Legal software

Legal tech is here to stay. The question isn’t whether a law firm should adopt legal software but how they can use it to their maximum advantage.
legal software sample windows
Technology has significantly impacted the legal field, bringing about positive transformations and improvements. The evolution of technology in the legal field is ongoing, and future developments likely include further integration of AI, advancements in legal research tools, and innovations in areas like virtual reality for courtroom simulations. Embracing these and other technological advancements enables legal professionals to enhance their practices, improve client services, and stay competitive in an ever-changing landscape.

What is legal tech?

Short for legal technology, legal tech refers to the use of technology and software to provide legal services, improve legal processes, and enhance the practice of law. Legal tech encompasses a wide range of lawyer tools and applications designed to streamline and optimize various aspects of the legal profession to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and provide greater access to legal services. The benefits of legal technology far outweigh the risks of not embracing it, and the days of firms clinging to outdated systems and processes are over.

How does legal tech work?

Legal tech works by leveraging various technologies to enhance and streamline processes within the legal industry. Here are some examples of legal technology and how their chief components work:
  • Case management software: Technology that helps law firms organize and manage their cases more efficiently. Case management software typically includes features such as document storage, task tracking, and deadline reminders. Automation tools within case management software streamline routine tasks, reduce manual effort, and minimize the risk of errors.
  • Document automation: Legal document automation involves creating templates for standard legal documents. Users input specific variables, and the software generates customized documents based on predefined rules to significantly reduce the time spent on repetitive document drafting tasks, increasing overall efficiency.
  • Data management: eDiscovery tools help legal professionals identify relevant electronic data for legal cases, including emails, documents, and other digital information. Once data is identified, the software assists in analyzing and organizing it for use in legal proceedings, reducing the time and effort required.
  • Search algorithms: Legal research platforms utilize advanced search algorithms to sift through vast legal information databases, helping lawyers find relevant cases, statutes, and precedent quickly. Some platforms can cross-reference and analyze legal texts to provide insight into how various cases and legal principles are related.
  • Contract management: AI and machine learning can be applied to contract review processes to extract critical information, identify risks, and provide insight. Machine learning algorithms can analyze historical legal data to predict case outcomes or assist in strategic decision-making.
  • Virtual platforms: Online dispute resolution (ODR) platforms provide virtual spaces for parties to resolve disputes through negotiation or mediation. These platforms may include communication tools, such as video conferencing, to facilitate discussions between parties.
  • Data analysis: Legal analytics tools analyze large data sets to identify patterns, trends, and essential insights. Legal professionals use these perceptions to develop litigation strategies, anticipate case outcomes, and make data-driven decisions.
  • Smart contracts: Blockchain can facilitate the creation and execution of smart contracts—self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement written directly into code. Blockchain technology provides a secure and transparent way to verify the authenticity of documents and transactions.
Although the circumstances may vary, the ultimate goal of legal tech is to use technology to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the practice of law. Legal tech solutions are designed to address specific pain points within the legal industry by offering innovative ways to approach traditional processes.

What is the legal software definition?

The term “legal software” means computer programs and applications designed to help legal professionals, law firms, and legal departments manage certain aspects of their jobs. This type of software is intended to streamline legal processes, enhance efficiency, and improve the delivery of legal services.

What Does Legal Software Do?

Legal software can address various tasks such as case management, document drafting, time tracking, billing, and legal research, and offers numerous benefits to law firms, such as:

