Choosing the right law practice management software | Legal Solutions

An essential guide:

How to select the right law practice management software for your firm


Law practice management software is essential for solo and small firms in today’s legal marketing. And, selecting the right practice management software for your law firm doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow the 11 important steps outlined in this guide and use this practical checklist and goal worksheet to aid in your selection process. What you’ll take away:

  • Why law practice management software is a must-have for solo and small law firms.
  • 11 important steps your law firm show follow to select the right management software for your firm.
  • Complimentary access to an additional toolkit you can use immediately to help prioritize your law firm goals and evaluate law practice management features.

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If you have been pondering this decision for some time, are new to it or are unsure which system will be best for your firm, use the steps below to guide your selection.

Step 1: Begin with the end in mind

This statement is from Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and it’s the most important item on your checklist.

It’s critical to determine your goals and expectations of the practice management system at the very beginning – even before you begin researching provider options. During this process you need to:

  • Identify your information-management and day-to-day workflow pain points and gaps.
  • Make a list of goals and needs before you look at a solution’s features.
  • Consider what will be a priority in your future, will you eventually want to:
    • Add staff or practice areas?
    • Have the option of working remotely?
  • Prioritize your goals.
  • Expand the list as you examine various tools and note features you’d like to have.

There will be trade-offs. Let’s repeat – there will be trade-offs.

For instance, being able to easily record billable time is likely a goal for all law firms. But you may want to generate invoices or export billing information as well. Selecting a system with all of the functionalities you want and need requires good planning. If your law practice management solution has a shortcoming or an overly complex feature, understand this before you purchase.

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  • Jim Calloway
    Jim Calloway
    Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program

About the author

Jim Calloway is the Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program where he frequently writes and speaks about legal technology issues. He served as co-chair of the ABA TECHSHOW, and is a blogger at and  podcaster at Digital Edge-Lawyers and Technology.