Law Practice Management (LPM) software is a platform that, to varying degrees, manages each aspect of your law firm. The scope, features and capabilities of any give Law Practice Management application varies from product to product; though broadly speaking, LPM software performs the following functions.
Client & Contact Management
Time & Expense Tracking
Beyond these core features, some LPM applications provide additional functionality or focus on a particular element of law practice as a stand-out feature. These include:
In this way, LPM software sometimes overlaps with Document Management Software (DMS) and Law Firm Accounting Software (which, as you’ll see shortly, is the case with PCLaw).
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.
PCLaw 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.
A Good Fit for Firms That…
PCLaw is a good fit for law firms that:
Need comprehensive accounting, but prefer a simpler, more lightweight case management system.
Desire to get up and running with their practice management/accounting software quickly.
PCLaw was originally developed by an independent company. The product was later acquired by LexisNexis. In 2019, LexisNexis and LEAP Software created a Joint Venture, where the PCLaw software continues to be developed and supported.
See PCLaw in Use
PCLaw has a straight-forward user interface. The accounting aspects of each case is often front-and-center within the various screens in PCLaw.
PCLaw Stand-Out Features
Rapid Setup PCLaw is straight-forward and easy to use, making it one of the easier applications to get started with. PCLaw, unlike other legal applications, doesn’t require a special consultant to implement and begin using.
Comprehensive Business and Legal Accounting PCLaw is a complete accounting package, which means it manages both your business accounting (bank/operating accounts, General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and financial statements) as well as Trust/IOLTA accounting. PCLaw supports for fixed-fee, split billing and includes comprehensive financial reporting capabilities.
Use Stand-Alone or in Conjunction With Time Matters PCLaw provides lightweight practice management functions. If your firm needs more sophisticated law practice management or document management, PCLaw can be used in tandem with it's sister product, Time Matters.
PCLaw Go Mobile App PCLaw has a mobile app, called PCLaw Go, which allows you to enter billable time and perform routine tasks from your iPhone or Android smart phone. Related:
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.
Calendaring 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.
Billing 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.
Client Portal A client-facing online portal to share documents and updates with clients and other third-parties.
Open API An open API (Application Program Interface), allowing you or third-parties to develop integrations with the software.
We’ve aggregated and curated feedback from PCLaw’s users. This feedback is made up of feedback from our clients, legal technology consultants and online user feedback.
“PCLaw is Good for Our Small Law Firm.”
Sean C. from a Small Law Practice
“I work in a small IP law firm with three partners, and myself as the office manager. This software works great for a firm of our size. It’s easy to use and can hold a good amount of matters (we should be able to grow quite a bit, while still being able to use PCLaw). The daily entry of time, expenses, etc. is very easy once set up.”
“A Legal Professional’s Best Friend”
Paralegal in a Small Law Practice
“It’s an all in one matter and client management, accounting and billing software. The program has so many functions that covers all areas in a law firm’s accounting management. However, should you have to pick the best feature out of the many. then the customer support will probably top the list as they are one of the best support teams I’ve dealt with. One small drawback, while it possesses many features, it could be a little more user-friendly.”
“Does The Job.”
Jessica M. G. at Small Law Practice
“I like the interface he interface for time-keeping and billing. Overall, PCLaw is very user-friendly, and was easy to adopt across our law office. I can’t say there’s anything I really dislike, though I do wish that the contact forms were more customizable.”
“Solid Software for Small Law Firms.”
Kayla M. from a Midsize Law Firm
“Worked in a small law firm with two attorneys, two legal assistants, and an office manager. This software was perfect for what we needed in regards to day-to-day documentation/process. PCLaw is solid software, but visually slightly dated. The software needs an improved user interface in order for me to consider it a great software.”
PCLaw is sold in two subscription models, both based on the number of time-keepers in your law firm.
PCLaw is available in Subscription-Based-Licensing (SBL), at a per-user, per-month basis,
Or: sold as a Perpetual License with an Annual Maintenance Plan (AMP).
We recommend contacting the vendor for current pricing tailored to your law firm.
PCLaw in the Cloud
PCLaw 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.
Hosting PCLaw in the cloud should be done only with capable, experienced cloud providers, and only with PCLaw Authorized Hosting Partners.
Running PCLaw 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 PCLaw 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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