  • Organization: Legal software facilitates efficient organization and storage of legal documents, making it easy to locate and retrieve information quickly, reducing time spent searching for documents, and minimizing the risk of errors.
  • Time tracking: Many legal software solutions include time-tracking features that automate the process of recording billable hours to decrease the likelihood of missed billable hours and help ensure accurate invoicing.
  • Workflow automation: Legal software often includes case management tools that streamline workflows. Automation of routine tasks, document generation, and deadline tracking can significantly enhance productivity.
  • Communication: Legal software helps law firms comply with changing regulations by tracking updates and ensuring that documents are up-to-date to decrease the risk of legal errors and potential liabilities.
  • Risk management: AI and machine learning can be applied to contract review processes to extract critical information, identify risks, and provide insight. Machine learning algorithms can analyze historical legal data to predict case outcomes or assist in strategic decision-making.
  • Data security: Legal software often has robust security features to protect sensitive client information to help law firms maintain client confidentiality and adhere to data protection regulations.
  • Research capability: Legal research can be time-consuming, but legal software often integrates with legal databases, making it easier for lawyers to access relevant information quickly.
  • Remote access: Legal software enables lawyers to access case files and documents remotely, an attractive option for firms that offer flexible work arrangements.
  • Data analysis: Legal software often includes reporting tools that allow law firms to analyze performance metrics that can inform strategic decisions and identify areas for improvement.

The initial investment in legal software can seem significant, but it will yield substantial returns. When firms leverage legal software, they increase efficiency and productivity, reduce manual effort, minimize errors, enhance client relationships, and save time and money.

What does legal practice management software do?

Legal practice management software helps law firms and legal professionals organize, manage, and optimize daily operations and workflows. By consolidating various features into one centralized platform, firms can optimize internal processes, improve communication and collaboration, enhance client services, and increase the overall success and efficiency of the practice.

What is a legal CRM?

Legal Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is software designed to help law firms and legal professionals manage and maintain client relationships. A legal CRM system focuses on the unique needs of legal practices, providing tools to streamline client interactions, improve communication, and enhance overall client satisfaction. The Lawmatics law firm CRM helps attorneys onboard new clients with customizable digital intake forms, document request templates, and e-signature capabilities to help each client smoothly navigate their journey.

What is legal billing software?

Legal billing software is a form of technology designed to help law firms and legal professionals manage the billing and invoicing processes associated with their legal services. Billing software streamlines the creation of invoices, tracks billable hours, and ensures accurate and efficient financial transactions between the law firm and its clients. By automating and centralizing billing processes, Lawmatics time and billing software reduces administrative burdens, minimizes errors in invoicing, improves overall efficiency in financial management, and facilitates transparent communication with clients regarding the costs associated with legal services.

What do lawyers use the most?

Successful law firms use technology tools to work more efficiently and securely in an increasingly remote workplace. Since what works best for each firm depends on size and practice area, not every firm needs the same tech stack. Here are some of the technology tools lawyers are using today:

  • Document automation: Document management tools for lawyers streamline document creation with easy-to-use templates and store them securely in the cloud, where they can be edited, stored, and organized as needed.
  • eDiscovery software: Most discovery is electronic and requires tech tools to automate thousands of previously manual tasks and provide filtering options to save eDiscovery professionals time, effort, and resources.
  • Legal research platforms: Today’s legal tech tools offer remote access to searchable online law libraries, case law, statutes, regulations, case summaries, published opinions, legal encyclopedias, journals, and more.
  • E-signature tools: Convenient online document signing tools are legally binding in many situations. They mean less back-and-forth, save paper and make obtaining signatures faster, user-friendly, and more secure.
  • Practice management software: Law practice management technology is essential for modern firms, particularly smaller ones. Cloud-based practice management systems centralize and organize cases and facilitate client collaboration.
  • Online payment solutions: Accepting credit card payments through an online platform makes it more convenient for clients to pay their legal bills so that lawyers can get paid faster.

What is legal case management software?

Legal case management software is a tech tool that assists law firms and legal professionals in organizing, managing, and tracking the various phases of legal cases. Legal case management software aims to improve the efficiency of legal workflows, enhance collaboration among legal professionals, and provide a comprehensive view of case-related information. Legal professionals can better organize their work, reduce manual administrative tasks, and ultimately provide more effective and streamlined legal services by centralizing case management processes. Case management software is typically tailored to meet the unique needs of legal practices, providing features and functionalities that streamline workflows.

