What is Legal Case Management Software?

By Nicole Black

Legal case management software helps law firms more productively manage the business side of their law practice. A basic lawyer case management system can replace paper calendars, Rolodexes, timesheets, notepads, manual tickler systems, and telephone message pads. However, a sophisticated law firm case management system can keep your law firm organized, as well as improve the way you serve your clients and simultaneously solve all your client communication issues.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the following common questions:

  • What is legal case management software?
  • What are the types of law firm case management systems?
  • What are the common features of case management software for lawyers?
  • Are there limitations when using a legal case management system?
  • What are the benefits of law firm case management software?
  • Is it easy to setup a lawyer case management system?

What is Legal Case Management Software?

Legal case management software can boost productivity with a multitude of features that improve everyday tasks.


A law firm case management system can boost your firm’s productivity. You’ll no longer have to struggle to stay organized and keep in touch with your clients. Instead, the legal case management system will simplify your practice exponentially, making it easier than ever for you to efficiently manage your busy practice and focus on what matters: practicing law and achieving desired outcomes for your clients.

The features most commonly found in a law firm case management system include:

  • Document management, sharing, and collaboration functionality
  • Time-tracking and legal invoicing tools
  • Online payment processing and accounting
  • Communication features such as secure client portals, built-in texting, integrated email, and real-time chat
  • Customer relationship management tools
  • Rules-based calendaring
  • Financial dashboards

The Rise of Legal Cloud Computing Software

Historically, the software that lawyers have relied on to run their firms has been primarily premise-based. However, today cloud computing software has taken the lead and is the most prevalent. In fact, according to the MyCase Legal Industry Report, 88% of lawyers shared that their firms now use cloud computing software. And the top reason for them choosing web-based legal case management software is that all the information is conveniently and securely located in one centralized location.

Types of Legal Case Management Software and Systems

Lawyers have used software to help them practice law and run their firms for many years. The types of software that lawyers have used since the 1990s have run the gamut, from legal research and dictation tools to software for word processing and legal billing.

Traditional Law Firm Case Management

Oftentimes, lawyers who work in small and midsize firms practice many different types of law. For those lawyers, traditional case management software is often a better fit since it’s designed to provide a broader functionality and thus meets the needs of firms with lawyers who handle a variety of cases.

Practice-Specific Law Firm Case Management

However, when lawyers have a single practice area focus, they often need practice-area-specific case management systems. This is because when lawyers handle a single practice area, they typically require unique software functionality and features that are frequently determined by court-mandated deadlines and forms.

For example, personal injury law firms have specific needs due to the demands and characteristics of personal injury litigation. Since the vast majority of plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyers bill on a contingency basis, there is typically no need for robust time-tracking or invoicing functionality. Instead, personal injury lawyers require tools to help manage all stages of litigation, from client intake and discovery to the negotiation process and settlement or trial.

Similarly, immigration lawyers also have unique needs. That’s where immigration case management software comes in. It’s custom-built for immigration law firms, and often includes immigration forms, client intake forms, built-in immigration workflows, e-filing capabilities, and case-tracking functionality.

Whether you handle one practice area or many, you undoubtedly know that running a law office isn’t easy. Practicing law is a full-time job, and unfortunately, most solo and small firm lawyers don’t have the luxury of letting others run the back end of their law firm.

Benefits of Attorney Case Management Software

Solo and small firm attorneys single-handedly take on so many different roles, which can sometimes feel overwhelming.

From the very start of a case, lawyer management software can help by:

  1. Streamlining your firm’s processes, ensuring that new clients are swiftly onboarded
  2. Automating document creation, ensuring that important deadlines are met, and facilitating both internal and external communication. This means that all of your firm’s employees, from paralegals and administrative assistants to attorneys, will be in the loop and on the same page regarding tasks, deadlines, and the next steps for each case.
  3. Making it easy for your firm to invoice and collect payments from clients, taking another big task off of your plate

Legal Case Management Software Features and Capabilities

The best law firm case management software contains features that improve tasks related to client intake, time management, billing, and more.


With the right legal case management system in place, your firm’s processes will be streamlined in no time. The key is to choose a system with attorney case management software features that are specifically designed for law firms. Let’s dive into each of these feature sets to learn how they can help your firm become efficient and productive.

