Whether you work for a law firm, in a corporate legal department, or as a solo practitioner, chances are paperwork and deadlines are a big part of your day-to-day work. It comes with the territory! But when you’re knee-deep in contracts, timesheets, and email chains, it can get overwhelming. And it’s all too easy for mistakes to happen.
According to The Law Society, one of the main challenges is not having the right technology to support their work.
That’s where legal workflow software comes in.
Legal workflow software streamlines your workflows, automates those time-consuming, repetitive tasks, and ensures you never miss a deadline.
Whether you want help with document management, time tracking, client communication, or reporting, there are a whole host of tools at your disposal to make your legal workflow that much smoother. In this guide we’ll give you the lowdown on the five best legal workflow automation software in 2023.
But first …
What is legal workflow software?
Legal workflow software is designed to help streamline and manage various processes and tasks within law firms and corporate legal departments. It helps lawyers and other legal professionals to create standardized workflows, automate repetitive tasks, and ensure the smooth flow of documents and information throughout the organization.
Here are some of the key features to look out for:
- Document automation – to help with creation, customization, and management of legal documents
- Document management – for organizing, storing, and reviewing legal documents
- Task management – to help you assign tasks, set deadlines, schedule automated reminders, and track progress
- Billing features – for automating time tracking, expense recording, and invoice generation
- Database management – keeping all data related to clients, cases, documents, and contacts in one place
- Collaboration features – for document sharing, real-time collaboration, task assignment, and status updates
- Secure client portals – for direct and encrypted client communication
- Reporting capabilities – to help you analyze data, track KPIs, and monitor productivity
By using legal workflow software, law firms can save time, reduce errors, improve productivity, and enhance overall efficiency in their day-to-day operations. Most importantly, it empowers legal professionals to focus more on providing high-quality legal services, and less on mundane administrative tasks.
Everyone’s a winner!
So with all that in mind, let’s take a look at the five best legal workflow software:
- MyCase – best legal workflow software for case management
- Clio – best legal workflow software for time tracking and billing
- Filestage – best legal workflow software for document review and approval
- Jotform – best legal workflow software for contract creation
- Smokeball – best legal workflow software for small law firms
1. MyCase – best legal workflow software for case management
MyCase is a comprehensive legal practice management software that helps to streamline and optimize just about every aspect of case management. It provides a centralized place for law firms to store and access case-related information, track time spent on tasks, generate invoices, and manage documents.
The best bit? You can automate repetitive case-related tasks, building custom workflows to take that monotony out of your hands. Which means more time to focus on the more interesting parts of the case.
The workflow tool integrates with a range of apps, from email platforms like Gmail and Outlook, to law-specific tools like LawToolBox and LawPay. However, integrations are limited compared to other legal workflow automation software.
- Centralized platform to manage and organize all your cases
- Easy and secure document storage, organization, and sharing
- Time tracking and billing functionality
- Communication and collaboration tools
- Calendar feature to schedule appointments, court dates, and deadlines
- Reporting and analytics features
- Comprehensive case management
- User-friendly interface
- Mobile accessibility
- Limited customization
- Per-user subscription model can make it costly for larger firms
- Integration limitations
MyCase’s pricing options start at $39/user per month.
2. Clio – best legal workflow software for time tracking and billing
Another all-rounder when it comes to legal workflow automation, Clio offers particularly robust features for lawyers who want to streamline their time tracking and billing processes, improve accuracy, and claw back time currently spent in this area. Features including automated time capture, expense tracking, and billing workflows help law firms to efficiently manage all of their necessary billing tasks.
Clio also integrates with accounting software including QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage. This simplifies the process of transferring financial data, making sure everything is as accurate as can be – with no duplicate data.
- Automated time capture for accurate time tracking
- Expense tracking and categorization
- Automated invoice generation and customizable invoice templates
- Customizable billing workflows with approval management steps
- Easy-to-use software
- Robust time tracking and billing features
- Integration with a wide range of third-party applications
- Customization limitations
- Pricing is at the higher end of the spectrum
- Limited reporting functionality
Pricing starts at $49/user per month.
3. Filestage – best legal workflow software for document review and approval
If you’re looking to improve your legal document approval workflow, then look no further than Filestage.
Filestage simplifies the review and approval process for legal teams by providing a centralized platform for document collaboration. Team members can easily share, comment on, and annotate legal documents, helping you to get contracts and other documents approved faster. And with less back-and-forth via email and other channels.
With Filestage you can automate tasks, setting triggers and actions to keep your team up to date and to automatically remind reviewers that you’re still waiting to hear from. All while ensuring secure file sharing that complies with some of the top regulatory laws.
