In the search for the legal holy grail, the goal, at least at this time, is elusive.

  • August 01, 2018
  • David J. Bilinsky

Here are some common alternatives:

Integrated solutions from one developer

A fully integrated solution means never having to try to get different applications from different developers to work together. However, it also means that you are getting a “one-size fits-all” solution, which may or may not be as fully featured as best of breed applications.

Windows:

PCLaw

At this time, PCLaw is about as close to the Holy Grail as you can find in Canada for small to mid-size firms. PCLaw started out as a general, billing and trust legal accounting system and has gradually added aspects of practice management (“PM”). However, the PM side may not have all the features you desire as compared to a dedicated PM system. Lexis offers Time Matters for those requiring a more extensive PM application.

ESILaw

Esilaw is another Canadian approach for small to mid-sized firms to an integrated solution that started out as a legal general, billing and trust application. It has added PM features via ESILAW 360, but again, the PM side may not have all the features you want as compared to some dedicated PM systems.

Acumin

Acumin is a mid to large firm solution that supports general, billing and trust accounting with PM for mid to larger sized firms having multiple offices and similar needs.

MAC:

Brief Legal

This is a legal general, billing and trust accounting application for the Mac. Unfortunately, at this time, it does not have a PM component.

PM software that links with accounting software (3rd party):

CLOUD:

CLIO

Clio is the most prominent example of a host of cloud-based billing, trust accounting and PM solutions that are platform-independent. Most of these cloud-based apps integrate with 3rd party accounting systems. However, in most cases, these cloud-based accounting systems are designed for the USA and do not match our Canadian accounting needs, with the exception of Xero (xero.com/ca).

Amicus Attorney

This is one of the leading practice management applications, which is also cloud accessible via its mobile app. In Canada, it is commonly linked to third party accounting software such as PCLaw to create an all-in-one solution.

PracticeMaster

This is a rich PM solution that can be used as a stand-alone solution where you don’t need integration with an accounting application.