In the last several years selecting a solution to manage your law practice has gotten considerably more complex. You have on-premise (client/server) solutions. Hosted practice management solutions. Web-based practice management solutions. Cloud-based storage options. You have case management with emphasis on time and billing functionality. Or case management. Or family law. Or docketing.
With such a crowded marketplace it can be difficult to know which solution is best for your firm. (We hear this from our clients all the time.) For that reason we’re releasing a series of blog articles that will provide an overview of the top legal practice management solutions, and who should use which.
PCLaw, a product of LexisNexis, is a billing, accounting and case management system for law firms, with an emphasis on billing and accounting. Arguably, billing and accounting is at the top of a law firm’s hierarchy of needs which would explain why PCLaw has more market share than any other case management solution (cloud-based or otherwise).
PCLaw can be described as a very robust law firm back-office suite with functionality that includes time and expense tracking, billing for virtually every format, and complete accounting. By this we mean, unlike many of its competitors, with PCLaw you will not have to rely on another accounting package to handle the rest of your accounting (trust accounting, payroll, AR, AP, payroll and financial statements.)
PCLaw also has what we would describe as lightweight front-office functionality, with simple features such as a customer database, calendar and case management features.
What We Like About PCLaw
There’s a lot to like about PCLaw, but if we had to pick a couple of stand-out factors, they would be:
- Straight-Forward & Simple. Big picture, our favorite thing about PCLaw is probably that it does what it does (billing, accounting, and simple case/client arrangement) very well, and doesn’t try to do more. If you need a client and matter database, a simple calendar, call log, billing and accounting: PCLaw can likely manage your entire practice.
- Rapid Setup. Unlike many other on-premise and hosted practice management applications, PCLaw can be up in runninng and useful in your firm very quickly. It can be installed to your local or cloud server in minutes, and out-of-the-box its ready create matters and bill clients.
- No Other Accounting Software Necessary. Not to pick on anyone in particular, but most legal practice management and client billing applications leave the back-end accounting to another piece of software (often QuickBooks). Ledgers, operating accounts, trust accounts, AR and AP are left to third-party software and will likely leave your firm disjointed. At the risk of being repetitive, there’s something very zen about billing and complete accounting in a single software package.
The key functionality of PCLaw includes:
- Time & Expense Tracking
- Billing (including hourly, project-based, flat-fee, split, contingency, and LEDES format)
- Batch Invoicing
- Trust Accounting
- Accounts Payable, Receivable & Banking
- Robust Reporting
- Powerful financial and matter dashboards
- Integration with Time Matters for more comprehensive case management
The Uptime Verdict
In our experience working with hundreds of firms, your firm should use PCLaw if it needs a robust billing, accounting and reporting platform, and doesn’t yet (or ever) have a need for more comprehensive case management features (such as document/form assembly and rules-based calendaring). PCLaw will grow with your firm: it suits small start-up practices as well as mid-sized law firms.
Better in the Cloud
Leverage PCLaw for your practice anywhere, without the need for on-premise servers and expensive IT support with a legal cloud platform such as Uptime Practice™. PCLaw, along with the right cloud solution, will give you access to your entire practice including your case management and billing software, your files, documents & email, anytime, anywhere.
Related: PCLaw in the Cloud
See it in Action
Take a preview of PCLaw’s powerful client, matter and billing dashboards.