Utilizing cloud computing services in the legal industry is simply not the norm, but it’s picking up speed. - Moreover, it’s a good thing, too. For legal teams to continue acquiring new clients and expertly maneuvering and managing caseloads, it’s essential that they catch-up technologically. By taking steps to optimize and streamline their practices utilizing cloud services, law firms are giving themselves a leg up that they need to stay relevant, maintain growth trajectories, and increase productivity.
Because the use of the right cloud services within law firms is imperative, we did some research to bring you the most used top cloud software for lawyers and attorneys. We’ve listed what we found below:
Cloud solutions for easy and effective note-taking are essential to any lawyer's day. Take a look at these options below that lawyers are relying on to help them stay organized and thorough.
- Microsoft Office OneNote - Through OneNote, the busy legal professional can take diligent notes while using the Microsoft Word platform they’re already used to. OneNote helps organize and manage notes on any device, including smartphones. For those using a stylus, it integrates and works fluidly. Aside from the easy creation of notes and amazing intuitive navigation, OneNote also provides a great interface for collaborating and sharing with the rest of your team or with clients. Audio and video notes can also be stored through this versatile note-taking cloud software.
- Evernote - Evernote is steadily increasing in popularity with lawyers and their firms. Through this cloud-based note-taking software, you and your team can take great notes in video, written, or audio format as well as store files and documents. A bonus to this software is the ability to scan and digitize credit cards, as well as annotating PDFs. Sharing and collaboration take on a whole new meaning with Evernote with the unique ability to convert any notes into a professional presentation - which can come in handy during firm or client meetings. Outlook, Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and more also seamlessly integrate with this cloud software.
Time-tracking is the essence of any successful firm, which means there is a very real need for effective and reliable cloud software to handle this task. Here are some of the most reliable time-tracking software options for the legal industry.
- Sage Timeslips - This is very focused billing software that’s been around for over ten years. With Timeslips, law firms can enter and track expenses, bill for time, utilize automatic time capture, take advantage of great reporting, and streamline their billing processes. Timeslips also integrates directly with Quickbooks to make for seamless accounting. Law firms Timeslips, as well as applying watermarks to draft bills. Because accurate and useful billing reports are so essential to growing and sustaining a successful law firm, Timeslips has provided access to more than 100 predefined report types as well as custom report creation and an easy-to-use report wizard.
- TimeSolv - lawyers are increasingly using TimeSolve for their detailed functionality and ease of use. With this versatile cloud-based time-tracking software, legal firms are able to handle invoicing, time-tracking, expense tracking, detailed reporting, and more. Many different industries utilize this software to track and manage time for accurate billing, but law firms are flocking to it because of how much time and effort it’s saving them in an area that can prove draining. Furthermore, project management has become easier with TimeSolve because related tasks and budgets can all be managed under one software.
- Toggl - One of the easiest to use time-tracking platforms is Toggl. Legal teams are regularly taking advantage of the intuitive team dashboard to quickly see where members are on time and easily make adjustments where necessary. Time-tracking is truly streamlined in this cloud software with email tracking reminders, the elimination of auditing with required fields, and project/time alerts to help keep everyone on track. Toggl is easily accessed on almost any platform, including smartphones, so you and your team can stay on top of time-tracking on-the-go.
- Bill4Time - Bill4Time realized there was a need for easily manageable and effective time tracking solutions in the legal industry, so they created an exclusive Legal Edition. Through added in billing and time-tracking features to support lawyers, such as ABA billing codes and fee-splitting, Bill4Time is heavily relied on by legal teams all over due to its ease of use in time tracking, billing and invoicing, expense tracking, online payment acceptance, detailed reporting, and smooth integration with other software such as LawPay and PayPal. A dynamic mobile app seals the deal.
Interested in finding out how your law firm can maximize billing time? We have some industry tips for you here.
Customer Relationship Management
While the key to a successful law firm certainly has a lot to do with client representation, amazing lawyers, and effective time management, the customer relationship management side mustn’t be left off. We’ve listed some amazing CRM cloud-based software below that your firm could benefit from.
