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Guide to Case Management Technology for Trial Lawyers
By Leslie Cushner, Cushner Law & Mediation, LLC
One of the most challenging parts about opening a new practice or revamping an old one is deciding which case management technology to use. A quick internet search reveals that there are seemingly endless choices out there for attorneys, each with different price points, features, and ratings. In an effort to put this information into a single place, members of GTLA’s executive committee recently sent our members a survey asking for their input on case management technology. Thanks to all of those who responded and shared their experiences, we have compiled some information about the platforms that our members most commonly use and hope this will be helpful to anyone considering making a change.
What it is: Amicus Online is a web-based case management software program that tracks and invoices billable time, automates important documents, and provides access to clients, cases, and matters. Users can schedule and track critical deadlines, generate documents automatically, and collaborate with clients and team-members while capturing and tracking billable time.
Pricing: Starting at $49 per user per month when billed annually or $59 per user per month when billed monthly.
The Verdict: While our members do not recommend Amicus for complex case management needs, it may be an option for solos or small firms who are not involved in multiple-party litigation or cases with heavy document production.
What it is: CASE Peer is a cloud-based case management system that offers case intake and task management tools, negotiation and litigation tracking, document management, reporting, and case timelines.
Pricing: Per user, per month. $65 per user for firms of 1-3 users, $75 per user for firms of 4-9 users, and $75 per user for firms of 10 or more users. No long-term contract required.
The Verdict: CASE Peer may be a good choice for firms who value accessibility.
What it is: Co-Counselor is a cloud-based legal management program designed to meet the needs of Plaintiff’s lawyers. Users gain access to a suite of solutions that provide information on the performance of their firm at a glance so they can redirect resources and adapt as needed. Tools include a task management feature designed to allow users to delegate work. Co-Counselor has a mobile app that allows users to access their schedule and contacts from anywhere.
Pricing: $65-$120 per user per month, depending on which features you want.
The Verdict: Co-Counselor may be a good choice for firms of any size that handle a high volume of cases.
What it is: Clio is a firm management system comprised of two different programs – Clio Grow manages client intake and Clio Manage provides case-management. Clio is a cloud-based system that enables law firms to track important deadlines, manage cases and documents, bill clients, and accept payments. The time-tracking feature allows users to track billable time directly while seeing billable hour targets and goals on a dashboard. Users can assign tasks to others and reporting features track team progress.
Pricing: Prices range from $39 to $125 per user per month. Annual subscriptions provide discounts compared to monthly options. Pricing information available on website. Pricing is separate for Clio Grow and Clio Manage (i.e. you do not have to have both).
The Verdict: Clio may be a good choice for solos or small firms who have diverse practice areas.
What it is: FileVine is a case management system that assists with document management, communication between teams and clients, and overall project management. Key features include bill and expense tracking, a settlement calculator, deadline management and reporting. Filevine allows users to record communications, tasks, notes, and comments in one place. It provides project management capabilities like assigning tasks and managing communications with employees, medical providers, experts, witnesses, and clients.
Pricing: FileVine pricing is not available on their website, but our members report that it is done on a per user/per month basis and subject to negotiation. Implementation generally requires a contractual obligation and there are costs for migration and training.
The Verdict: FileVine may be a good choice for firms of any size that practice primarily in the area of personal injury and routinely have teams collaborating on projects.
What it is: MyCase is a cloud-based legal management solution that helps attorneys in small size firms to manage communications with their clients and carry out daily business operations. It provides time tracking, accounting, case management, contact management, and docketing. It allows users to sync their calendars, facilitates electronic bill pay, and integrates with QuickBooks. Additional features include custom communication templates, case filing system, expense tracking, and dedicated client portal.
Pricing: Starting at $49 per user per month when billed annually, $59 per user per month when billed monthly.
The Verdict: MyCase may be a good option for those who want a basic platform for a good value and don’t mind that some of the advanced features are missing.
What it is: Needles is a case management platform that is available in either a server-based or a recently released cloud-based format. Needles offers workflow automation tools, document management, and configuration options that are designed specifically for personal injury firms.
Pricing: Pricing is not available on their website.
The Verdict: Needles may be good for small to medium sized personal injury firms, although it may be a good idea to wait a few months to allow them to work out the bugs in the new cloud-based platform.
What it is: Practice Panther is a legal management solution for small to large practices specializing in areas including bankruptcy, personal injury, family law, estate planning, and criminal law. The system is offered as a cloud-based solution with mobile apps for both iOS and Android users, allowing users to access the system remotely and sync data across multiple devices. Key features include case management, document management, calendaring and docketing, time tracking, billing and invoicing, trust accounting, CRM and payment processing, notifications and chats, and a client portal.
Pricing: $39-$79 per user, per month, depending on which features you want.
The Verdict: Practice Panther may be a good choice for firms that are looking for a user-friendly interface and don’t need as many bells and whistles.
What it is: Time Matters is a case management and billing program from LexisNexis. It gives firms the ability to centralize client data, manage billable hours with automated time entry features, preserve data integrity, automate common tasks and workflows, and maintain complete records of activities and history related to cases.
Pricing: Prices are not listed on website.
The Verdict: Our members who report using Time Matters indicate that this program is in need of updates and would not recommend it at this time. ●
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leslie Cushner founded Cushner Law & Mediation in Statesboro in 2020 where they offer personal injury, family law, and mediation services. Leslie is a graduate of the GTLA LEAD Program and currently serves on the GTLA New Lawyers Division Board. She can be reached at email@example.com.