The legal industry is full of routine work challenges. Perhaps one of the most difficult and yet unsolved issues in legal is case paperwork. When usually working with paper documents, lawyers spend too much time and energy on manual reviewing and managing each iteration of the file. Sometimes fellow lawyers are hard to reach and ask to edit, or sign, the document instantly. Therefore, work tasks may get stuck, deadlines may be missed, and clients are forced to wait too long for having their case matters solved.
Here arises a big question – how to save time for clients and have all the needed information at hand, instead of managing documents manually?
Fortunately, document management systems (DMS) are an extremely helpful tool for law firms to organize their daily work routine. DMS streamlines your document workflow and makes all document operations more automated and faster. So why is it important to have a document management system? How exactly will it optimize the ordinary document workflow at your law firm?
Legal document management software allows for solving the following most common pain points that lawyers face every day:
- unorganized document file storage
- lack of instant access to documents and signature options
- communication breakdown between the colleagues
- poor file integration with other software.
Each of these pain points can be the major one in a particular law firm.
When choosing legal document management software that would fit the needs of the law firm, lawyers should consider key features like automated file sorting, storage, access, retrieval, and integration with other applications.
We’d like to present the top 10 of the most advanced document management systems that solve the major pain points of law firms.
MyCase has already helped many law firms in the US easily shift to remote work within the COVID-19 pandemic. So it is no wonder that MyCase can be considered an all-in-one legal document management software for law firms.
With this DMS, you don’t need to shift to other software applications. It merges free data storage and easy file access with user collaboration. When working with documents, attorneys can edit, comment, see the document history and share them even with clients. To make the needed files centralized, legal professionals can customize specific folders for specific users.
Unique features: high level of data security, multiple e-signature options, integration with DropBox.
2. Rubex by eFileCabinet
eFileCabinet has developed Rubex, a more advanced and secure document management system for multiple industries, including legal. It perfectly automates workflow in law firms and allows for multiple document operations: robust sorting, tracking, archiving, sharing files of any size and formatting, etc. Within its systems, Rubex also has profound searching algorithms which definitely make retrieval of documents and other files much simpler. Also, lawyers can upload ready legal templates and customize them right in Rubex. Your location doesn’t matter – you can access the needed files instantly from any device.
Unique features: visual workflow dashboards, email import, multiple signature options.
Smokeball offers its document management solutions for multiple legal practice areas like family, real estate, business, crime, etc. The more practice areas are served, the more up-to-date the legal document management system is. With this DMS, lawyers can have their documents automatically filled with the details from file templates and, if needed, customize them. Smokeball provides a diverse library of more than 20,000 public forms that are commonly used in many legal practice areas.
Unique features: time & activity monitoring, easy offline access, integration with Microsoft Word.
LogicalDoc is regularly awarded “the best document management software”, “customer choice” and “great user experience” titles by Capterra and other software marketplace platforms.
This cloud-based and stand-alone system provides unlimited file storage of any size and formatting. Moreover, it can save scanned paper documents and sort them into the needed folders. All your legal documents are safe and collected in one storage. Therefore, LogicalDoc allows for extensive information search and tracking within the whole document workflow.
Unique features: collaboration with other users, email integration, multiple user interfaces.
Perhaps Clio is one of the most integrated and easily accessible legal document management software applications. You can reach all your document files from any device at any time and use unlimited storage. Furthermore, the application accepts video, audio & image files that are automatically backed up as well. In fact, backup copies can make search and filtering easier for lawyers, and there is no need to create new files all the time. Plus, to store your documents, you can always use other integrated applications with Clio, e.g. Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.
Unique features: high level of data security, diverse legal form library, e-signature options.
Worldox was the first software to offer document management solutions back in 1988. These days it has three complete types of document management system applications – Professional, Enterprise, and Cloud. Since all their features are pretty similar, you can choose what`s best for you in a demo call.
All Worldox editions enable lawyers to automatically save documents and integrate them with emails. Before you send the file, you’re enabled to preview it. Since the software is integrated with Microsoft Office, you can search all the needed details right in its toolbar and set personal interface settings.
Unique features: robust email management, access customization, user-friendly interface.
OpenKM is a legal document management software of an enterprise type that in detail explains technical aspects of its solutions to clients.
Besides document management, the software can be fully deployed in all important business processes of your law firm. It means that attorneys can track their document workflow at all cycles and be sure of total file security. Moreover, OpenKM software can monitor compliance with all established legislative requirements.
Unique features: document restoring, digital signature options, contribution to corporate values.
The following document management systems in this list are considered legal practice management (LPM) software. The main difference is that LPM software manages databases of client cases, calendaring, accounting & billing operations. The built-in option of document management is additional, though, as well important for lawyers at work. Let`s see what LPM applications can offer law firms to optimize their document management.
AbacusLaw is a legal practice management software with innovative document management features.
With this LPM system, your law firm can become more organized and competitive in your legal practice area. All the information on cases, clients, dates, deadlines, billing, accounting and more, is stored in one database. Speaking of document management features, lawyers can customize legal forms and simultaneously work in them. This LPM also enables legal professionals to access the needed files on the cloud, in the browser, and on the server, making it a flexible solution.
Unique features: remote access from mobile devices, work time tracking, integration with multiple applications.
This legal practice management software allows for performing multiple operations with documents, such as storage, retrieval, and assembly with other documents and formats. Every legal document that you need is freely available at any time and easily accessed from any device. Furthermore, Cosmolex file storage can also be integrated with other applications like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, NetDocuments, etc. You can create all your legal documents in Microsoft Word and then upload them to Cosmolex to avoid making a mess of your desktop folders.
Unique features: privacy settings; simple user interface; customer support.
10. Practice Panther
Practice Panther can be considered automatic from all sides. Firstly, it can fill in all the needed details in your document. Secondly, the collaboration between your colleagues feels far more up-to-date and easier when you all can preview, edit, archive your legal documents and discuss them in real-time. Finally, this legal practice management software has its own payment system with lower prices, faster processing, and cashback bonus.
The software developers believe that thanks to Practice Panther’s user-friendly interface, these optimized features will help legal professionals save a lot of time for more important tasks.
Unique features: centralized document storage, easy access, integration with multiple applications.
In conclusion, all document management systems carry real benefits and can make your daily legal tasks with documents easier and more time-saving. Just imagine how fast and time-saving contract reviewing (that`s where Loio can also add more convenience), deadline meeting, email sorting, preparing invoices and many more can be with DMS!
However, not all DMS can completely solve your document management issues. Treat DMS as auxiliary tools in your area of practice. Try to filter what the DMS offers you to automate and take up what works for you.
We hope that one of the DMS on our list will become a game-changer in your work and help your team improve their daily legal workflow.