- Lexicata - Built with law firms in mind, Lexicata is the perfect tool for a law firm to optimize and manage their sales. Lexicata understands the unique intake process that law firms have and aims to help them maximize potential in this area. Law firms using Lexicata can build their own templates, create and utilize legal-based intake forms, keep track of checklists, track conversions, keep notes and reminders, and collaborate with other team members on sales plans. Lawyers love the experience with Lexicata because it’s tailored to drive efficiency in a law firm and provide tools to improve organization on the business end of things.
- Salesforce - Salesforce is used by companies in all different kinds of industries and is very well known for its distinct customization solutions. Because it’s so customizable, legal firms are finding it easy to migrate their CRM needs to Salesforce and are reaping the rewards of using such dynamic software. The platform for Salesforce is easy to use and is paired with award-winning customer service to support your law firms every sales need. A unique aspect to Salesforce is their new MyTrailhead app, which is a customizable training plan that you can utilize to onboard new employees to your company and ensure they have all the tools they need to succeed.
- Pipedrive - When your law firm is looking for a more basic starter CRM package, Pipedrive is the one to go with. Ideally, for starter firms and companies, Pipedrive is a simpler software, but over 90,000 companies and counting use them. This is because it’s very focused and offer automation options, tracking sales interactions, synced emails/calendars/calls, and even offers a custom chatbot and web forms. The email integration offers a unique and useful approach to automatically inputting client information into the platform through your email communication and contacts.
- Nutshell CRM - One of the easiest CRM to implement into your sales infrastructure is the Nutshell CRM. This is a very user-friendly cloud-based CRM that allows you to streamline and automate your sales process, track leads and conversations, maintain contacts, generate sales and lead reports, and more. Lawyers everywhere are finding the organization tools, such as ability to prioritize leads and reminders, extremely helpful. Add everything up and top it off with an intuitive and easy to use phone app and 14-day free trial, and it’s no wonder the legal industry is increasingly using this one-of-a-kind CRM software.
Customer relationship management goes hand-in-hand with an effective marketing strategy. We've got some great marketing tips, tricks, and strategies for you.
In successfully running and growing your law firm, having a reliable payment processing cloud service is essential - especially one that specifically caters to the legal industry. Here are a few popular choices to consider.
- LawPay - If you’re looking for a reliable payment processing software that also has a lengthy history in providing positive support to law firms all over the country, LawPay is the way to go. Because LawPay is not only approved and available through all 50 state bars but also boasts being ABA vetted, you can guarantee they're a solid choice in legal payment processing. Through simple online payment options, custom and personalized payment web pages, and seamless integration with Clio and other services, LawPay sets the gold standard. Accessibility on-the-go with their easy to use mobile app is another perk your legal team can utilize to make the most of their workdays.
- LexCharge - When your law firm needs a comprehensive online payment solution, LexCharge is the cloud-based service to turn to. Because of their extensive experience in the legal industry, LexCharge can effectively help law firms improve their payment system, boost revenues, and reduce steep credit card fees. When using this cloud service, law firms gain access to assistance in IOLTA trust account considerations, as well as easy payment plan and recurring payment management for their clients.
- MyCase - MyCase comes with a whole slew of features that can benefit your law firm, but when it comes to billing and payment processing few surpass their service. Not only can you track your time and perform all billing needs, but they give you all the tools you need to optimize and track your firm's financial growth. MyCase easily allows clients to pay online and allows you to use the full scope of their services wherever you are through their mobile app - truly making this a payment processing service for legal teams everywhere. Quickbooks is also easily integrated with this software.
The law firms are managed differently than that of most industries; This is because a lot of unique tasks make up the day-to-day of a successful firm. Finding the right practice management cloud software is imperative to growing and maintaining your legal business. We’ve listed some of the most popular options for infrastructure and practice management below.
