Discovering the most popular legal practice management platforms is simple, However, comparing the best platforms can be time-consuming and challenging, particularly if you are just beginning your research.
We've spent dozens of hours hand-testing the leading legal software platforms, and interviewing lawyers to understand their experiences with the top solutions. The details of our research process can be found here.
Below, you'll find several resources that provide in-depth analyses comparing legal platforms.
Table of Contents
- How To Compare Legal Software
- Comparing Popular Legal Solutions Against Each Other
- AbacusLaw vs. CASEpeer
- AbacusLaw vs. Clio Manage
- AbacusLaw vs. Amicus Attorney
- AbacusLaw vs. Amicus Cloud
- AbacusLaw vs. Bill4Time
- AbacusLaw vs. MyCase
- AbacusLaw vs. PracticePanther
- Amicus Attorney vs. Amicus Cloud
- Amicus Attorney vs. CosmoLex
- Bill4Time vs. Clio Manage
- CASEpeer vs. Clio Manage
- CASEpeer vs. PracticePanther
- CosmoLex vs. PracticePanther
- Clio Manage vs. CosmoLex
- Clio Manage vs. MyCase
- Clio Manage vs. PracticePanther
How To Compare Legal Software
The best legal practice management solution for you will likely depend on your feature preferences. The features that are included in a given solution ranges widely. However, here are some of the most important features that you should look out for.
- Billing and invoicing
- Client intake
- Cloud-based servers
- Document management
- Online payments
- On-premise servers
- Rules-based calendar
- Time and expense tracking
Of these features, understanding whether you need built-in accounting will accelerate your purchase decision. Additionally, you should decide if you prefer a cloud-based or an on-premise solution early in your researching process.
Built-in Accounting vs Third-Party Accounting
When comparing different solutions, you will notice that some platforms include built-in accounting, while others rely on an integration with third-party accounting software. Built-in accounting is better if you want an all-in-one legal practice management system. Because you don’t have to sync data between different systems, workflows are more seamless and there is less chance for human error.
Third-party accounting is likely preferable if you have already implemented an accounting tool, like QuickBooks or Xero, in your law firm. Additionally, if you outsource your accounting to a third-party firm, built-in accounting will be an extra feature that you do not need.
Cloud-Based vs On-Premise
Cloud-based legal practice management solutions allow you to remotely access their platforms. Also, cloud-based servers do not require any maintenance. On-premise solutions are hosted on your own on-site servers. These servers, as well as software updates, are managed entirely by your IT staff.
Cloud-based servers require less upkeep, and are easier to implement in law firms with multiple locations. Therefore, the experts at SoftwarePundit typically recommend cloud-based solutions over on-premise solutions. However, if you desire more control over your tech-stack and data, and would like your law firm’s information housed in your own servers, on-premise is the way to go.
Legal Comparison Overview
Our analyst rating is based upon four main criteria: features, usability, pricing, and customer support. A SoftwarePundit Analyst rating over 85 is above average, and above 90 is excellent.
|Legal Software||Analyst Rating||Features||Usability||Pricing||Customer Support|
For more details, you can read our review methodology.
Comparing Popular Legal Solutions Against Each Other
One of the best ways to understand the differences between legal software tools is to compare one legal software against another. We've written in-depth guides comparing the top legal tools against each other.
AbacusLaw and CASEpeer are similarly-priced legal practice management solutions. AbacusLaw is an on-premise solution that includes built-in accounting. One major drawback is that it is only compatible on Windows operating systems. CASEpeer is a cloud-based solution tailored specifically for personal injury attorneys.
AbacusLaw is an on-premise solution that offers built-in accounting and client intake forms. Clio Manage is a cloud-based solution that offers more integrations with third-party software. Clio Manage’s user interface has a more modern look and feel.
AbacusLaw and Amicus Attorney are both legal practice management solutions offered by technology provider, AbacusNext. The key difference between these platforms is that AbacusLaw includes built-in accounting, and Amicus Attorney does not. Amicus Attorney relies on an integration with third-party accounting software.
AbacusLaw and Amicus Cloud are both legal practice management solutions offered by technology provider, AbacusNext. AbacusLaw is an on-premise solution that offers built-in accounting and is only compatible on Windows OS. Amicus Cloud is a lightweight cloud-based solution that is best for law firms with less than 5 members.
AbacusLaw is an on-premise solution, and Bill4Time is a cloud-based solution. AbacusLaw is the more robust solution that includes built-in accounting. However, AbacusLaw is only compatible on Windows OS. Bill4Time is a cloud-based solution that can be used on any device.
MyCase is more affordable than AbacusLaw. AbacusLaw is an on-premise solution with built-in accounting that is only compatible on Windows OS. MyCase is a cloud-based solution that can be used on any device, and includes a built-in CRM.
AbacusLaw and PracticePanther are priced similarly when comparing their most commonly-purchased plans. AbacusLaw is an on-premise solution with built-in accounting that is only compatible on Windows OS. PracticePanther is a cloud-based solution that can be used on any device, and includes several unique features like texting and automated invoice reminders.
Amicus Attorney and Amicus Cloud are both legal practice management solutions offered by technology provider, AbacusNext. Amicus Attorney is a far more robust solution than Amicus Cloud. If your law firm has more than 5 members, Amicus Attorney is your best option.
Amicus Attorney is more affordable than CosmoLex. Amicus Attorney is an on-premise solution that includes built-in rules-based calendaring. CosmoLex is a cloud-based solution that includes built-in accounting.
When comparing subscription plans with similar functionality, Bill4Time is more affordable than Clio Manage. However, Clio Manage is the more advanced and fully-featured legal practice management solution. Also, Clio Manage is the only solution that offers document and communication management features.
CASEpeer and Clio Manage are both cloud-based legal practice management solutions. CASEpeer is specifically designed for personal injury law firms, and is the only solution that includes two-way texting. Clio Manage can be used for any legal practice area, and is the only solution that includes online payment processing. Additionally, Clio Manage includes almost ten times as many third-party software integrations.
CASEpeer and PracticePanther are similarly-priced legal practice management solutions. CASEpeer is specifically designed for personal injury law firms, and is the only solution that includes two-way texting. PracticePanther can be used for any legal practice area. Also, it is the only solution that includes time tracking, invoicing, and online payment processing.
CosmoLex and PracticePanther are priced similarly when comparing their most commonly-purchased plans. CosmoLex is the only solution that offers built-in accounting. PracticePanther is the only solution that includes client intake forms, automated invoice reminders, and text messaging.
CosmoLex and Clio Manage are cloud-based legal practice management solutions that are priced similarly. CosmoLex is only solution that includes built-in accounting. Clio Manage is the only solution that includes built-in rules-based calendaring and unlimited document storage. Additionally, Clio Manage includes far more third-party integrations.
When comparing the most commonly purchased subscriptions plans, Clio Manage is less affordable than MyCase. Clio Manage is the only solution that includes more third-party integrations, an open API, and lower payment processing fees. MyCase is the only solution with built-in CRM functionality and supports ACH and eCheck transactions.
Clio Manage and PracticePanther offer similar functionality and pricing. Clio Manage integrates with far more third-party solutions than PracticePanther. PracticePanther includes client intake forms, automated invoice reminders, and built-in texting in its platform.
When comparing legal platforms, you should first narrow your shortlist to the eight solutions we've covered above. From there, you should consider your budget, and how advanced of a platform you need.
- AbacusLaw is the best on-premise platform on our list
- Clio Manage is best for law firms that have complex tech stacks that require a high volume of integrations
- PracticePanther is the best overall platform that includes a CRM and client intake tools