Best Law Practice Management Software for 2023

UP - Best Law Practice Management Software (secondary)We’re often asked: “What is the best law practice management software?” That’s a bit like asking what the best kind of car is. The answer, of course, depends on what your needs are.

For instance, some law practice management solutions focus heavily on accounting, but if your firm already has accounting software its committed to, that focus is meaningless to you.

Other case management solutions focus on document and form creation — a must-have for some law firms but not all.

We recommend that ever law firm searching for law practice management software start by identifying what features and functions are most important to you. This will help you narrow down the (long) list of suitors, and it will provide a framework you can hold each option against.

Whether you’re new to Law Practice Management software, or you’re looking for software that better suits your needs, read on to learn about the top software for your firm. You may find that there are more optimal choices than what software or process your currently using.

Introduction to Law Practice Management Software

What was once a relatively short list of law practice management software is now a crowded space full of many different applications and vendors, all vying for your firm’s attention. You have more options than ever when it comes to finding the right software to help you manage your law practice.

It can be overwhelming for many firms that are just beginning their search for case management software. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

We work closely with hundreds of law firms across North America, and in doing so have had hundreds of conversations about legal practice management software. What do firms like? What do they not like? What systems are they moving to?

From cloud-based to server/desktop-based software, from case management to billing and accounting: this list outlines the most used, best legal practice management software for law firms.

For whichever software you choose, consider Uptime Practice to host it.

Uptime Practice was a true miracle when the pandemic struck.  We moved to Uptime Practice and were working immediately.

Todd Tracy  –  The Tracy Law Group, PLLC

Types of Legal Software

Law firm software comes with lots of labels, classifications, some of which can be broad, overlapping and outright vague.

In general, law firm software comes in three distinct categories:

  • Practice Management – Time, Billing, Client/Contact Management, Calendaring, Docketing, Form Generation.
  • Document Management – Document Storage, Email Management, Version Management, Index/Search, Tagging.
  • Accounting – Business Accounting, Trust Accounting, GL / AR / AP, Financial Reporting.

Again — in general.

There are certainly software products that focus primarily on one of these three classifications but dabble in another.

For instance, Time Matters is generally thought of as a Practice Management application, but it has many trappings of a Document Management platform.

Similarly, PCLaw and CosmoLex are both Practice Management systems with full-fledged, integrated accounting.


Related: Top Law Firm Software: Practice Management, Document Management, Accounting, and more.

Finding the Best Solution: How to Get Started

In addition to the 3 types of legal software, whichever software will fall into two camps — Web/Cloud-Based and Server/Premise-Based Software.

Deciding between these 2 formats can be a tough decision for law firms because they both have their own respective advantages and disadvantages. As a law firm, it’s important to decide what you want to use based on the needs of your firm and the execution you’re willing to undertake.

Let’s discuss both.

Cloud-Based Software

Cloud-based law practice management software represents a revolutionary shift in how law firms operate, offering a comprehensive solution that addresses various needs of a modern legal practice. This technology enables law firms to manage cases, clients, and firm-related activities efficiently through a secure online platform, accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.

The advent of cloud-based solutions in legal practice management has been driven by the need for mobility, flexibility, and enhanced security in the rapidly evolving legal landscape.

Small to midsize law firms, in particular, can leverage these cloud services to optimize their operations, reduce overhead costs, and improve service delivery, without the substantial upfront investments that traditional server-based software usually requires.

Let’s discuss some of the benefits of utilizing cloud-based software.

