been on the market for some time and been refined over the years by people with experience in both law and software. For those with their own application server, whether it’s physical or a VM, the license fees may pay for themselves in time. To learn more, click here.
Tab3 originated in 1979, actually starting as company serving the legal community with software solutions. This company’s three decades of experience with law and knowing the needs of individuals working in the field has continually refined the system over time, allowing it to become the polished product it is today.
Rundown of PracticeMaster Highlights
The various services from Tab3 are broken down into several categories under PracticeMaster which serves as the company’s case management system. Unlike most solutions on the market, it exists as a standalone application but with an ability to be installed on one or more workstations. It features a contact manager that works with a document management system and instead of a complete workflow solution, it utilizes a calendar that integrates with Outlook.
Pricing is dependent on which services are selected and how it will be installed on a device. You can buy the license out right, or you can access all features with monthly plan that runs about $90 a month per user with all three core applications (Tab3 Billing, Practice Master, and Financials) included.
The license for the standalone PracticeMaster application starts at $880 for up to three users. Added features, such as the Tabs3 Billing, which includes a time-tracking application start at $445 for a single user, moving upward to $695 for a multi-user solution (up to 5 people). There are server applications which run on Windows Server editions (or at least a NT Professional desktop version running Microsoft SQL) that start around $1600 mark for a single user, allowing remote access when properly configured.
Desktop applications are ideal for those with limited or poor Internet access who regularly backup data.
Company doesn’t offer hosting options for those who don’t want to deal with hardware.
No hosting fees mean you only pay once unless support is required down the road.
Will require professional assistance if not tech savvy.
All software comes with a 30-day money back guarantee plus, support is included for the first year.
High initial investment costs for the license but ultimately, less expensive in the long run compared to hosted-counterparts.
If you’re looking to supplement a small firm with a locally installed software solution, PracticeMaster is a good investment if purchasing the license. You can also opt to start with the monthly plan for a length of time to get a feel beyond the 30-day trial period. It’s a great middle ground for attorneys who have practiced for a while but without the aid of much software, so long as they have a tech guy who can maintenance the machines running the applications on occasion. To learn more, click here.
The SmartAdvocate system came about after the founder experienced organizational difficulties while his firm was expanding. It originally catered to personal injury lawyers and mass tort litigation but today the system is used by all types of practices.
Rundown of SmartAdvocate Highlights
The dashboard has been designed to put as much information in front of you as possible while allowing you filter what you see. In this sense, its design caters to large firms as well as smaller practices with a high volume of cases. The document management system includes a bar code that can be affixed to documents, allowing easy transition from print to digital storage. The workflow system can also be modified to suite your type of practice beginning with the intake process, which can reject clients and notify them when their case doesn’t fit your practice model.
Like some other solutions that have been on the market for a while, you have the option to install the software on a company server or you can take advantage of the hosted solution. However, pricing is not posted directly on the company website. After speaking with a representative through their online chat, then on the phone, pricing is as follows: $89 per user a month when billed yearly, or the entire software can be installed to a machine, starting at $5995 for a lifetime license.
Dashboard isn’t as business focused, compared to many solutions, allowing you to focus on cases at hand.
Difficult to get simple answers, such as pricing for a small firm raises some concerns, though the software is well reviewed.
Workflow automation beginning with intake saves a lot of time, especially when contacted by individuals seeking services for a case outside of your practice’s scope.
Installing on a server can save money in the long-run but will require support to keep the system healthy.
Award winning solution – best in 5 areas for 2017 and 2 years running per the national survey in the NY Law Journal.
Hosted option is more expensive than most of the competition.
The SmartAdvocate system proves useful, especially for those who are primarily seeking to utilize the workflow and time-tracking components of a case management solution. To learn more, click here.
Over the past couple decades, TrialWorks has been evolving to meet the needs of attorneys as a case management solution. The company has been building standalone desktop and server applications as well as a more-recent, hosted option to access your information while on the go.
Rundown of TrialWorks Features
TrialWorks includes several features you would expect from a modern case management solution such as a document generator and management system that can be easily searched in the system console, simple intake forms to add new clients, and a marketplace to add ala carte options. One of the more unique features is a bi-directional SMS feature to exchange messages with clients without giving up your personal mobile number. The fact that it can be installed to a local machine is great for those in remote areas or with poor Internet connections.
Depending on which type of service you select – installing the software on a local Windows machine or the hosted option – you’ll find different pricing which isn’t directly stated on the website. You’ll need to either use their contact form or ideally, give them a call at (303) 357 – 6500 as using the contact form generates an automated response without any pricing information.
A local installation option is great for those with a solid backup system and ideal where Internet service is sufferable.
Pricing isn’t directly stated on the site – you’ll need to contact a sales specialist to get this information as well as schedule a demo.
Database conversion allows the company to take your existing information and plug it into their system, even if it’s coming from another case management software.
System only runs on Windows, so Mac users who select the local installation option will need another PC or to setup their device to dual boot.
