Practice Management vs. Document Management for Law Firms

What is Practice Management Software?

Now that we’ve clearly defined what Document Management software, lets dig into the other half of our article: Practice Management Software.

Legal Practice Management (LPM) software, as the name implies, helps a law firm manage their practice. If Document Management software is designed to manage the documents, email and content of a law firm and its cases, it’s fair to summarize Practice Management software as managing cases and the business side of a law practice.

Practice Management Software Capabilities

While the exact functionality within Practice Management software will vary from one application to another, typically Practice Management software will include:

  • Customer and Contact database – a central, firm-wide contact and client database.
  • Case database – including (sometimes) details unique to different areas of law and types of cases.
  • Calendaring – ranging from a basic firm-wide calendar to sophisticated rules-based calendaring and deadline management (docketing).
  • Time Tracking – Recording of billable (and non-billable) hours.
  • Billing – Invoicing clients for time and expenses.
  • Form/Document Assembly – The automated creation and population of specific court forms and fillings.
  • Accounting – Some LPM applications include built-in, full-fledged accounting. Others require you to maintain accounting in other software, such as QuickBooks
  • Basic Document Storage/Linking * – More on this shortly

Popular Practice Management Applications

Popular Legal Practice Management applications include:

About the Author: Dennis Dimka
Dennis Dimka is the CEO and founder of Uptime Legal Systems, North America's leading provider of technology, cloud and marketing services to law firms. Dennis is the author of Law Practice as a Service: How and Why to Move Your Law Firm to the Cloud, and was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2016. Follow Dennis on LinkedIn.

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