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Comparing the best software for law firms in 2024

software for law firms
By Sylva Sivz BComm. Reviewed by: James Rose. Last Updated July 4, 2024

If you’re looking to invest in legal software to help your law firm work more efficiently, you might be feeling overwhelmed by choice. So how do you decide which software is best for your firm? We’re here to help you figure that out!

In this post, we’ll explore what features to look for in legal practice management software. We’ll then weigh the pros, cons, and pricing of some of the best software for law firms and attorneys to help you make your choice. 

Let’s explore what’s out there! 

Choosing software for law firms and attorneys

Where do legal professionals waste time? 

First, let’s talk about where time gets wasted when you don’t have legal software. On any given day, lawyers, attorneys, and other legal professionals spend more time than they’d like to on:

  • Administrative tasks like logging their hours and preparing invoices
  • Preparing legal documents
  • Locating and organizing legal documents
  • Sending clients emails back and forth 
  • Sitting in team meetings to discuss case status 

That’s where legal practice management software comes to the rescue! 

What to look for in legal practice management software (features)

The top law practice management software platforms offer many of the same features, but you need to know what you’re looking for. Here’s a quick overview of some offerings you’ll come across in these cloud-based solutions and how they help you. 

Case management

Case management capabilities help you organize all your client notes and store relevant documents all in one place as you prepare for court. 

Task management 

This feature helps you assign specific to-dos for yourself or to other lawyers and attorneys on your time to organize case details and move projects along. It helps keep your law firm on the same page when it comes to knowing the status of a case. 

Client intake

Rather than collecting client data over email to onboard your clients, legal management software provides you with built-in questionnaires you can use to securely collect sensitive information and documents from your clients quickly. 

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Secure client portal

Client portals are where you go to store relevant documents and manage all communication with your clients once you’ve onboarded them. Leading law practice management software helps you keep all information and conversations confidential and securely protected.

Time tracking 

A time tracking feature helps you capture and analyze where all your time goes per client, case, or task to help you bill clients more accurately. The best software comes with simple clocking features you can flick on and off as you switch between tasks. 

Time tracking tool

Document automation

A huge time-saving feature is a document automation tool that speeds up the creation of legal documents. Legal management software typically offers helpful templates that populate your documents for you, so you spend less time creating them from scratch. 

Invoicing and billing

Practice management software takes the manual creation of invoicing off your plate. It’ll automatically generate bills for you and send them to your clients upon project completion. 

Credit card payments

Software for attorneys and lawyers facilitates financial transactions by letting clients pay for their services online with credit cards. A no-brainer for a must-have feature.

PracticePanther online payments

Reporting 

The best law practice management software helps you get a visual snapshot of how your lawyers and attorneys are performing, your revenue, and where you can make tweaks to productivity. You can create these reports whenever you need them or automate how often they’re delivered to you. 

Integrations 

Software for law firms and attorneys needs to connect with other tools you’re already using for your workflows. As you explore your options, make sure it offers integrations for other tools you might use regularly (Outlook, Gmail, Quickbooks, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc). The more (and better) integrations the provider can offer, the more seamless your workflows can be. 

Top law practice management software 

We’ll now compare some of the best legal practice management software out there. These platforms provide lawyers and attorneys with a comprehensive suite of tools to manage every aspect of the client journey, from intake to billing.

If you’re looking for standalone tools to handle more specific functions like time tracking, expense tracking, or client intake, check out our post Tools & apps for lawyers. 

1. Clio 

Clio software for law firms

Clio is without a doubt the market leader for law practice management software. It’s suitable for law firms of any size, from enterprise firms to medium-sized firms and small law practices run by solo attorneys.

Practice areas supported 

  • Administrative Law
  • Civil Litigation Law
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Employment Law
  • Family Law
  • Personal Injury Law
  • Business and Compliance
  • Elder Law
  • Estate Planning Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Government Law
  • In-House Counsel
  • General Practice 
Clio dashboard

Clio Pros

With a 4.7-star rating on Capterra from 1,598 reviews, several users have said that switching to Clio was one of the best decisions they ever made for a few common reasons:

  • Its user-friendliness. Its intuitive interface is easy to navigate, guiding users in such a way that they never get lost in the dashboard.
  • Clio offers helpful training videos to onboard new customers as well as excellent customer support.
  • Many users mention Clio’s time-tracking tool as a favorite feature given its ease of use.
  • Clio’s mobile app helps lawyers and attorneys work easily on the go. They don’t have to be at a desktop to log their hours, access documents, and touch base with clients on the road if needed.
  • Users commend Clio for being a very forward-thinking SaaS provider that’s always deploying new features that enhance law firm productivity.

Clio Cons 

As for the Clio disadvantages, some things that users complain about are:

  • There’s no way to restore deleted work and files if someone in the law firm makes a mistake.
  • Document storage and folder organization can be improved. For that reason, some law firms still rely on document management platforms like OneDrive.
  • Even though Clio offers several integrations to optimize workflows, many integrations don’t exist yet, and some of the ones that do need improvement. 

Overall, Clio seems to offer far more pros than cons to the average user. This review in itself tells all:

Clio Capterra review

Clio Pricing

Looking at Clio’s monthly pricing options, its subscriptions start at $49 USD/ month for its EasyStart subscription and go up to $149 USD/month for its Complete subscription. 