Communication tool allows you to communicate via text between clients or other parties without revealing your mobile number.
No built-in credit card processing and time tracking mechanism isn’t as automated as other solutions.
The TrialWorks software is a great solution for those who don’t need to be tethered to their system at all times and regular backup schedule. To learn more, click here.
Throughout the following sections, we’ll cover solutions on the market that are designed to assist firms with specialty solutions for certain practice areas. These applications are tailored to optimize the experience for managing certain types of cases, rather than catering to the general field of law.
Currently, a couple great solutions are on the market for PI, both of which cater to everyone from smaller firms handling single party cases while extending functionality for larger areas with more extensive litigation processes, such as mass tort litigation, class action suits, and more.
Designed specifically for personal injury lawyers, CloudLex caters to those working the plaintiff side of litigation. Born from the nation’s largest personal injury support litigation service support firm, Lexvia, the experiences from this organization have assimilated into a polished system for supporting those specializing in PI and beyond.
Rundown of CloudLex Highlights
The staple application of the CloudLex service roots in the case management system, referred to as Matter Manager. This workflow system works with other components of the system, such as the referral applications, as well as the Client Communicator, allowing attorneys to securely share information with clients plus, provide a portal for clients to upload information on their own. The system also integrates with many useful applications such as Microsoft Office, various Google products, and more.
The pricing structure varies, depending on the number of users and desired system capacity. The Self-Starter package starts at $150 per month but if paid annually, one month is free. This will include up to 150 matters that are active or closed, and archiving options are available (even if you disband from the service) for $25 a matter with a 10-year retention period. If you exceed the 150 matters, you can either upgrade to the next tier of service called Rising Star for $300 a month, or give them a call to work out a deal for a price between these two services.
Design is based on input from the largest litigation support network in the US with fine attention to detail for an ideal case management system for this area of practice.
Like other PI and mass litigation focused solutions, it doesn’t include payment processing or invoicing.
No limit to the size of matters (i.e. a case) stored in the system, which can be extensive.
On the pricey end for smaller firms but still competitive with the market, considering the value with specific tools for PI, mass tort litigation, and others.
Client Communicator saves immense time by sending out messages on your behalf plus, it provides a secure portal for clients to upload files with little interaction on your part.
Syncing may not occur instantaneously though this is often a result from a mishap on the other service’s end or because of a poor Internet connection.
The CloudLex solutions is a great choice for those working in PI who also take (or are planning) on tackling much larger cases. To learn more, click here.
The CoCounselor service is designed for lawyers who primarily work on the plaintiff side of litigation, serving multiple areas such as mass tort litigation, medical malpractice, personal injury, worker compensation, and class actions.
Rundown of CoCounselor Highlights
A contact manager integrates with a workflow service that tethers into a couple different automation processes. The system will automatically email parties in a case to give them updates, which is ideal when handling large cases with multiple plaintiffs to keep communication channels open without having to personally reach out to every individual unless necessary.
The company offers three different pricing tiers at $60, $80, and $120 a month per user: Lite, Standard, and Premium, respectively. The Lite version includes basic support and includes the service “as is.” The Standard option includes additional support, customization options CoCounselor developers can add to the system, plus they will integrate existing data from any source (including paper documents) into the system. Premium offers full support and complete customization for a perfect fit solution.
Automation with emails saves communicating with clients by updating selected parties involved in a case when certain milestones are reached.
Because of the nature of practices supported, no billing credit card or payment processing are built-in to the system.
The company will take care of integrating information from other sources whether an existing database, fileserver, spreadsheet, paper documents, etc.
Several integrations are possible but not as many as other similar solutions.
Task-tracking and reporting helps adapt and refine fee structures over time which is particularly useful for multi-party, plaintiff cases.
Invoices for clients outside of the large-scale practice areas will need to be manually forwarded from the system or with a 3rd party software.
The CoCounselor solution for personal injury and mass litigation allows lawyers to stay on track with cases and reduce time spent on unproductive tasks. To learn more, click here.
Assisting clients with bankruptcy is one of the more specialized areas of legal practice, hence the reason some developers crafted solutions specifically for this kind of law. Other case management systems prove useful for these kinds of matter but few (if any) include specific tools used almost exclusively by bankruptcy lawyers.
Below, we’ll provide overviews for the current top 3 providers in the market for bankruptcy law software.
The Best Case system first came to the market in the '90s as an early, comprehensive bankruptcy solution. Today, it has evolved to run on the modern architecture of today’s machines.
Rundown of Best Case Highlights
The most notable part about Best Case versus the other great solutions on the market is that it runs on a local machine, so the application doesn’t run from a highly-secure, cloud platform. Like other solutions, clients can enter a majority of their information on their own via on online questionnaire which you will be able access from any machine where you have the application installed. Calculating figures for presumption, commitment periods, and more can be accomplished with intuitive calculators built into the Best Case software.