- PracticePanther - Thousands of law firms trust their practice management needs to PracticePanther, and with good reason - There are a lot of elements that go into making this a great choice for law firms of any size. From the ability to work anywhere, to the secure communication options, to the dynamic time-tracking capabilities, PracticePanther truly is an all-in-one service. The dashboard for PracticePanther is extremely intuitive, allowing lawyers to easily manage billing, time-tracking, contacts, project collaboration, calendaring and more. Trust account balances are also easily managed through this software, as well as smooth integration with Quickbooks.
- LexisNexis - For the busy legal professional, LexisNexis is the solution. This cloud-based practice management software does a great job of offering all the tools necessary to increase productivity and providing innovative solutions specific to the needs of their legal customers. They have a variety of products to support the unique challenges that law firms face in smoothly running and managing their practices, including a one-of-a-kind practice advisor program that was built to connect attorneys and help solve challenges and provide useful guidance.
- Rocket Matter - Not only does Rocket Matter seamlessly integrate with all of your other software solutions, including LexCharge and LawPay, it also offers a variety of intuitive solutions to help you run your law firm smarter. SInce 2008, Rocket Matter has offered dynamic tools for the busy lawyer, such as calendaring, document versioning and assembly, matter budgets, collections, detailed productivity reports, team collaboration and communication, payment and billing options, trust accounting, and more. Office 365, Dropbox, Quickbooks, Ruby Receptionists, Google Calendar, and other cloud-services also run effortlessly with Rocket Matter.
- Clio - When many law firms think practice management, they think Clio. Clio is justifiably one of the most well-known cloud-based legal services, mainly because of its easy-to-use interface and professional insight and performance. Large and small law firms alike utilize Clio to manage the day-to-day of their practices, including billing, invoice management, case management, advanced cloud-based document management, document automation options, and time-tracking. The calendaring aspect of Clio is truly one-of-a-kind and helps your team easily stay on top of deadlines and court rules.
- My Case - This is a legal case management cloud software service that helps lawyers on the maintain contacts, documents, cases, time-tracking, billing, calendars, and more. Known for being affordable and intuitive, MyCase is an excellent choice in web-based practice management software for law firms that are looking to automate and improve their case management system and better support their clients. As a bonus, payments (in all formats) from clients can also be accepted through this system.
- Zola Suite - The great thing about Zola Suite is its ability to handle most aspects of legal practice - from judicial to administrative. Within this cloud-based software service, law firms have access to billing and accounting, inter-company encrypted email service, calendars, intake management, notes, contacts, reporting, task management, client portals, and more. Any browser can be used to access the services of Zola Suite, including the availability of iOS and Android apps so your legal team can utilize Zola Suite wherever they may be.
- AdvoLogix - Through this highly customizable and versatile cloud computing software, legal teams can broaden and adapt functionality to meet their needs. There are a lot of services and solutions offered through AdvoLogix LLC, including account management, calendar and docketing, email management, document management, activity management, time management, and more - all available on a superb and customizable dashboard. AdvoLogix is also available in-app format for use on smartphones by your legal team.
Secure and reliable cloud storage is a singularly important feature that all law firms require. Being able to securely store client case files and share them with team members and clients is essential. Luckily, there are a couple of options to choose from.
- Google Drive - Google is one of the most feature-packed and intuitive cloud-based storage solutions for law firms and businesses - it’s also one of the least expensive options for law firms just starting out. Any type of file can be securely stored using Google Drive, including photos, recordings, videos, and documents. You can set who can view storage, collaborate with your team on documents, and even set notes and initiate chats for each item. Your team will also appreciate the ease of document accessibility wherever they are.
- Dropbox - Dropbox is not as established as Google Drive, but they are certainly becoming one of the most reliable and used cloud storage solution options out there. Law firms throughout the world are using Dropbox to create, securely store, and share their files, documents, spreadsheets, slides, and more. Zoom Meeting and Slack messaging is also integrated within the storage platform for easy communication and collaboration amongst clients and team members. With more than 300,000 businesses using Dropbox to store and share their files, you can be sure you made a good choice for your law firm.
Maintaining secure storage for client data is imperative, but what steps should your law firm take in the case of a data breach? Find out what to do here.