Legal software examples

Here’s a legal software list of platforms popular with law firms:

  • Microsoft 365: A software-as-a-service (SaaS) system that includes essential business tools like Word, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Teams, and more.
  • Google Workspace: Legal software that offers a word processor similar to Microsoft Word, Workspace is a solid option for attorneys whose work requires collaboration.
  • LawPay: A software solution equipped to send out invoices and facilitate credit card and other online payments.
  • RingCentral: An all-in-one platform for voice, video meetings, team messaging, and collaboration popular with attorneys looking for click-to-dial functionality and one-click video conferencing capabilities.
  • DocuSign: An electronic signature platform that makes document signing faster, easier, and more secure for lawyers and clients.
  • Lawmatics: The #1 legal software for growing law firms. Lawmatics offers client intake, legal CRM, marketing automation, invoicing, document creation, and more in one straightforward system.

All-in-one legal specialty software is an indispensable tool that helps law firms maximize operational efficiency, enhance customer service, improve marketing results, and gain valuable insights to make data-driven decisions.

Why use legal software?

Lawyers use legal software for many reasons, including:

  • Time efficiency: Legal software automates routine tasks such as document drafting, time tracking, and billing, allowing lawyers to save time on administrative work and focus more on legal analysis and client interactions.
  • Improved organization: Legal software provides a centralized platform for organizing and managing case-related information, documents, and communications, which enhances overall organization and reduces the risk of information loss.
  • Accurate billing and invoicing: Legal billing software automates the billing process, ensuring accurate tracking of billable hours and expenses to reduce the likelihood of underbilling or billing errors and lead to improved revenue collection.
  • Enhanced collaboration: Legal software often includes tools that facilitate communication and collaboration among legal team members, particularly those working remotely.
  • Document automation: Document automation tools streamline the creation and management of legal documents with templates and automated document generation to save time and maintain consistency.
  • Effective legal research: Legal research platforms provide lawyers with quick and efficient access to a virtual treasure trove of statutes, cases, and legal precedent to accelerate the research process and boost the quality of legal arguments.
  • Client relationship management: Legal CRM software enables lawyers to manage client relationships more effectively by centralizing client information, tracking communication, and offering insights to better client service.
  • Case management: Case management software allows lawyers to organize and track tasks, deadlines, documents, and other case-related information.
  • Data security and compliance: Legal software platforms include robust security features to protect sensitive client information and help lawyers comply with data protection and confidentiality regulations.
  • Adaptation to remote work: Cloud-based software solutions enable lawyers to work remotely and gain access to case files, documents, and communication tools from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Analytics and reporting: Tools that provide insights into firm performance, case outcomes, and resource applications to help inform data-driven decisions.
  • Cost reduction: Legal software automates processes, reduces manual labor, and minimizes errors, resulting in significant cost savings for law firms.
  • Competitive edge: When law firms adopt legal software solutions, they remain competitive in a rapidly evolving legal landscape since leveraging technology leads to improved service and client satisfaction.

Growing law firms rely on law practice software to work more efficiently, deliver higher-quality legal services, adapt to the changing demands of the legal profession, enhance the overall practice of law, and stay at the forefront of a technology-driven legal landscape.

How Much Does Legal Software Cost?

The cost of legal software can vary significantly based on various factors, such as:

  • Software type: Different types of legal software, such as legal practice management software, legal billing software, legal research platforms, or document automation tools, have diverse pricing structures. The complexity and scope of the software's features often influence pricing.
  • Subscription model: Many legal software providers adopt a subscription-based pricing model in which users pay a recurring fee (monthly or annually) to use the software. Subscription costs may vary based on the number of users or the level of service required.
  • User licenses: Some software providers charge based on the number of user licenses, while others offer tiered pricing based on the firm's size. As a result, firms with more users will generally incur higher costs.
  • Feature tiers: Legal software providers sometimes offer various feature tiers or packages, with higher-priced tiers providing additional functionalities or advanced features.
  • Customization and integration: The ability to customize and integrate the software with other tools can lead to additional charges.
  • Cloud-based or on-premises: Cloud-based legal software accessed online often follows a subscription-based model. However, on-premises solutions where the software is hosted locally typically involve upfront licensing costs and maintenance fees.
  • Additional services and support: Some legal software providers offer training, customer support, or ongoing maintenance that might be included in the overall cost or priced separately.
  • Case management: Case management software allows lawyers to organize and track tasks, deadlines, documents, and other case-related information.
  • Specialized vs. general software: Specialized legal software tailored to specific practice areas may have different pricing considerations than general legal tools that serve a broader range of legal practices.
  • Free trials and freemium models: Some legal software providers—JarvisLegal, PracticePanther, CiviCRM, and others—offer free trials or freemium models, allowing law firms to test the software before committing to a paid plan. However, free legal software may have limited features with the option to upgrade for additional functionalities.
  • Negotiation and discounts: Some providers offer annual subscription or multi-year commitment discounts. Additionally, larger firms or those with specific requirements might have the opportunity to negotiate pricing with software providers.