  • Enhanced Accessibility and Collaboration: Cloud-based software allows users to access data and applications from anywhere at any time, enabling remote work and fostering improved collaboration among team members through shared resources and real-time access to information.
  • Cost-Efficiency and Scalability: Operating typically on a subscription-based model, cloud solutions reduce upfront costs and capital expenditure, eliminating the need for extensive hardware and maintenance. They also offer the flexibility to easily adjust usage based on current needs, allowing for efficient scaling as business demands change.
  • Robust Security and Disaster Recovery: Users benefit from advanced security features and regular updates provided by cloud service providers, safeguarding sensitive data against threats and vulnerabilities. Built-in disaster recovery features also ensure data protection against loss due to unforeseen incidents or disasters.
  • Automatic Updates and High Performance: Cloud software is regularly updated by the provider, ensuring users enjoy the latest features and optimal performance without the hassle of manual interventions. The distributed nature of cloud services also guarantees high availability and low latency, ensuring consistent and reliable performance.
  • Environmentally Friendly Resource Management: Cloud-based solutions optimize the allocation of IT resources and reduce reliance on physical hardware, allowing organizations to focus on core business activities and minimize their carbon footprint by optimizing energy usage.

practice next hero

Server-Based Software

Exploring the multifaceted dimensions of server-based software unveils a spectrum of benefits and operational enhancements for organizations.

This section succinctly outlines the inherent advantages of employing server-based solutions to offer insights into their enduring appeal in the diverse and ever-evolving technological ecosystem.

Let’s talk about the 3 main benefits of server-based software:

  • Robustness: Server-based software is renowned for its robust nature, meaning it can handle extensive and complex tasks efficiently. This robustness is often attributed to the software’s ability to operate in a stable and controlled environment, allowing it to manage high volumes of data and transactions without compromising performance.
  • Familiarity: Many organizations and IT professionals are more acquainted with server-based software, having used it for years before the advent of cloud-based solutions. This familiarity can lead to a smoother user experience and less resistance when implementing or updating systems, as users often feel more comfortable and confident interacting with a known environment.
  • Control and Customization: One of the key advantages of server-based software is the enhanced control it provides over system configurations and data management. This control allows organizations to tailor the software to meet their specific needs and preferences, enabling them to optimize the system for their operational requirements.

Related: Building Out Your Law Firm Tech Toolbox

Watch the talk with Uptime Legal and Clio on how to build out your law firm software toolkit.

Note: Don’t Sacrifice the Right Software for the Cloud

Yes. The cloud offers a plethora of advantages to small and midsize law firms.

Some law firms, in pursuit of the cloud’s reliability, security, and mobility, believe that migrating to a web-based software application is the sole method to reap these benefits. False.

It’s crucial to remember that server-based software typically possesses more robust features that you have, or will, leverage to attain maximum success. It’s not advisable to forsake a system that is highly effective for your law firm when alternative solutions exist!

It is entirely feasible, and indeed recommended, to integrate the strengths of both. Balancing the robustness of server-based software with the accessibility of the cloud allows law firms to experience the optimal benefits of both technological realms.

The answer? A Virtual Desktop.

A virtual desktop acts as an access point for your firm to access whichever software you decide to cloud-host. Oftentimes, your local desktop will have a single icon that you use to get to the software you need.

Just remember! A reputable cloud-host, like Uptime Practice, will make all the difference in your experience.

law firm virtual desktop

Now that you have an understanding, let’s review the top benefits of utilizing a virtual desktop to continue using your server-based software through the cloud.

Anywhere Access

Virtual Desktops offer lawyers consistent access to their work from any location, addressing urgent matters promptly and meeting client needs effectively in today’s fast-paced legal environment.

Working in the Cloud

Enhanced Security

With advanced features like encryption and multi-factor authentication, Virtual Desktops safeguard sensitive client data, ensuring compliance and maintaining firm reputation.


Operating on a cloud-based model, Virtual Desktops reduce overhead costs associated with traditional IT setups, allowing savings to be redirected to essential areas like talent acquisition.

Legal Software Cost Matrix

Flexible Work Environment

Supporting remote work, Virtual Desktops allow for a flexible work environment, boosting morale and serving as a differentiator in attracting top talent.

Reduced IT Burden and Server Maintenance

Shifting to cloud-based infrastructure, Virtual Desktops alleviate server burden and IT overheads, with specialized providers managing maintenance and updates, allowing in-house IT to focus on strategic initiatives.

As a result, law firms can enjoy optimal performance without the overheads and limitations of maintaining and upgrading physical servers, ensuring a smoother, more efficient IT operation.

