There is an increasing interest within the legal community to investigate the various solutions available for managing your cases, your documents, and your overall practice.  The solutions available are numerous and deciding which serves your needs best and most economically is a challenge.  Determining your needs and prioritizing them would be an important first step in the decision-making process.

While it’s fairly clear that document management software is primarily focused on document storage, organization, and access, it may not be quite as apparent what the differences are between case management and practice management solutions.  Keep in mind that many of these solutions also include document management within them.

Case management software provides tools for collecting and tracking case-related information such as deadlines, evidence, witnesses and usually documents and email as well. 

Practice management software helps firms manage their firm processes along with case management and document management.  These processes can include client intake/prospecting, calendaring, billing, client communication and other features that help with firm processes and workflows.

There is overlap in each of the solutions and some of the broad things to consider are:

  • Product – Does it offer the features and solutions you need?
  • Security – Does it meet your security requirements and those of your cybersecurity insurance provider?  What is the encryption method and where is data stored?
  • Ease of Use – Is it user-friendly? This is one of the most important items for your users and ultimate success of the solution.
  • Support – How is support provided? What are the hours and method for obtaining? (phone, email, web-based, chat)
  • Pricing – Is it billed monthly or annually? Are you locked into a contract? Is startup and migration included or extra? How much storage is included in your pricing?

You may not think about this at the beginning, but you may want to learn what happens to your data if you decide to switch to another solution.  Are you able to export your data if you change your mind or close your practice?

Some features to consider and determine their importance include:

  • Client Intake Process
  • Calendaring
  • Case Management
  • Contact Management
  • Document/Email Management
  • Document Generation
  • Firm Communications
  • Client/Co-counsel Communications
  • Billing
  • Accounting
  • Reporting

There is a lot to consider.  We recommend that you compare several different solutions and have demos of at least 3 products that you believe would work for you and your firm.  The demonstration process allows you to see the product in action and provides an opportunity to ask the questions.

Where do you start?  Capterra has comparisons of over 300 Case and Practice Management software applications.

Plummer Slade is ready to assist with your transition to whichever products best meet your needs.  Please contact us with any questions you may have during your evaluation process.