As a solo practitioner, pricing will be based on whether you handle Chapter 7, 11, 12, 13, or all the above. The comprehensive option will cost a total around $2000 for a license, depending on the state where you handle said cases. If you want to add another attorney as a user to the Single-User License plan, this will run around $300 per extra user. The Multi-User License can accommodate up to three users on a local network and averages around $2700 for a license, depending on the state (or states) where you’ll be filing.
The system is user based so once you have a license, you can install the software anywhere, so long as you don’t exceed the simultaneous user restrictions.
Installs on a local machine, meaning you’ll need to have a solid backup plan to ensure data isn’t lost in case of a disaster.
Though the system isn’t cloud-based, the online questionnaire for clients can be accessed from anywhere to save time working on your customer’s cases.
Only installs to a Windows machine, so Mac users will need to either invest in a Windows machine or set their device up to dual boot.
For multi-tenant users, other users on the same local network can access the application with a web browser for simultaneous usage.
Not every form for your locality will be included at installation however, the support team will assist in aggregating these documents into your system.
Even though the software market has moved toward cloud-based “as a service” models, local installations are ideal for offices who take great care of their machines and locations where Internet service isn’t trustworthy. To learn more, click here.
LegalPRO has been in software for over three decades, serving the legal community with software designed to aid the bankruptcy process. The Jubilee system takes advantage of modern, cloud-based infrastructure to bring professionals valuable tools securely accessible from anywhere with a decent Internet connection.
Rundown of Jubilee Highlights
The Jubilee system is browser-based so you won’t need to install any additional software. For each case, the system walks you through each step of the process, providing additional context and advice for some of the trickier entries. Advanced calculation systems, such as the Means Test Calculator and others, assist determining presumption for Chapter 7 cases or the commitment period for Chapter 13.
A few different pricing structures are available, such as the Pay Per Case where you pay $49 to file for Chapter 7, 11, or 13 cases and is accessible for up to two users. At $51 a month, or $561 a year when paid annually, you can file up to 36 cases and add an unlimited of creditors to the system plus, it includes unlimited users. There is an Enterprise plan as well, but it requires speaking with a sale representative to determine pricing.
Guided system is simple to use and serves as a great training resource for employees who working their way towards a profession in law.
Has some integrations but lack popular options such as Google and Zapier.
Document automation helps compile and organize information for each individual matter in the case management system.
If you solely handle bankruptcy and work more than an average of 3 cases a month, you may need to decide between pursing the Enterprise package or paying extra for the Pay Per Case pricing.
Creditor Database automatically integrates most known creditors information with usually just a name and address.
Smaller, local creditors will need to be added manually but fortunately, these save in the system for future use with other clients.
As an experienced software provider, LegalPRO has adapted over the years to best serve the legal community. The Jubilee system is highly polished and incredibly affordable, with respect to other great solutions on the market. To learn more, click here.
Beginning in 2008, the idea came to fruition after years the founder spent observing and preparing cases while working as a paralegal. An interest in software, along with knowledge of case workflow, both lent hands in the creation of the bankruptcy case management system, NextChapter.
Rundown of NextChapter Highlights
Like other case management software, the dashboard gives an over view of active cases but with tailored information for bankruptcy. The intake portion is where this solution really shines as it allows clients to plug-in most (if not, all) their relevant debt information, streamlining the filing process with simple forms. The figures your client enters work with built-in calculation systems for Schedule I, SOFA, the Means Test, and others to evaluate client situations prior to presenting a case to the judge.
The cost for service begins at $79 per case for the Start plan which includes all the system features such as a case management system designed to handle bankruptcy matters, unlimited storage, and more. The next plan up (called Grow) runs $249 a month and provides unlimited filings. The Pro tier, just above the Grow plan, includes more in-depth support and costs $999 a year.
Intake solution called MyChapter greatly reduces the amount of time you spend on a case by walking clients through plugging in their own information.
The most basic plan is only economical if you handle a couple cases a month however, you can file for free when taking a pro bono case.
Over time, adding entities to the Common Creditor database reduces the amount of time it takes to organize a case.
Minimal integration options for 3rd party software.
For a more comprehensive case management solution, Clio users can integrate into NextChapter.
You’ll still need to manually review many customers information but, you’ll still move much faster
Attorneys handling bankruptcy cases find that NextChapter pays for itself many times over, especially after fleshing out databases with creditor information for your area. To learn more, click here.
On the market, there are only two solutions worth looking at, each offering a different set of services. These are the most reputable service providers for real estate and estate lawyers at the time this article was created.
Once you determine which CRM or case management software is best suited to your law practice, contact us at Smith.ai to explore integration opportunities with our legal answering service, as our software works with most of the ones on this list. When our receptionists receive a call from a new or existing client, we can pass call summaries into the CRM, add and update records, book appointments, complete lead intake forms, and more. For questions or to get started, reach us Monday through Friday between 5am – 6pm PT by phone at (650) 727-6484 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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