Find the best Legal Document Management Software
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Afriwise is a pan-African legal research tool. Afriwise's ever-growing content is easily searchable and includes laws, bills, news, commentary, practical guidance and much more. The most notable features include: - Laws & Monito...Read more about Afriwise
Documate is a document automation software designed to help businesses create interview questions to collect information, populate client data into forms, upload documents to be tagged to interview questions and share them with co...Read more about Documate
Promena e-Sourcing is a cloud-based auction management, sourcing and procurement platform. It supports strategic solutions, such as request for information (RFI), request for proposal (RFP), request for quotation (RFQ) and e-aucti...Read more about Promena
Email Manager for Microsoft 365
Email Manager for Microsoft 365
Colligo Email Manager for Microsoft 365 is ideal for mid- to enterprise-size businesses using SharePoint Online in industries with regulatory or policy compliance requirements. The SharePoint add-on lets you save and auto-classify...Read more about Email Manager for Microsoft 365
Secure governance software with advanced contract management, board meeting management, entity management, e-signature, and VDR that is loved by hundreds of customers from over 30 countries. Start your 30-day free trial today – no...Read more about ContractZen
MyCase is a cloud-based legal management solution that helps attorneys in small to medium size law firms manage communications with their clients and carry out daily business operations. The solution also provides functionalities ...Read more about MyCase
MerusCase is a cloud-based legal practice management solution for small, midsize and large legal firms and businesses. It is HIPAA compliant and offers document management, time tracking, billing, calendaring and communication too...Read more about MerusCase
Centerbase is the leading cloud-based legal accounting, billing and practice management application for mid-sized firms in any practice area. By integrating GL accounting, law firm billing and practice management into a single sys...Read more about Centerbase
Clio is a cloud-based legal practice management solution suitable for small to large law firms. The platform enables lawfirms and other businesses in the legal industry to track important deadlines, manage client cases and documen...Read more about Clio
HoudiniEsq is a hybrid law practice management solution that caters to law practices of all sizes and provides them the functionalities to manage various business routines which include cases, billing, invoicing and several other ...Read more about HoudiniESQ
LEAP is the legal practice productivity solution designed to help small to mid-sized law firms improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. LEAP leverages best-in-class technology to help law firms with practice management...Read more about LEAP
Everlaw is a cloud-based legal management solution specializing in e-discovery support. Key features include search capabilities, a prediction engine that calls up relevant documents and a context panel where users can see related...Read more about Everlaw
AbacusLaw is case automation software designed explicitly for law firms. The system works as a complete practice management solution that helps in managing workflows including time tracking, billing, and accounting operations. Aba...Read more about AbacusLaw
App4Legal is a comprehensive Suite of Law Practice Management Software & Contract Lifecycle Management Software available for Legal teams of any size in both law-firms and in-house. It is modular, enterprise, secure, multi-langua...Read more about App4Legal
Firm Central by Thomson Reuters is a cloud-based legal management solution. It features matter management, time and billing, scheduling and document assembly. All Firm Central packages offer client, matter, document and task ...Read more about Firm Central
TimeSolv Legal Billing
TimeSolv Legal Billing
TimeSolv is a cloud-based legal time tracking and billing solution that caters to law firms, accountants, consultants, architects, and freelancers, helping them manage daily business operations. TimeSolv integrates project ma...Read more about TimeSolv Legal Billing
The Legal Assistant
The Legal Assistant
The Legal Assistant is a cloud-based and on-premise legal management solution available for either cloud-based or on-premise deployment. It is suitable for legal practices of multiple sizes. Different modules are available for spe...Read more about The Legal Assistant
PracticePanther Legal Software
PracticePanther Legal Software
PracticePanther Legal Software is a legal management solution for small to large practices specializing in areas including bankruptcy, personal injury, family, divorce, estate planning, litigation, criminal law and many more. The ...Read more about PracticePanther Legal Software
FactBox is a cloud-based legal management solution suitable for small to midsize practices in a variety of specialties. The solution is especially suitable in employment, personal injury, criminal defense and family law practices....Read more about FactBox
Conceptualized by a partner at a personal injury law firm, SmartAdvocate is a legal management platform that offers flexible deployment options and a modular suite of applications. In addition to case management, attorneys a...Read more about SmartAdvocate
Popular Legal Document Management Software Comparisons
Buyers GuideLast Updated: November 23, 2022
Law firms face unique document management challenges. Largest among them: the very high quantity of paper documents legal practices use. Legal documents are also subject to varying confidentiality and privacy regulations, which mandate how these documents can be accessed, stored, changed and distributed.