Frequency of Server Failure by Year (1)

Enhanced Collaboration

Centralized data storage and collaborative tools offered by Virtual Desktops ensure up-to-date information access and seamless synergy among team members, regardless of location.

Predictable IT Budgeting

The subscription-based model of Virtual Desktops provides transparency in IT expenses, facilitating straightforward budgeting and financial planning for law firms. Let's compare the 2 options.

IT Support on premise

On the other hand, a cloud-hosted solution promises easier, more predictable IT support.

IT Support for Cloud-Hosting

As you can see, virtual desktops allow you to utilize your favorite server-based software while still taking advantage of the various benefits that the cloud has to offer.

Best of both worlds, if you will.

RelatedManaged IT Services for Law Firms: Explore Managed IT Services for Law Firms: Boost efficiency, enhance security, and ensure compliance with specialized IT support.

Law Practice Management Software — A Guide to Features

Law Practice Management software is a platform that, to varying degrees, manages each aspect of your law firm.

The scope, features and capabilities of any given Law Practice Management application varies from product to product; though broadly speaking, LPM software performs the following functions.

Client & Contact Management

A central database to store information for clients, courts, related parties and other contacts.

Matter Management

A central database of matters, cases and projects. Stores the most relevant information pertaining to each matter.


Individual calendars for each user, along with an aggregated, firm-wide view/calendar. Synchronization with Outlook calendar.

Task Management

Create tasks and to-do items pertaining to specific matters or projects. Assign tasks and set deadlines.

Time & Expense Tracking

Track billable hours and related expenses for a particular client or matter.


Invoicing, including for billable hours, contingency work, and fixed-fee matters.

Conflict Checking

Search the database for related names, document each conflict check.

Business Accounting

Standard business accounting, including a Chart of Accounts, Bank/Operating Accounts, standard accounting reports (P&L, Balance Sheet).

Trust Accounting

Trust/IOLTA accounting for management of trust funds, including trust account reporting.

Document Assembly/Automation

Automatic preparation and population of specific court documents and forms.

Document Storage

Built-in cloud storage for related documents and files.

Document Management

Advanced document management including full-text search, document tagging & profiling, and version management.

Email Management

The ability to save emails to specific matters, via Outlook integration.

Mobile App

An Android or iPhone application for time entry and some subset of software functionality.

Open API

An open API (Application Program Interface), allowing you or third-parties to develop integrations with the software.

Client Portal

A client-facing online portal to share documents and updates with clients and other third-parties.

Sidebar:  Practice Management vs. Document Management

Practice Management software is well-suited to manage your firm’s time tracking, billing, calendaring, contacts and tasks.  Some Practice Management software also include limited or “light” Document Management.

But to be clear, Practice Management and Document Management are not the same, and you should clearly understand your firm’s document management objectives before implementing new Practice Management software.

LX - Legal Matter Management

RelatedLegal Matter Management:  This often describes Practice and/or Document Management Software, and this article goes into the details of both.

Sidebar:  Legal Document Management

Practice Management is a staple of any law firm’s technology toolbox.  However, nearly all Practice Management applications provide minimal document storage/management capabilities.

Your firm may need to supplement its Practice Management software with a dedicated Document Management System to securely manage firm documents and email.

You might consider LexWorkplace, document management software born in the cloud, built for law firms.

  • Securely Store & Manage Documents in the Cloud
  • Client/Matter-Centric Document Organization
  • Full-Text Search Across All Documents & Email
  • Outlook Add-In:  Save Emails to Matters
  • Work with Windows and Mac OS

Explore LexWorkplaceWatch the Demo

The Top Law Practice Management Software - Our List

The Top 15 Law Practice Management Applications

In our extensive experience working with hundreds of law firms, here is our list of the best law practice management software (in no particular order).

Server-Based Software

Cloud-Based Software

Considering the Cloud?

Private Cloud will host your server-based legal software, documents and data in the cloud. Get the reliability, security and mobility of the cloud without sacrificing your software. Get in touch with our team to learn more.