Filestage integrates with other popular tools and platforms commonly used by legal teams, such as project management software and document management systems. Check out our full list of integrations.
- Workflow automation to reduce manual tasks and speed up document reviews
- Due dates keep things on track and help you meet deadlines
- In-context comments make for clear feedback that shows up in real time
- Visual annotations bring comments to life and make it clear what needs changing
- To-do lists give your team a clear picture of what needs amending
- Version history helps you keep tabs on previous comments and see what’s changed
- Review steps mean your files get approved by the right people at the right stage of the process
- Project dashboards help you keep track of who you’re still waiting to hear from
- Integrations with Dropbox, Google Drive, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and more
- 256-bit SSL file encryption for secure file sharing
- Easy to use
- Streamlined collaboration
- Secure document storage
- Robust integration capabilities
- No desktop or mobile app (only usable in the browser)
If you’re a small team just getting started with Filestage, you can start out with our Free plan, which includes two projects and two review steps with unlimited team members and reviewers. After that, it’s $49/month for Basic.
4. Jotform – best legal workflow software for contract creation
Jotform is an online form builder and data collection tool that can save law firms loads of time when it comes to contract generation. How? By providing you with a wide range of customizable document templates to streamline the process of creating contracts and client agreements. Legal teams can also use Jotform to speed up aspects of the client intake process, with templates to help collect important information such as contact details, case-specific details, and relevant documents.
To make your workflow even more efficient, Jotform integrates with more than 100 applications – including Filestage! It integrates with a whole host of CRM, email, storage, and payment apps, plus a range of e-signature widgets to make collecting signatures easy. No more paper forms. No more scanning.
- Customizable templates with a drag-and-drop interface
- File upload fields in forms for secure document collection
- Conditional logic for dynamic forms that adapt based on user responses
- Integration with electronic signature services
- Form sharing and real-time collaboration on form designs
- User-friendly interface
- Customizable forms and contracts
- Fully integrated solution
- Templates may not always be advanced enough
- Free version has limited features
- Per-user subscription model can make it costly for larger firms
There’s a free version with limited features, or paid plans start at $34/user per month.
5. Smokeball – best legal workflow software for small law firms
Smokeball is a legal workflow automation software that’s specifically tailored to small law firms. Whether you work in a small legal practice or you’re a solo practitioner, Smokeball can help with your legal workflow automation, taking care of those time-consuming administrative tasks so that you can focus on providing the best possible service.
Smokeball provides tools for case management, document automation, time tracking, billing, client communication, and more. By harnessing the power of this tool, you can create legal workflows that help you work smarter, reduce the chance of human error, and avoid missed deadlines.
This software integrates with a range of other useful apps, however its integration capabilities are somewhat limited compared to some of its competitors.
- Automation of routine tasks related to document preparation, editing, and review
- Time tracking and billing
- Calendar functionality for managing appointments, court dates, and deadlines
- Secure client portals for client collaboration
- Daily digest updates for full transparency across all your legal workflows
- Intuitive user interface with drag-and-drop functionality
- Responsive and helpful customer support
- Robust document management and document automation capabilities
- Limited integration capabilities
- Limited customizable templates
- No mobile app
Prices start at $29/user per month for the Start plan. However, this plan has limited features and does not include document management or document automation, so you’ll need to upgrade to the Grab plan which costs $99/user per month.
Best legal workflow software and tools recap
The best legal workflow automation software for you will ultimately depend on the size of your law firm or legal department, the legal processes you need help automating, and your budget. Here’s a quick recap of the tools we’ve discussed.
|Use case||Case management||Time tracking and billing||Document review and approval||Contract creation||Small law firms|
|Best feature||Securely store and access case-related information||Automated time capture||Workflow automation with custom triggers and actions||Integration with electronic signature services||Document automation|
|Biggest pro||Comprehensive case management||Robust time tracking and billing features||Streamlined collaboration||Fully integrated solution||Robust document management and document automation capabilities|
|Biggest con||Pricing structure||Limited reporting functionality||No desktop or mobile app||Free version has limited features||Limited integration capabilities|
|Pricing||Starts at $39/user per month||Starts at $49/user per month||Free plan, or paid plans start at $49/month for unlimited team members||Free plan, or paid plans start at $34/user per month||Starts at $29/user per month|
Hopefully you now have a better idea of which legal workflow automation software is best suited to your law firm or legal team.
If you’d like to see for yourself how Filestage can help with legal workflow automation and document approval, you can get a free trial here →