Within the broad genre of content management software (CMS) is a category that addresses the specific challenges law firms face: legal document management software. To help your law firm better understand this software and make a more informed purchase decision, we'll cover the following:
- What is legal document management software?
- Common features of legal document management software
- Key considerations
- Pricing and purchasing options
What is legal document management software?
It is a form of document management software made specifically for lawyers, law firms, or any entity operating in the field of law. It is distinct from legal practice management software, which has a broader set of functionality, including tools to keep the firm's internal processes and external filings on time and on track.
Legal document management software is intended to help firms achieve a variety of goals. Speaking broadly, these goals include:
- Increasing productivity by making documents easier to find, search, access, and share.
- Improving the security and confidentiality of important documents by preventing unauthorized access.
- Adding consistency to internal and external documents by managing all of them through a common platform.
Common functionality of legal document management software
To achieve the above-listed goals, software products will include some or all of the following features and tools:
|Document capture tools||Scan paper documents and convert them into digital files, including image files, PDFs, and text files.|
|PDF tools||PDF is the file format of choice for most legal document management systems: PDF tools help create, edit, manage, and add signatures to such files.|
|Advanced search||Helps users find documents quickly by looking for specific text strings within documents and by filtering with metadata.|
|Access control||Controls who can access, change, and distribute digital documents. Keeps logs of access activities and summarizes them in reports.|
|Organizational tools||Automates the documentation and management of cases, including approvals, role permissions, and other necessary steps.|
|Version control||Ensures that changes to documents do not delete older versions, preserving them in case they need to be used again.|
|Integration tools||Incorporate document management functionalities directly into other software tools, such as email clients, CRM systems, and court filing systems.|
Some specialized software may also include, or integrate with, electronic signature functionality, which facilitates the legally-binding signing of documents on computers or mobile devices.
Here are some key points to keep in mind during your search for a legal document management system:
Data security: Along with health and financial information, legal information is subject to some of the strictest regulatory oversight, and its management can be subject to local, state, and federal statutes. Protecting digital information from theft and unauthorized access should be the primary concern for law firms considering implementation of a document management system.
Legal document management platforms increase data security in a number of ways. Many make use of a centralized portal through which all access to the system is controlled. Others use two-step authentication methods to ensure that new logins have been authenticated through two different means (e.g., email, phone, or text message).
Extent of digitization: When implementing legal document management software, many law offices mistakenly believe that all existing and future paper documents will be converted to digital. This incorrect assumption can lead to problems and delays down the line.
As suggested by the American Bar Association, law offices should use document management systems to increase the number of "low paper workflows." Working toward an entirely "paperless office" can be practical in some industries, but because of the sheer volume of paper documents involved, this is an impractical goal for law firms. Instead, firms should identify which processes stand to gain the most from digitization, and began with the documents associated with those.
Pricing and purchasing options
Cloud-based products are typically sold via subscription license, meaning law firms would pay a recurring fee to use the software. Subscription licenses are commonly priced per user per month (some vendors offer discounts for annual contracts). This fee includes the cost for support, maintenance, annual updates, and hosting.
Hosting on the vendor's servers means that law firms won't incur the IT costs associated with maintaining legal files on their own internal servers. As such, cloud-based software generally is less expensive upfront, although over time the costs of on-premise and cloud-based systems may converge.
Due to data security requirements, law firms should make certain that any cloud-based system they consider offers encryption services, bank-grade security, and frequent data backups to ensure the safety and confidentiality of their clients' legal documents.
On-premise solutions are most-often sold via perpetual license, meaning law offices pay an upfront fee to own the software. Firms would also be responsible for the costs associated with maintaining client data on their own internal servers, a responsibility that would likely necessitate on-site IT staff.
Additionally, law firms can purchase document management software as a standalone, or best-of-breed solution, or as an application within a larger practice management platform. Firms purchasing a standalone system should check that the product integrates with the other software they are currently using, such as their case management solution or legal accounting system.