Move Your Legal Software to the Cloud

With Uptime Practice

  • Cloudify Your Legal Software
  • Expert Legal Software Hosting/Support
  • Cloud Storage for Documents + Data
  • End-to-End Security
  • Office 365 + IT Support (Optional)

RelatedPrivate Cloud for Law Firms: Eliminate Servers. Work Anywhere.

Related – Virtual Law Firm: An Ultimate Guide: Learn how to operate your entire firm virtually — no more offices.

Best Law Practice Management Software

We’ve organized the list of Law Practice Management software into two broad categories:

  • Server-Based/Private Cloud: Can run traditionally on servers or can be hosted in a private cloud for anywhere access.
  • Cloud/Web-Based: Natively cloud-based (SaaS) and runs in a web browser.

Private Cloud / On-Premise


Private Cloud / Server-Based

PCLaw is a popular, long-standing practice management, billing and accounting solution for small and midsize law firms. It includes lightweight practice management (clients, cases and calendars), coupled with robust time tracking, billing and accounting (including robust financial reporting). PCLaw is one of the few all-in-one solutions that doesn’t require separate software for bookkeeping and accounting.


  • Rapid Setup: Easy to Implement Without a Consultant
  • Fully-integrated Accounting (Business & Trust)
  • Simple, Straight-forward Case Management
  • Tight Integration with Time Matters


  • Subscription-based Pricing Per-User Available
  • Contact Vendor for Details

tabs3 logo

Tabs3 / PracticeMaster

Private Cloud / Server-Based

Tabs3 and its counterpart, PracticeMaster, are a suite of robust case management, billing and accounting solutions for law firms. Tabs3 provides essential “back-office” functionality including time, billing and accounting; PracticeMaster provides powerful “front-office” capabilities including client and matter management.

tabs3 dashboard screenshot


  • Modular Suite of Front-Office/Back-Office
  • Best-in-Class Customer Support
  • Strong Network of Capable Authorized Consultants



Private Cloud / Server-Based

ProLaw is robust practice management, document management and accounting software for law firms. It’s the only legal software platform that includes all three of these main pillars to running a law practice.


  • End-to-End Solution: LPM, DMS and Accounting
  • Rich Integration with Microsoft Office
  • Streamlined, Modern User Interface


  • Pricing varies by firm
  • Starts at 10-User Package

Time Matters

Private Cloud / Server-Based

Time Matters is a long-standing, popular Practice Management and Document Management solution. Time Matters is unique in its mix of LPM and DMS capabilities, a well as being one of the most customizable practice management products on the market.

Time Matters Dashboard


  • Deep Customization (Reports, Workflows, Dashboards)
  • Rich Network of Certified Consultants
  • Tight Integration with PCLaw for Accounting


  • Subscription-based Pricing Per-User Available
  • Contact Vendor for Details

In Love with a Server-Based Software?

Use Uptime Practice to Host It!

  • Get Your Firm's Software to the Cloud
  • Access it From Anywhere
  • Avoid Server Maintenance
  • Pursue a Virtual Law Firm
  • Get Included Support




Clio Manage is among the most popular cloud-based legal practice management solutions. Clio is best suited for solo and small law firms, and law firms that are looking for a more lightweight law practice management solution. Clio is well known for its streamlined interface, simple navigation and overall ease of use.



  • Clio Manage Starter: $39 / User / Month
  • Clio Manage Boutique: $59 / User / Month
  • Clio Manage Elite: $99 / User / Month
  • Clio Manage Suite: $125 / User / Month (includes Clio Grow)

(Annual pricing)

actionstep logo



Actionstep offers a comprehensive solution for managing both front-of-house and back-of-house operations on a single platform. With features ranging from accounting and billing to email and document management/automation, lawyers can efficiently handle various tasks within Actionstep.

actionstep screenshot


  • Robust Accounting and Trust features
  • Client Management
  • Document Management


  • 3 pricing tiers — not provided by software publisher
  • Contact vendor for more information

smokeball logo



Smokeball is a versatile Law Practice Management software with substantial document management and automation features that are well-integrated with Microsoft and Outlook. It allows users to intake and onboard leads, manage legal cases, handle billing and trust accounting, and analyze data and reporting through a dashboard.

smokeball SCREENSHOT


  • Smokeball brings robust document management to the table.
  • Automated Document Assembly can be utilized.
  • Time Tracking through Smokeball is effective.
  • Their Client Management allows you to handle clients efficiently.