2. PracticePanther

PracticePanther for law firms

PracticePanther is another example of 360 legal practice management software used by tens of thousands of solo lawyers and attorneys as well as law firms of all sizes. Although it has far fewer than Clio reviews, it also boasts a 4.7-star rating on Capterra.

Practice areas supported 

  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Defense
  • Elder Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Family Law
  • Health Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Personal Injury Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Tax Law
  • Traffic Law
  • Will & Estate Planning Law
PracticePanther dashboard

PracticePanther Pros

Some top reasons why users praise PracticePanther are:

  • The ease of sending new client intake forms.
  • A very easy and intuitive interface that gives you multiple ways to accomplish a task 
  • Lots of helpful customer support videos and guides 

PracticePanther Cons

Some things users have complained about are:

  • Issues running into maximum file sizes. Most attachments are too large to upload to Practice Panther and attach to emails.
  • Inconsistencies with certain features within the platform. When attempting to do a task one way, you can find those features, but when trying to complete the same task a different way, some of those features are missing.
  • The client portal needs several improvements for better client communication. 

Practice Panther Pricing

Monthly pricing may also be another factor that puts PracticePanther at a disadvantage as it’s slightly more costly than Clio. Its plans start at $59 USD for a Solo Plan and up to $99 USD per user for its Business Plan. 

3. CARET Legal

Caret Legal software for law firms

CARET Legal (formerly Zola suite) is designed to handle a variety of practice management tasks for the evolving needs of mid-sized law firms. It also has a good review rating of 4.5 stars on Capterra, although this rating comes from just over a hundred reviews. 

Practice areas supported

  • Real Estate Law
  • Employment Law
  • Insurance Defense
  • Civil Litigation
  • Personal Injury
  • Estate Planning
  • Intellectual Property
  • Criminal Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Family Law
Caret Legal dashboard

CARET Legal Pros

Happy customers mention their satisfaction with the platforms:

  • Simple time entry features to track hours and billing
  • Helpful reporting functionality for data captured
  • Easy accessibility through a web-based login when working from home

CARET Legal Cons

Even though CARET Legal has a high rating at first glance, it appears to have earned it a while ago (between 6 and 7 years ago). The more recent reviews feature plenty of complaints from dissatisfied users complaining about:

  • Poor quality of customer support, causing delays in resolving issues
  • The overall quality of the platform and how it functions, causing several errors and impacting productivity as a result — not what you want to see when you’re buying software!

Our view on CARET Legal is that while it initially impressed users with its case management, billing, document management, and client communication tools, the company hasn't made sufficient ongoing investments in product improvement compared to more innovative providers like Clio and Practice Panther.

Pricing

Caret Legal’s subscriptions start at $79 USD per user, per month for its Enterprise plan and up to $139 USD per user per month for its Enterprise Advance plan. One thing to note is that whichever plan you use is only billed annually. 

4. CaseFox 

CaseFox software for law firms

CaseFox is another cloud-based software for law firms. It’s used by solo legal professionals as well as large and enterprise law firms. CaseFox also has a high rating of 4.5 stars on Capterra, with just under 100 reviews. 

Practice areas supported 

  • Health Law
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Employment Law
  • Government Law
  • Personal Injury Law
  • Cybersecurity
  • Criminal Law 
  • Real Estate Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Immigration Law
CaseFox dashboard

CaseFox Pros

  • Great time and attendance tracking feature
  • Affordable, fair, and flexible pricing structure that makes it accessible for the solo firm
  • Reliable integrations with platforms like Google Drive, Law Pay, and Dropbox
  • Good customer service 

CaseFox Cons

  • Document management features can be more robust and don’t compare to other providers
  • Reporting features are fairly limited 
  • UI/UX is a little clunky, overwhelming, and hard to navigate at first 
  • Limited customization options 

CaseFox Pricing

Case Fox is the only option in this list with a free plan available. Its monthly plans start at $0 USD/month for a Solo Plan which allows you up to 4 cases. Its Pro Plan supports unlimited cases and comes at a price of $39 USD/month. It also offers Enterprise plans, but you’ll have to contact them for pricing. 

What’s the verdict?

Based on these reviews, our two cents are that:

CaseFox is your best bet if you’re a solo legal professional or a small law firm looking for something both affordable and reliable. You simply can’t beat that pricing structure and you’ll get all the features you need to run your practice smoothly.

On the other hand, if you’re a medium, large, or enterprise law firm, then you’d be better off going with a market leader like Clio or PracticePanther since these two options both bring strong reviews and comparable features but a slight difference in pricing. 

The choice is really up to you. Based on the market position and the number of public reviews, however, we have a feeling that Clio would be your best bet.  

Streamline client intake with Content Snare

With our intuitive form-builder and templates for law firms, it’s never been easier to create powerful client intake forms and organize your case data.

Work smarter and improve your client experience with Content Snare. 

Start your free trial

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Sylva Sivz

Sylva Sivz is a seasoned copywriter here at Content Snare, based out of Vancouver, Canada. She has spent years working in agency environments and moonlights as a touring house DJ!

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