Compare Software for Law Practices: Key Features

CaseLode has been providing software for law firms for more than 25 years. We understand that it can be difficult to accurately compare software for law practices to select the product that is right for your business, so we have provided the following list of key features for use when reviewing different systems. Remember to also consider the importance of having a total office solution with fully integrated legal practice management software and legal accounting software that work together to improve your firm's overall efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Additionally, review the support services that accompany each product for a more comprehensive way to compare software for law practices.

CaseLode software for law offices provides the following features.

Security

  • The ability to establish menu permission groups limiting what a user can and cannot access.
  • The ability to establish users and assign them to a group.
  • The ability to access files offsite through a secure and encrypted system.

Accounting

  • The ability to have multiple billing rates per timekeeper.
  • A General Ledger account structure that complies with your general needs. 
  • The ability at the vendor level to print separate checks or combine multiple payments on the same check.
  • The ability to adapt to your preference of check styles, such as check-stub-stub, stub-check-stub or even legal size checks (stub-check-stub-check/copy).
  • The ability to run an Accounts Payable report for costs posted to Time Accounting & Billing and General Ledger.
  • The ability to have Trust account transactions interfaced to the General Ledger or not, at your discretion.
  • The ability to "unclear" a check if cleared by mistake.
  • The ability to "unvoid" a check if voided by mistake.
  • The ability to apply client payments using differing distribution methods. 
  • The ability to accommodate "recurring" vouchers/bills for Accounts Payable in order to save time paying bills each month wherein the amount does not normally change. 
  • The ability to accommodate multiple templates for electronic billing. Presently, CaseLode  handles over twenty formats.
  • The ability to reprint an invoice from a past period on demand.
  • The availability of a Payroll module, if you need one, which is simple to use and does not impose an extra charge each year (or more often) just to update required tax tables.
  • The ability to have the receipts for selected costs or expenses automatically post to selected General Ledger account numbers.
  • The ability to print a billing cover sheet summarizing all invoices for a client.
  • The ability to void operating or Trust checks.
  • The ability to reprint an operating or Trust check even after it has already been posted to the files.
  • The ability in paying bills to easily add a new vendor or new case/file on the fly without having to minimize or leave the process to do so.
  • The ability to alter a client payment that has already been posted to the files, including the General Ledger. This happens most often when you need to change the fee/cost distribution on a payment.
  • An inquiry screen that will allow you to view all unbilled and billed entries and client payments for as long as you desire (until you purge the data).
  • The option of multiple billing formats that can vary from one case to another.
  • The ability to move a billed invoice back into work-in-process, make modifications and then bill the invoice again.
  • The ability to alter a specific entry on a billed invoice and then reprint the invoice.
  • The ability to change a case/file number on a billed time or cost entry or client payment entry.
  • The ability to run a "combined bill" that combines the entries from multiple case/files belonging to the same client onto one single bill.
  • The ability to export any of your accounting data to Excel and/or other formats for use by your firm or approved outside contractors.
  • The ability to key a time or cost entry and then move it to Accounts Receivable immediately, such as a charge for a simple will wherein an invoice is not required.
  • The ability to enter write off's and have them automatically prorated to the proper timekeeper.
  • The ability to change the order of time entries on the same date. For instance, an attorney may perform three functions in logical order but they may not be keyed in that order. The selected product should allow you to resequence those items into the logical order that you wish to present them to the client in.

Filing

  • The ability to store all client and contact details in one centralized system.
  • The ability to run a Court Affidavit showing the entire history of transactions on a case/matter file.
  • The ability to change a client or case/file number/code and have all associated data already keyed to the old code follow the change to the new code.
  • The ability to transfer the work-in-process from one case to another. It is not uncommon to key entries to the incorrect case and then have the need to move them.
  • The ability to key a time entry and then have it automatically duplicated onto other case/matter files.
  • A feature that will allow you to attach documents on a case to the accounting module.
  • The ability to search case and client information by a variety of criteria.
  • The ability to create digital to-do lists to eliminate missed deadlines.
  • The ability to attach email and voicemail records to client files to organize project communications.
  • The ability to generate document templates for document automation.

Cost Recovery

  • The ability to accept charges from copiers, telephone systems, etc.
    Reporting
  • The ability to customize reports, such as client invoices, checks, etc. Many firms add their own logo to bills and customize them in yet other ways.
  • Robust reporting capability that will allow you to produce in depth management reports for attorney production, outstanding receivables, etc.
  • Selected reporting that will automatically create Excel charts for management presentation.
  • The ability to run detailed General Ledger reports, a Balance Sheet, standard Profit & Loss Statement, Comparative Profit & Loss Statement (comparing any two periods of your choice), and a Budgetary Profit & Loss Statement.
  • A very brief report that will give you a one or two page glance, upon demand, at the entire status of the accounting module. With CaseLode software, this report is called a "Key Items Report."

General

  • The availability of a Front Office Practice Management product that seamlessly integrates with Back Office Accounting.
  • The ability to maintain multiple sets of books, such as the firm and a Title agency.
  • The ability to have responsible, assigned, originating (multiple with percentages for each) and production timekeepers.
  • The ability to have ample name and address lines to accommodate your mix of business, especially where you have an attention to and long mailing address requirements.
  • The ability to "recompute/recalculate" time entries already entered into the system. Often, an attorney may be late to inform accounting that his/her rate changed effective mo/da/yr and the new rate is different from the one used when the entries were made. This happens more often than you would like to think.
  • The ability to have alphanumeric activity codes of at least six characters.
  • The ability to have codes for "hot key" narrative insertion.
  • The ability to have alphanumeric case/file numbers/codes and client numbers/codes with the ability to have imbedded spaces in each.
  • The ability to perform spell checking on time entries, case/matter descriptions, etc.
  • The ability to key multiple distributions for a journal entry on one single screen.
  • The ability to enter telephone messages on a per user basis and have that person retrieve their messages from their own workstation.

Support

  • Training by law office automation experts.
  • The availability of reliable support services.
  • The ability to provide product customizations based on the special requirements of your firm.
  • The availability of product upgrades.
  • The ability to easily increase the number of users as your staff grows.