Given these considerations, the cost of legal software can range from a few hundred dollars per year for smaller practices using essential tools to several thousand dollars or more for larger firms with widespread feature requirements. Law firms must carefully assess their needs, explore available options, and choose software that aligns with their budget and operational requirements.

What is the Best Legal Software?

When choosing a legal software vendor, a law firm must consider various factors to ensure that the software meets the specific needs and preferences of the firm. Here are some critical considerations to make:

  • Functionality and features: The potential software platform must offer the necessary features and functionalities that align with the law firm's requirements.
  • Ease of use: Since a steep learning curve can impede adoption, legal software should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface so that lawyers and staff can quickly learn to use the software efficiently.
  • Customization options: A one-size-fits-all approach may not meet the specific needs of different legal practices; therefore, the ability to customize the software to fit the unique workflows and requirements of the law firm is crucial.
  • Integration capabilities: The legal software should integrate seamlessly with other applications commonly used in the law firm, such as accounting software, email, or document management systems.
  • Scalability: The best legal software for small firms should be scalable to accommodate a law firm's growth and can handle an increasing volume of cases, users, and data without compromising performance.
  • Cloud-based or on-premises: The best legal SaaS companies provide cloud-based solutions with accessibility and flexibility, while on-premises solutions offer more control over data, and firms must consider which is more suitable.
  • Security measures: To protect confidential client information, the vendor must have robust security measures in place—data encryption, secure access controls, and compliance with data protection regulations.
  • Vendor reputation: Firms should look for reviews, testimonials, and case studies to gauge the experiences of other law firms using the software.
  • Support and training: Adequate support and training are crucial for successful implementation and ongoing use of the software, and firms must evaluate the level of customer support and training the vendor provides.
  • Cost and pricing structure: Evaluate the overall cost of the software, including any subscription fees, implementation costs, and additional charges, and determine whether the pricing structure is based on user licenses, features, or usage.
  • Vendor reliability and stability: Consider the vendor's financial stability and reliability—a reputable and financially stable vendor is more likely to provide ongoing support, updates, and software maintenance.
  • Compliance with regulations: Ensure that the vendor complies with relevant legal and industry regulations regarding protecting client confidentiality and following data protection laws.
  • Upgrades and updates: Reliable vendors have a track record of regular updates and improvements to the software to ensure that the software remains current and continues to meet changing industry standards.
  • User reviews and references: Feedback from current users via reviews, testimonials, or references can provide valuable insight into the software's performance and user satisfaction.

By thoroughly assessing these factors, law firms can make informed decisions when choosing legal software that aligns with their specific needs and contributes to the overall success of their legal practice. So what should your firm choose?

Lawmatics is the best CRM for small law firms—the attorney-client relationship management platform. Here’s what we offer:
Best-in-class tools for legal client intake, workflow, legal billing, document management, and more – all in one easy-to-use system.
Marketing automation that enables lawyers to easily connect with new clients—and reengage with those from the past.
Reporting software that gives firms the metrics and analytics necessary to set realistic goals and objectives.
Automated follow-up capability to ensure that no potential client will fall through the cracks.
Are you ready to learn more about how Lawmatics legal software can boost your firm’s growth? Sign up for a product demo today.