Client Intake and Lead Management

Online intake forms simplify client intake and make it easy for potential clients to provide contact information from any internet-enabled device at any time of the day. And if your online intake forms are part of your law firm’s case management software, then all the better, since all information collected using online intake forms is then immediately accessible in your lawyer case management system.

Once a lead has been entered into your legal case management system, lead management tools streamline communications and appointments with potential clients. Other features often included are the ability to run analytics and create reports that provide insight into lead sources and the lead management process.

Billing and Invoicing

A successful law practice is a profitable one. That’s why case management software for lawyers with modernized legal billing systems is so important. The more efficient your firm’s billing processes, the quicker your firm will get paid.

Built-in time tracking and billing features make it easy to track time, invoice clients, and accept online payments. By using such software, your law firm’s billing processes will become organized and supported by the latest technology. This feature will make it easy for clients to pay their bills in a timely manner—while potentially increasing your cash flow.

Online Payments

One of the best ways to ensure your firm gets paid quickly is to allow clients to pay their bills online. Using legal case management software with built-in payment processing tools, you can create a payment plan, establish the amounts due and set their respective due dates, and share this information with your clients. Breaking down bigger payments into smaller amounts via the internet will allow clients to clear their invoices instantly, eradicating the need for you to chase payments.

You can even set up auto invoice reminders for the amounts due, giving your clients a heads-up in advance. These convenient reminders can change the game for your law firm.

Document Automation and Templates

When document templates are created using document automation features, the time spent creating frequently-used documents is significantly reduced. You’ll no longer need to re-type the entire document. Instead, you simply fill in the appropriate fields.

This process is simplified even further when document automation is built into lawyer case management software. By using document assembly tools to create templates, relevant data such as case numbers, client information, party names, and necessary dates will be automatically populated in the document, saving you time and increasing your firm’s productivity.

Client Portal

Online communication portals provide law firms with a secure and effective way to communicate with clients. These portals when built into lawyer case management software can ensure end-to-end security and ethical compliance.

Say goodbye to the cumbersome back-and-forth process of threaded emails. With online portals, you can communicate and share case-related information with your clients in a centralized, convenient, and most importantly, secure location. Nothing compares to communicating with clients in an encrypted, controlled, online environment.

Automated Workflows

With attorney case management software, the days of using old-school paper tickler systems will be long gone—replaced by convenient, automated workflows that you can simply create at the start of a case. These will then allow you to assign tasks to your assistants and keep you updated on their progress.

For example, workflows can be set up to track court and statutory deadlines by automating client intake so that task templates are automatically created for important dates relating to specific types of cases or trials. When you customize at the start of each matter, you’ll rest easy knowing you’ll never lose track of important deadlines.

Limitations of Law Office Case Management Software

Of course, case management software for lawyers does have some limitations. Regardless of whether your firm employs server-based case management software or has transitioned to cloud-based software, there are some drawbacks in both.

Server-based Software

There are several downsides to storing your firm’s data on a server located in your law firm. The most notable drawback? Cost. Servers cost a lot of money to purchase and maintain, and you’ll need to retain the services of an IT pro to install and maintain your firm’s servers, which is another added expense. Additionally, your firm’s servers have a limited life span. Eventually, you’ll need to buy new ones, and in the process, further increase your spending. And lastly, your remote access options are limited, so viewing data located on your firm’s servers when you’re offsite can be challenging.

Cloud-based Software

Cloud-based case management software has some drawbacks too. The first is that internet access is required to access your information stored in the cloud, but in a pinch, you can always use your phone’s data plan or a MiFi device as a backup should the internet go down. And while the cost of cloud-based software is typically a monthly or annual subscription, these costs tend to be far more affordable than the upfront expense of servers and the IT costs associated with installing and maintaining servers over time.

Choosing a Case Management Software System

Choosing the best case management software for lawyers can help maximize productivity and cash flow benefits.


Of course, choosing a lawyer case management system with the right features for your law firm is key. When researching your options, there are many areas to focus on to ensure you choose the best fit for your firm. Here are a few tips to guide your selection process.

Map Your Law Firm’s Processes

Start by mapping your law firm’s processes. Consider creating a visual map of the processes and project management systems used throughout your firm, so you can easily see all team member workflows and daily tasks.

