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 given 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.
ProLaw, by Elite (a division of Thomson Reuters), is long-standing Law Practice Management software suite. ProLaw 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.
At a high level, the ProLaw software suite provides:
Law Practice Management
Legal Document Management
Law Firm Accounting
(See below for a complete list of features.)
ProLaw is unique in that it’s one of the few, if not only, legal software platform that includes all three of these main pillars to running a law practice.
A Good Fit for Firms That…
ProLaw is often a good fit for law firms of 10 or more total people, and law firms that need comprehensive practice management, document management, billing and accounting in a single software suite. ProLaw is generally not well-suited for solo and very small law practices.
ProLaw is a product of Elite, which is a division of Thomson Reuters, the same parent company as WestLaw legal research.
See ProLaw in Use
ProLaw has a lot of functionality, but nonetheless has a streamlined, largely intuitive user interface. ProLaw’s UI resembles Microsoft Office, giving it a familiar feel.
ProLaw Stand-Out Features
Modular and End-to-End Law Practice Software ProLaw is modular software, customers can purchase and use the front-office (practice management and document management) module, the back-office (business and trust accounting) module, or both.
Deep Integration with Microsoft Office ProLaw integrates heavily with the Microsoft Office suite, including Word (for documents) and Outlook (for email). ProLaw also integrates with Westlaw and WestlawNext.
Simplified (Optional) Web Interface A relatively new feature, ProLaw offers its ProLaw Workspace option, which provides a simplified web-based interface to the ProLaw database. This allows power users to use the more robust desktop application, while providing a simplified interface for user's who's needs are more basic. Learn More:
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 users. This feedback is made up of feedback from our clients, legal technology consultants and online user feedback.
“Good for going paperless.”
Terri from Denenberg Tuffley, PLLC
“Our firm uses this product as a true practice management tool. We use front and back office modules. ProLaw has allowed us to be an almost paperless law firm. Everything goes into ProLaw and we have true digital files/matters. We recently went through an audit with one of our clients and were able to provide limited access to the client.”
“Useful, but Not Intuitive or User-Friendly.”
Melissa from Legality
“It has a good bit of automation built in, and they are working to add more. Inputting information is fairly easy and reviewing notes is takes no effort at all. It is great for a firm that deal with fewer, more complex matters. The system is a bit clunky. They lag behind some of their competitors in functionality and ease of use. Merging documents can be done, but it is a process. Also, updates often come with bugs.“
“Solid Software to Keep Track of Your Cases.”
Rogelio from Katz Law Office
“I used Pro Law for years at my law firm. I like how fast and reliable it is for your computer. I like being able to have different users. It does everything you need a software to use for managing your firm.”
“Great Workflow, Docketing and Document Management “
Tanya from KEL Attorneys
“In comparison to programs like World Docs & Perfect Practice, ProLaw offered many additional workflow and tracking features that allowed me to adapt a high volume law firm’s ever-changing practices and procedures. This is a full case management system where case notes, tracking, tasking, document storage, billing and timekeeping is all-in-one. The reporting mechanisms were not the best, and it always took some work to convert data into an Excel format that worked for our staff.“
Pricing information provided is made up of intel from customers, consultants, and in some cases the software publisher.
ProLaw is modular software, and law firms can purchase the modules they need including law practice management, document management, billing and accounting.
Pricing varies by firm size, number of timekeepers, and modules purchased.
ProLaw's Express Package includes support for 15 or less litigators, and starts at approximately $30,000 as a perpetual license.
ProLaw's One Office package includes support for 15 or more litigators, and starts at approximately $60,000 or more, depending on the needs of the law firm.
Pricing may have changed since publishing of this article, we recommend contacting the vendor for current pricing information.
ProLaw in the Cloud
ProLaw 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.
ProLaw, in particular, is robust software, and as a results needs a significant amount of server resources (processing power, RAM) to function optimally. Hosting ProLaw in the cloud should be done only with capable, experienced cloud providers.
Running ProLaw 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 ProLaw 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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