The 7 Best Practice Management Solutions for Law Firms in 2022 - Pros and Cons

March 15, 2022
 min read

With technology constantly evolving and becoming more integral in completing every-day tasks, we can see that innovation and digital transformation are the keys to success. For law firms, using the best practice management solution for its demands is how firms can stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive.

Legal practice management software is designed to help legal professionals with their day-to-day workflows and business operations. This software can digitize appointment scheduling, client communications, document storage and sharing, billing, payments, and more. However, not all practice management systems are created equally, and your law firm’s demands will dictate which solution is best.

To help you decide which practice management solution is best for your law firm in 2022, we have listed 7 of our favorites below.

These solutions also interact with other apps and tools to further improve productivity, accounting and workflow management. To make the most of the practice management system that you choose, consider what integrations are available to help you optimize your law firm. 


-       Type of firm – mixed practice, boutique, specialist
-       Size – small to medium
-       Pros – customer support, cloud-based, integrations, UI, features
-       Cons – steep learning curve

Actionstep is an innovative solution designed for ambitious law firms to grow and modify their workflows, while providing an exceptional experience to their clients. It is one of the first platforms to become cloud-based, and has all the standard features of a practice management system.

Actionstep is one of the only legal practice management systems that do front and back-office accounting. You can use Actionstep to replace your current accounting software so that your firm’s accounting is found in one place, or you can just use the front-office features with your current accounting system.

Additionally, the many integrations available with Actionstep make it easy for law firms to have a customized software experience. It integrates with the third-party apps that your firm is already likely to be using. For example, Actionstep connects seamlessly with a smart legal phone system that enables lawyers to skip the tasks associated with phone calls like recording time. This can save your law firm on non-billable time, while helping your lawyers capture more billable hours. 


-       Type of firm – mixed practice, boutique
-       Size – small to large
-       Pros – customer support, cloud-based, integrations, UI
-       Cons – steep learning curve

Founded in Canada, Clio is an award-winning practice management system and is the legal industry’s most popular choice by the number of users. Clio manages all your cases, documents, billing, client intake and more, all in one central system. With the ability to access the system from anywhere, a solution like this makes work easier whether you’re in the office or working remotely.

There are two main elements to the practice management system: Clio Grow, a powerful client intake tool made for law firms; and Clio Manage, a cloud-based legal case management software. When using both these features, your entire law firm can be managed in one place with the benefits of industry-leading security protecting your data, 24/5 customer support, and 200+ integrations with purpose-built third-party apps including Vxt Call

Smoke Ball

-       Type of firm – transaction heavy, mixed practice
-       Size – small to large
-       Pros – customer support, cloud-based, integrations, UI
-       Cons – cost

Smokeball is for savvy lawyers who want to run their law firms like businesses. It is one of the only cloud-based legal practice management solutions that automatically records time. 

It is reported that firms using Smokeball’s automatic time tracking function end up billing more than 4 hours every day. When compared to the average of 2.02 hours billed per day (according to industry reports), this can earn your firm an extra $135k of annual revenue per fee earner. Further, Smokeball’s time tracking can also be used to discover where your law firm loses and makes money, helping your firm optimize its processes. 

Many users of Smokeball report that its integration with Outlook makes Smokeball stand out from alternative practice management systems. Its seamless integration with Outlook makes corralling the extensive emails less time consuming, as it even displays emails in relation to the cases they pertain to.

Smokeball’s seamless integration with Outlook acts as a gateway to even more solutions available, like cloud-based phone systems that have been designed for the legal industry. Such solutions can record data related to individual phone calls, then communicate them to the practice management system through the email integrations of Smokeball. This makes it simple to record billable phone calls in the practice management system, and can even reduce compliance risk.


-       Type of firm – mixed practice, transaction heavy, boutique
-       Size – small to medium
-       Pros – customer support, cloud-based, UI
-       Cons – lack of integration

Busy law firms looking for an all-in-one solution should look to MyCase, a cloud-based platform with end-to-end billing, document managing, and integrations with major tools that make work easier

Its flexibility and ease-of-use make MyCase a great option for law firms who want to optimize its processes and make the most of legal tech. MyCase can work with solutions like cloud-based phone systems to replace desk phones and enable insights into internal communications. This can shift the time spent by lawyers away from non-billable work.

MyCase makes it easy to keep cases moving forward with centralized document storage, smart calendars with Google Calendar and Outlook, and status reports. According to MyCase, some customers have been able to increase their caseloads by 37% with its legal case management tool. When it comes to billing and collecting payment, MyCase can generate invoices by pulling time entries for each case and bill clients online secure payment processes. 

Thomson Reuters 3E

-       Type of firm – transaction heavy, mixed practice, international
-       Size – medium to large
-       Pros – customer support, cloud-based, billing features
-       Cons – UI

Thomson Reuters’s 3E is designed for law firms that want to drive growth and increase profitability. It allows law firms to view in-depth analytics and gain insights into their business operations. 

Lawyers can make use of 3E’s productivity tools that have been designed specifically for lawyers to maximize billable time captured. Multiple timers can be used to record work on the different clients throughout the day, and templates make it easy for lawyers to submit diaries of hours in batches.

3E also has integrated finance tools for accounting and financial reporting activities. These include accounts payable features which make high-volume transactions easier to handle, a general ledger that can manage your law firm’s finances in multiple currencies and languages, and the ability to make time entries on mobile devices. 

These key features make 3E an invaluable tool that can increase efficiency and ensure your firm’s success.

LEAP (Infinitylaw)

-       Type of firm – specialist, boutique, mixed practice
-       Size – small to medium
-       Pros – cloud-based, integrations
-       Cons – customer support

LEAP Legal Software is now managing the practice management system formerly known as Infinitylaw. LEAP is an offline and cloud-based solution that understands the ever-changing needs of lawyers and provides innovative and expert solutions. LEAP has a focus on investing in developing the best cloud technology platform and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, and many of their staff have years of experience working in law firms.

If your law firm currently uses Microsoft 365, then LEAP may be the best option for you. LEAP seamlessly integrates with all Office 365 apps, including Microsoft Teams and Word. 

However, if your law firm is looking to upgrade from Microsoft Teams to a more modern and convenient solution, or if you’re looking for a practice management system that is more customisable with a broader range of integrations, then LEAP may not be for your firm. Consider the other practice management solutions out there that are more flexible, and able to integrate with the best third-party apps.


-       Type of firm – mixed practice, litigation
-       Size – medium to large
-       Pros – cloud-based, integrations, features
-       Cons – UI 

Aderant is one of the most popular practice management systems used in law firms across the globe. Its popularity is owed to its robust cloud-based systems which enable agility and efficiency for law firms. 

Its main features include BillBlast, an eBilling solution that centralizes the functions of many platforms and integrates with major time tracking and spend management systems. One of Aderant’s customers found that their eBilling accuracy went from 25% accurate, to 99.3% accuracy when switching from their legacy system to Aderant’s BillBlast. Aderant also features Handshake, a tool that allows multiple departments across a firm to communicate in practical ways to ensure the firm’s success. It also seamlessly integrates with many third party solutions, such as iTimekeep, the #1 time tracking software for lawyers, and has the ability to integrate with modern cloud-based phone systems that can be used on any device.


Final Thoughts

With so many options to choose from, these 7 are some of the best practice management systems available. Consider the pros and cons of each one in relation to what your law firm needs and values, so that you can make a decision that will maximize success. 

Keep the long-term in mind when choosing a solution, as migration and implementation can be costly. Flexibility, integrations, and ease of use are key in making the best decision.

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