A common point of confusion are the different types of law firm accounting software. The term “law firm accounting” tends to be thrown around pretty liberally, and is often (inaccurately, in our view) used to describe billing and trust features, but lac the core/traditional accounting software fundamentals (like a Chart of Accounts, P&L, Balance Sheet).
In addition, there is general-purpose accounting software (that is: accounting software meant to be used by any type of business, but does not necessarily include the law-firm-specific functions that you may need.)
Juris is dedicated legal accounting. It provides sophisticated, end-to-end legal billing and all accounting functions that a law firm needs.
Accounting vs. Practice Management Software
Law Practice Management, Billing, and Accounting are three related, but discreet functions. And each can be managed with different software (or, all in one software suite). This is where the fuzzy terminology makes understanding what any given software package does confusing.
Broadly speaking, Law Practice Management software manages a firm’s clients, contacts, calendars, cases, time and expense tracking, billing and other “front-office” functionality.
Some Practice Management applications include complete accounting (including everything you see above), and some practice management applications provide time tracking, billing, and expense tracking… but leave the actual accounting to separate software (which it may integrate with).
Law Practice Management applications like Clio, Practice Panther and Time Matters do provide time tracking, billing and even reporting on billings… but they do not provide the “rest of accounting,” and instead integrate with applications like QuickBooks to complete the picture.
This is not to say one method is better than the other; rather it makes defining and understanding the classes of law firm accounting software important.
Juris is dedicated legal accounting software by LexisNexis. Juris is server/desktop-based software, which means it can run on-premise, on your firm’s in-house servers or hosted in a Private Cloud.
Juris comes in three primary modules:
Juris (Sometimes called "Juris Core") - the core/base legal accounting software
Juris Suite - An add-on module that provides additional functionality
Juris Go - The mobile app for Juris (Android and IOS)
A Good Fit for Firms That…
Juris is often a good fit for law firms of 5 or more attorneys (especially law firms of 10 attorneys or more). Juris is especially useful for law firms that need sophisticated legal accounting, and find the accounting capabilities of general-purpose law practice management (or generic accounting software) lacking.
Juris is generally not well-suited for solo and very small law practices.
Juris is a product of LexisNexis, the same company that owns Time Matters and PCLaw software, also well-known for it’s legal research service.
See Juris in Use
Juris in practice is a near-perfect blend of matter management, legal billing and law-firm-centric accounting software.
Juris Hints & Tips Video
Juris Modules & Complete Feature List
Juris comes in two primary modules, Juris (sometimes called “Juris Core”), and Juris Suite.
Time & Expense Tracking Track billable hours and related expenses for a particular client or matter.
Invoicing Generation of invoices, including for billable hours, contingency work, and fixed-fee matters.
Electronic Billing Create eBills that comply with ABA and other industry-standard billing codes and requirements.
Billing Reports Deep reporting with drill-down for additional detail. Report by billing attorney, originating attorney, working timekeeper, practice area and more.
Business Accounting Standard business accounting, including a Chart of Accounts, Bank/Operating Accounts, standard accounting reports (P&L, Balance Sheet).
Advanced Legal Accounting Customize your Chart of Accounts, including multi-level accounts. Segregate client and firm funds. Implement accrual or cash-based accounting. Manage disbursements and Accounts Payable.
Trust Accounting Trust/IOLTA accounting for management of trust funds, including trust account reporting.
Conflict Checking Search the database for related names, document each conflict check.
Juris Suite (Add-On)
Budgeting Create a monthly firm budget, and compare each month's actual finances to your budget (Budget vs. Actual).
Business Intelligence Dashboards to monitor cash flow, workload, and productivity. Key Performance Indicators (KPI's), charts, and more
Collections Manage Accounts Receivable by client, manage collection workflow and communications.
Advanced Reporting 100+ additional advanced reports on timekeeper productivity, client/matter status, and other financial indicators.
We’ve aggregated and curated feedback from Juris users. This feedback is made up of feedback from our clients, legal technology consultants and online user feedback.
“Easy to Use and Navigate.”
Jessica G. from a Midsize Law Firm
“Our law firm uses Juris and Juris Suite for our Work Comp Defense firm. I like that it is very user friendly when adding new contacts/employers/ etc. It also alerts you in the screen pop up if the matter is already in use or if you forgot to fill out a pertinent cell.”
“Increased Efficiency of Billing.”
Legal Administrator from a Midsize Law Firm
“LexisNexis Juris is a simplified account manager, which acts as accounts payable, receivable, charges, and expenses. If integrated throughout the entire system, the application will automatically update the account so that you do not have to through different interfaces. We like the software, though found it expensive.”
“Has it’s Advantages and Drawbacks”
Legal Administrator from a Small Law Firm
“I like Juris, it’s organized, meaning you can usually find what you are looking for as long as you know where to look. I don’t like the lack of inline storage; I wanted to be able to link documents and store them within Juris and it’s not possible with our version.”
“Sensible Timekeeping and Billing”
Jesse K. from a Small Law Firm
“I like the timer function to ensure both accuracy and to prevent a moment from being wasted. Stopping, starting and pausing the timer allow me to fill my day most productively and allow me to document my productivity accurately. I like the ability to print daily and weekly juris reports for supervisory review – not only am I being self-accountable, but my superiors can review my time entries to see what projects are taking up most of my time.”
Pricing information provided is made up of intel from customers, consultants, and in some cases the software publisher.
Juris can be purchased with it's Core module only, or with the extended Juris Suite.
Pricing for Juris varies by firm size, number of timekeepers, and modules purchased.
Please contact the software publisher directly for pricing information for your law firm.
Juris in the Cloud
Juris is desktop/server-based software, which means you can run it on your firm’s in-house, on-premise servers, or hosted in a Private Cloud.
Juris Suite, in particular, is robust software, and as a results needs a significant amount of server resources (processing power, RAM) to function optimally. Hosting Juris in the cloud should be done only with capable, experienced cloud providers.
Running Juris in secure Private Cloud, via a Virtual Desktop platform, gives your law firm the advantages of the cloud, without having to maintain servers and deal with IT headaches.
Advantages of Juris in the Cloud
The Best of Both Worlds Keep the robust legal software that you're firm is committed to and relies on, while enjoying the advantages of the Cloud.
Work From Anywhere Unchain your self from the office, ditch clunky VPN and remote-computer-login "solutions." A Private Cloud provides a secure, easy-to-use Virtual Desktop that gives you access to your legal software, documents and email from anywhere.
Data Security & Compliance Secure Private Cloud platforms, like Uptime Practice, keeps your software and data secure. End-to-end data encryption, Multi-Factor Authentication, Geographic Data Redundancy (Backups), Virus Protection and Ransomware Protection will keep your data secure and your firm compliant.
Eliminate Servers & IT Headaches Maintaining servers and managing IT is a pain, even with a capable local IT support firm. A Private Cloud like Uptime Practice provides all necessary server infrastructure, managed, backed up and ready-to-go: So you can focus on your firm and your clients.
Minimize Downtime Capable Private Cloud platforms like Uptime Practice are built with enterprise-grade infrastructures, and managed round-the-clock by professionals. This minimizes downtime for your firm, and maximizes productivity.
Flexible & Scalable Stay flexible: Cloud-based solutions allow you to scale users, software, storage and options up or down as needed.
About the Author: Uptime Legal Systems Named an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Company in 2014, 2015 and 2016, Uptime Legal is North America’s leading provider of cloud services to law firms. As a full service legal technology provider, Uptime’s offerings include Private Cloud for law firms, Document & Email Management and Web Design and Internet Marketing.
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