  • Start Plan - $29 / User / Month
  • Grow Plan - $99 / User / Month
  • Prosper Plan - $149 / User / Month



LEAP is possibly the most robust of the web-based law practice management applications. It provides time, billing, client and matter management and calendaring. Where LEAP really shines is its comprehensive library of state and federal forms (document automation).


  • Sophisticated Form/Document Assembly
  • State-Specific Form Automation
  • Client Web Portal
  • Desktop, Web and Mobile Apps


  • Not provided by software publisher
  • Contact vendor for more information



CosmoLex is a cloud-based law practice management and accounting solution. It includes client and matter management, time, billing, business accounting and trust/IOLTA accounting, thereby eliminating the need for QuickBooks or other accounting software.


  • Integrated, full-fledged Business and Trust Accounting
  • Financial Reports by Client and Matter


  • $79 / User / Month (billed annually)

Rocket Matter


Rocket Matter was among the first, and is a popular cloud-based law practice management solution. Rocket Matter allows your firm to manage cases, time, billing and calendars. Rocket Matter takes a project management-esque approach to matter management.


  • Project-Management-Style Matter Management
  • Customizable Matter Templates and Workflows
  • Optional Insurance Defense Module


  • Essentials: $25 / User / Month
  • Pro: $59 / User / Month

(Annual pricing)

mycase logo



MyCase was among the first web-based law practice management applications. It’s know for it’s ease-of-use, as well as for arguably having the best client portal among all case management systems.


  • Fast and Easy to Get Up and Running
  • Sophisticated Client Portal
  • Built-In Lead Management


  • $49 / User / Month (billed annually)

Practice Panther


Practice Panther is a popular case management system for law firms. It provides client and contact management, matter management, time and billing, and includes a lightweight CRM for lead management.


  • Clean, Intuitive User Interface
  • Built-In Payment Processing


  • Solo: $30 / User / Month
  • Essential: $59 / User / Month
  • Business: $79 / User / Month

(Annual pricing)

bill4time logo



What started as a stand-alone time and billing application, Bill4Time is now a full-fledged law practice management solution. It provides robust time and billing, matter management, ABA and LEDES billing codes and trust/IOLTA accounting.


  • Robust, Flexible Time Tracking and Billing
  • Trust Accounting with IOLTA Reconciliation


  • Time & Billing: $27 / User Month
  • Legal Pro: $45 / User / Month
  • Legal Enterprise: $80 / User / Month

(Annual pricing)

centerbase logo



Centerbase is a cloud-based Law Practice Management system. It boasts time and billing, case and client management, and full-fledged accounting. Centerbase is arguably one of the most customizable LPM applications, though that customization may require an outside consultant.


  • End-to-End Case Management
  • Full-Fledged Accounting
  • Highly Customizable Workflows


  • Staff: $59 / User / Month
  • Timekeeper: $79 / User / Month
  • Billing + Accounting: $99 / User / Month

(Annual pricing)

Firm Central


Firm Central is a law practice management application made by Thomson Reuters, the makers of WestLaw legal research. The application has been around for some time, and naturally integrates with the WestLaw web site.


  • Deep integration with WestLaw legal research.
  • Full-Fledged Accounting
  • Trust/IOLTA Accounting


  • Core: $40 / User / Month
  • Essential: $65 / User / Month
  • Premier: $105 / User / Month

(Annual pricing)

More Useful Software for Law Firms

In this article, we’ve covered the best law practice management software.

In addition, your firm may also need specialized Document Management or Legal Accounting software.

