It’s been two years since I last wrote about legal software systems. Since then, I’ve learned about some new options that are worth taking a look at. My latest list includes practice management, case management and customer relationship management systems.

Practice management solutions handle the entirety of the firm’s business functions — including accounting, reporting and even marketing. Case management systems, on the other hand, focus on the firm’s internal needs regarding the processing and storing of case and client data. Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps you manage your business relationships effectively and assist with the logistics of handling your client relationships (including automated contact management and progress tracking), allowing you to manage leads and extract data to help you analyze relationships, your sales pipeline, and your success rate with leads and clients.

Regardless of the type of system you are looking for, you’ll need to do your homework and follow best practices to ensure you get the right system: Define your needs and goals, take the time to research, and then demo a short list of products.

(Note: The list below was compiled after looking at product websites, multiple product reviews and user reviews. The product specifications here are the most up-to-date to our knowledge, but keep in mind that software developers are constantly updating their products.)

LEAP

What it is: an integrated practice and case management software

Who it is for: solo and small law firms

What it will do: LEAP will help your firm become more efficient, flexible and profitable. It allows everyone in a small law firm to work collaboratively, using a single integrated system that enables you to do more with the same number of people. LEAP combines an integrated document management system, trust accounting, time recording and billing. Because everything runs in the cloud, LEAP users can merge letters, forms and templates with client data anywhere. LEAP also has an extensive library of document templates and preconfigured matter types, helping cut down on data entry by automating your most commonly used forms.

Key features:

  • Mobile App
  • Document Creation and Management
  • Automated Legal Forms
  • Trust Accounting
  • Billing Software
  • Matter Management
  • Time Recording
  • Legal Software Integrations
  • Email Management

FILEVINE

What it is: a cloud-based case management system

Who it is for: small and midsize legal firms and legal professionals

What it will do: Filevine helps with managing case documents, communication and project management. This software lets users record conversations, tasks, notes and comments in one place. It provides project management capabilities such as assigning tasks and managing communication with employees, medical providers, experts, witnesses and clients. Users can also send case updates to their clients via text messages. Filevine provides workflow-automation tools that let users automatically generate follow-up tasks after an initial task is completed. The settlement calculator lets users evaluate various settlement scenarios, factors in medical reductions and provides payment options. It provides data security through server-side verification, HTTPS encryption, data backup and e-payment security features.

Key features:

  • Bill and Expense Tracking
  • Settlement Calculator
  • Deadline Management
  • Record Management and Advanced Reporting
  • Document Management
  • Calendars
  • Custom Reports
  • Integrations

SMOKEBALL

What it is: a cloud-based legal practice management system

Who it is for: small firms

What it will do: Smokeball can be customized to fit any legal focus and users can create workflows and manage tasks in a way that best suits their practices. The email management feature includes search functionality that can search the full text of all emails. Smokeball includes a library preloaded with legal forms. The system is able to pull client and case information to fill in the necessary forms automatically. Users can create shareable calendars and sync calendar events with Outlook.

Key Features:

  • Case Management
  • Contact Management
  • Calendaring
  • Time Tracking
  • Billing and Accounting
  • Mobile App iOS and Android Devices

SHAPE LEGAL

What it is: a cloud-based business management system with CRM capabilities

Who it is for: caters to multiple industry verticals, including legal, real estate, mortgage, education and construction.

What it will do: Shape is designed to manage online marketing and promotions, capture leads from online sources, organize sales pipelines, and connect with customers. Shape offers team collaboration tools that facilitate project information sharing within and across departments. It offers a centralized repository to store all documents, contacts and accounts in one place that is accessible by users according to their roles and permission levels.

Key features:

  • Online Intake Form Builder
  • Legal Integration with Needles and Clio
  • Case Status Monitor
  • Settlement Calculator
  • Document Storage
  • Call Scripting
  • Task Scheduling
  • Integration with Outlook and Gmail
  • Billing
  • Calendar Clerk

For additional legal software options, take a look at my previous articles, Choosing Law Firm CRM Software? Here are the Pros and Cons of Each Option and 4 CRM Options Built for Lawyers. I would love to hear about the legal software system your firm uses. Contact me, Jennifer Faivre, at jfaivre@jaffepr.com.