If you’re like most law firms, many projects and cases rely on the ability to quickly and professionally create spreadsheets, generate word processing, and create presentations for your team and for clients. It’s important that you have reliable word processing and document creation software to optimize productivity and maximize outcomes. Below, we’ve listed the best and most dynamic options legal teams have in this area.
- Office 365 - Within Microsoft’s Office 365, you’ll find all the programs and services you know and have come to rely on for so many years - Outlook, Word, Excel, OneDrive, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, and more. With such a wide variety of services to support the needs of you and your team, it’s hard to want for more. Not only can you access everything you need right on your smartphone or any laptop, but you get the support and experience of Microsoft support as well as pre-built templates to help you quickly create the content you need. For more info on if Office 365 is right for your law firm visit this article that gives great detail about this topic: learn how law firms are using office 365.
- Google Docs - Google Docs is part of G-Suite, Google's dynamic and versatile cloud service that handles everything from email to storage. Word and spreadsheet documents can be created simply and right on the internet. While it is Google’s own version of document creation, they allow you to easily download your document into any format you choose for easy sharing - PDF and Microsoft Word included. One of the best things about Google Docs is its ability to share and create documents with team members in different locations, as well as accessing an accurate editing audit trail.
Accurate and reliable accounting is key to financial success and growth and stability for law firms of any size. That’s why the cloud service a practice chooses to use for their accounting should be integrative, intuitive, and thorough. Here is what lawyers are trusting today to handle their accounting needs.
- Xero - Through Xero, you and your accounting team can collaborate on accounting data quickly and easily. Through this cloud-based accounting software, your accounting department can reconcile trust accounts and bank transactions, easily handle batch payments, provide and maintain accurate invoicing, keep track of expenses, and much more. Plus, with a convenient dashboard, cash flow can be monitored, tracked, and optimized to support the growth and stability of your firm.
- Quickbooks - Time is money in the legal world, and Quickbooks understands this. Through this intuitive cloud-based accounting software, lawyers can securely manage and set hourly billing rates. Quickbooks can provide instant and detailed reports that are not only helpful within the firm but can also be quickly sent to clients. Batch invoicing and up to 25 customizable user roles are certainly pluses with Quickbooks, as well as its ability to seamlessly connect with Clio and Time Tracker + Legal.
- Freshbooks - When it comes to cloud accounting, it doesn’t get much better than Freshbooks. Time tracking, invoicing, expense tracking and management, estimates, project collaboration, extensive reporting, and more make this software both easy to use and dynamic all at once. This particular software is becoming increasingly popular with law firms because of its helpful and time-saving accounting automation tools.
Document Collaboration and Management
Outside of document creation, it’s essential that the members of your legal team have the ability to manage, index, edit, share, and integrate them as needed. Within the legal industry, choosing the right software for support in this area can make all the difference. Here’s what law firms are using today.
- LawYaw - LawYaw is a cloud-based legal drafting service for law firms. Primarily, LawYaw aims to reduce the amount of time used in preparing legal documents by half. How does it do this, you ask? By converting your Microsoft Word legal documents into fillable online templates. Pre-selected and written responses are then able to be selected quickly and easily by your team. Errors and editing time are reduced, thus increasing your firm’s time revenue and impressing your clients. Over 1,000 law firms and counting currently use this software!
- NetDocuments - NetDocuments is a document creation and management software that easily integrates with the other cloud services you’re already using, like Outlook, Microsoft Office, and others. The reliability and usability of NetDocuments have scored them large customers, such as UPS and Pillsbury. With the importance of security and compliance in law firms being priority, you can trust that NetDocuments will keep your vital information private and secure while providing optimal support for managing and collaborating on the documents that are important to you.
We prioritize providing you with the most up to date information that’s useful to you and your law firm. That being said, the cloud services and software listed above are helping law firms worldwide and could be exactly what your team has been needing to take the next step. As we discover more and better cloud solutions for your firm, we’ll be sure to share them with you. In the meantime, what has your experience been with cloud services for your law firm? We’d love to hear your insight on the subject.