Mapping their path through the firm isn’t always easy since there are so many different touchpoints for documents and projects in a law firm. However, it’s a critical step to take before researching and choosing case management software.

Choose Software that Works with Your Firm’s Processes

Once you have a complete understanding of your law firm’s processes, the next step is to choose legal software that will fit into your law firm’s workflows and reduce redundancies. Consider which features are must-haves for your firm, and then go from there. But make sure that the features built into the software work the way you expect them to.

Demo the Software and Take Advantage of  Free Trials

Take advantage of demos, webinars, and training sessions provided by the software company. Then enter and upload important case-related information into the software for one case, and use the tools built into the software to test workflow functions and task assigning. Consider how intuitive the software is.

Once you’ve settled on a specific case management platform, the next step is to implement the software by training your employees, importing law firm data, and laying the groundwork for long-term success.

Setup Legal Case Management Software in Four Steps

1. Train Your Staff

Once you’ve selected the software, it’s time to put it to work. First and foremost, train your employees on how to use it. Otherwise, your investment of time and money will be a complete waste. Make sure your employees are on board with your choice. Educate them about the importance and benefits of legal case management software and explain how it will fit into their workflow.

Next, share how and when they’re expected to use it. Provide them with guidelines designed to help them implement the software into their daily routines. Show them how it can streamline client intake, firm-wide calendaring and collaboration, client communication, time-tracking, invoicing, payment collection, and more.

2. Migrate Your Data

Determine whether the current software you’re using permits you to export data and if so, in what format(s). Next, contact your new provider and find out what they can do to assist with the data migration process.

Now that you have an understanding of the import process, your next step is to decide how to go about transitioning to the new case management system. You have the following options:

  • Import all of your firm’s data
  • Import only critical data, such as contacts and frequently used documents or forms
  • Import critical data and all data for open cases (some firms might also want to include recently closed cases)
  • Import only critical data and then input additional information as new cases are opened

The option you choose will vary and there’s no “right” solution. Every firm’s situation differs and it’s largely a matter of balancing personal preference with practicalities.

3. Transition One Element at a Time

Instead of shifting over all aspects of your business  at once, make the transition from the legacy system to the new web-based case management system piece by piece. For instance, start using the new system for client billing. When you have ironed out the issues and everything is working as desired, add another element like scheduling. By staging your transition in phases, the changes will be easier to implement.

4. Utilize Training and Customer Support

You don’t have to do this on your own and you shouldn’t. Utilize training webinars to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your new case management tools, and don’t hesitate to contact customer service if you have a question about how things work.

MyCase Case Management Software Customer Success Stories

MyCase case management software benefits a wide variety of law firms for it’s robust features that improve cash flow and efficiency.


What’s better than hearing from happy clients who have witnessed positive change firsthand!

Mark Brenner, a MyCase customer, recently shared:

“In California, you can actually get sanctioned by the Bar for not adequately communicating with your client. That risk has been virtually eliminated with MyCase because my clients are always notified whenever I work on a case. As a result, my index of dissatisfied clients has simply disappeared and all of my clients feel like they are my only client—and it’s all because of MyCase.”

Attorney Matt Jett relies on MyCase’s document automation features. According to Jett, his law firm (Jett Law) is significantly more efficient:

“It’s difficult to imagine how much time we would lose if we weren’t using MyCase. Before we had MyCase we had to use a document bank and then manually change all the names and case numbers and things like that—that alone probably saves hours every day.”

MyCase customer Chris Huether shares that MyCase’s secure client portals are a big time-saver for his firm Leuthner & Huether, Ltd. In addition, this feature offers him peace of mind when it comes to complying with the ethical obligation to ensure client confidentiality:

“The client portal alone saves incredible amounts of time versus emailing. It’s one of the reasons we actually went with MyCase since the portal is so much easier to use than some other software. The clients like it better, which makes a huge difference when we’re collecting documents from people. I don’t like emailing and I often get tax documents and things like that all the time from people. So not having to worry about that from a security standpoint is huge.”

Get Started With MyCase Today!

 MyCase case management software can help increase your firm’s efficiency, cash flow, and productivity. Try MyCase today risk-free with a 10-day free trial. We offer affordable monthly and yearly subscriptions. Plus, no commitment or credit card is required, and you can cancel anytime.