If so, you’re encouraged to review our other lists of the best software for law firms.

Read our other top software lists:

RelatedBest Law Firm Document Management Software: Avoid bad organization and worse collaboration with proper document management.

RelatedLegal Project Management Software: Leverage technology to keep your company on track and progressing.

RelatedBest Law Firm Accounting Software: Choose the best software to keep track of expenses, billing, and more.

RelatedBest Legal Billing Software: Learn about your options for managing clients while generating invoices, reports, and more.

Learn More:

Want to flesh out your firm’s technology strategy and choose the best software? Check out our Legal Software Report, complete with software overviews, comparisons, and more!

Law Practice Management Software - Frequently Asked Questions

Law practice management software is a unified tool designed to assist law firms in managing their business operations, including case management, document handling, billing, scheduling, and communication, all in one platform, to enhance efficiency and productivity.

It benefits law firms by streamlining administrative tasks, improving organization, enhancing communication, reducing errors in billing and scheduling, and allowing lawyers to focus more on their legal work, ultimately leading to increased productivity and client satisfaction.

Yes, reputable cloud-based solutions employ advanced security measures such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular security audits to protect sensitive data and ensure client confidentiality and compliance with legal industry regulations.

Absolutely, many law practice management software solutions offer integrations with email platforms, calendar apps, accounting software, and document management tools, allowing for a seamless workflow and enhanced interoperability.

Depending on the software you choose, you could have access to software that automates the billing process, tracks billable hours, generates invoices, and monitors payments, reducing manual errors and saving time. Some also offer online payment options, making it convenient for clients to settle their bills.

However, some law firms prefer to utilize dedicated time, billing, and accounting software.

Yes, many software solutions cater to a range of firm sizes, offering scalable features and pricing plans that can accommodate the needs of solo practitioners, small firms, and large, multi-location law firms.

To a degree, yes.

Many practice management applications offer some level of document management that includes features for organizing, storing, and retrieving legal documents efficiently, with some offering advanced options like document versioning, collaboration, and templates for standard legal documents.

However, for robust, efficient document management, we suggest that you seek a proper system such as LexWorkplace.

When choosing software, consider your firm’s specific needs, budget, and preferred deployment method (cloud-based or on-premise). Look for software with intuitive interfaces, robust features, reliable customer support, and positive user reviews. A trial period or demo can also be helpful in making an informed decision.

Uptime Practice:

The IT & Cloud Platform for Law Firms.

Uptime Practice is a suite of Managed IT and cloud services, made exclusively for law firms.

Practice Next

Technology + Legal Software Support for Modern Law Firms

Practice Next is a suite of Managed IT, Legal Software Support, and Cloud Essentials, made just for law firms.

  • Practice Next is a suite managed IT, technology essentials and legal software support.

  • Practice Next includes unlimited IT and legal software support, Microsoft 365, legal-centric cloud storage and more.

  • Practice Next pairs great with cloud-based legal software such as Clio Manage, CosmoLex, MyCase and more.

Learn More →

Practice Go

Cloudify Your Legal App

Does your law firm already have a cloud strategy, but have one premise-based application still running on onsite servers? Practice Go is for you.

  • With Practice Go, we effectively turn your desktop/server- based legal software into a cloud application (a Published App), freeing your firm from the limitations of traditional software.
  • Practice Go can cloudify your PCLaw, Time Matters, Tabs3, ProLaw, Juris, QuickBooks and more.
Learn More →

Practice Foundation

Complete Private Cloud for Law Firms

If your law firm needs a central, secure cloud platform for all of your legal software, documents and data, Practice Foundation is for you.

  • Practice Foundation is an end-to-end cloud platform that will host all of your firm's applications and documents, and will optionally include Office 365 + unlimited IT support. Everyone in your firm logs into a Virtual Desktop where they'll find all of their apps and docs.

  • Practice Foundation works with PCLaw, Time Matters, Tabs3, ProLaw, Juris, QuickBooks, Timeslips, TrialWorks, Adobe Acrobat and more.

Learn More →

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