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MyCase: Battle of the cloud-based practice management software (Part 4)

Welcome to round three of our Battle Of The Cloud-Based Practice Management Software series. Today I’m reporting my experiences using MyCase. As I had done before with Clio and Rocket Matter, I created a simulated client running it from intake through termination. I then evaluated the software in terms of its price point, my overall experience including easy of the user interface, compatibility with other popular software programs, and other useful features. As I’ve stated before, my experiences so far with Clio, Rocket Matter, and MyCase suggest that each of the three pieces of software are fine options for firms of any size. However, they each offer slightly different user experiences, different price points, and compatibility with different popular pieces of third party software. So instead of recommending any one of the three pieces of software specifically, my goal is to provide you with enough information to help you decide which is the right choice for your practice.

Price

Relative to Clio and Rocket Matter, depending on your attorney to support staff ratio, MyCase is probably the most cost-effective solution. MyCase is $39 per month per attorney and $29 a month for paralegals and support staff. Meanwhile, Rocket Matter charges a standard $59.99 for the first user regardless of the user’s position. Users 2 – 6 are $49.99 a month. Clio is priced at $49 per month per attorney and $25 per month per support staff. Like their competitors MyCase offers a free 30-day trial. Clio and MyCase do not require a credit card in order to enjoy the free trial, but Rocket Matter does.

Training

After signing up for an account with MyCase I received an email providing training options. Shortly thereafter I was contact by a member of their staff who offered to schedule a training session. To be honest, I found MyCase so intuitive and easy to use, that training felt unnecessary. For example, Mycase has an interactive training bar on the right side of the screen. It walks you through each of the steps for using Mycase’s basic functions. It’s very clear and easy to follow. In addition, Mycase offers a knowledge center that offers articles, video tutorials and other resources for using their software. And, like their competitors, Mycase offers one-on-one training with a member of their staff. With that said, part of the reason MyCase is so easy to use is because they offer the least number of advanced features and integrations. MyCase offers all of the features you’d use regularly in your practice, but nearly none of the bells and whistles offered by Rocket Matter and Clio.

User experience & functionality

Like Clio and Rocket Matter, MyCase is operated through your browser. It’s optimized for use in IE, Safari, Firefox, or Chrome. Like its competitors, MyCase offers a number of security features. For example, all communications between your browser and MyCase run over channels with 128-bit encryption. 256-bit AES encryption is used for all data stored on MyCase. Additionally, MyCase runs on Amazon EC2 cloud servers – which means they offer all of the security offered when storing credit cards or make purchases on Amazon. To put it bluntly, it’s pretty secure.

I felt that MyCase offered the most straight-forward and easy to use platform. It was incredibly easy to navigate and use the software. With no training I felt extremely comfortable navigating their interface minutes after the first login. However, I did find the interface to be slightly less attractive than their competitors. Of course, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. On the other hand, I did experience a number of minor bugs while navigating through MyCase. At one point a dialog box regarding new cases remained on the screen after having created a new client. The only way I was able to make it go away was to refresh the page. In other situation, when updating my contact information, I wasn’t able to easily navigate back to the MyCase main dashboard without clicking the back button on my browser. Again, these were minor bugs that were easily corrected.

My biggest complaint with MyCase is that their interface doesn’t allow you to bill directly from task entries and calendar events. In other words you can’t automatically convert a calendar or task entry into a billable time entry. In Rocket Matter, for example, it was easy to turn a task entry or calendar entry into a billable entry by clicking on a box and entering the time spent on the task or calendar event. In MyCase, you’d need to create new time entries from scratch.

As with Clio and Rocket Matter, MyCase allows for 2 way syncing with your Google Calendar. This means that entries you create in Google Calendar will automatically appear in MyCase, and vice versa. MyCase also offers 2 way syncing with your Outlook calendar.

MyCase offers great document storage as well. Like Clio and Rocket Matter, MyCase offers unlimited storage space for subscribers. And adding documents to a case is incredibly easy. You just drag and drop as many documents as you’d like into a case at a time. Unlike Rocket Matter, you can upload all file types to MyCase. I think this is a great feature because, in my experience, case files often include photo and video evidence that I’d want to store with the rest of my case.

MyCase offers nearly no third-party integrations. For comparison, both Rocket Matter and Clio offer integration with Dropbox. Clio offers integration with Box. And Rocket Matter offers integration with Evernote. If you already store a large number of your files in Dropbox or Box, you may find this lack of integration disappointing. If you don’t, you’ll probably never miss it. After all, MyCase offers unlimited document storage for your cases. Because I primarily use Evernote for note taking (as opposed to mere document storage) it’s the integration I’d most like to see included.

Each of the three cloud-based practice management tools offer automated document assembly. As I stated in my Clio and Rocket Matter reviews, it’s not a feature I’d anticipate using frequently because of the time it would require to create templates and set up each of the necessary merge fields. If you don’t take the time to set up each field, then you’ll still have to go in and carefully edit the document anyways. For me, this would somewhat defeat the purpose of using automated document assembly in the first place.

Finally, MyCase is mobile device friendly. Of the three services, MyCase was the only one to presently offer an iPhone/iPad app (the other companies suggested that such apps may not be far off for them).

Conclusion

MyCase is the most cost-effective cloud-based practice management software for a firm. It’s also incredibly easy to use. The lack of third-party integration (aside from Google Calendars and Outlook) is a draw back if you’re already using those services.

Have you used MyCase in your practice? I’d love hear your experiences in the comments section. Let us know what you like and don’t like about MyCase.

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4 Comments

  1. Nance L. Schick says:

    I’ve been trying MyCase for the past 25 days. It seems to be a great start, but there are some serious bugs in the MS Outlook sync tool. Do not use it! First, you have to manually drag every calendar entry and contact into special MyCase folders in Outlook. Then, they disappear–from the original calendar/contact list and the MyCase folders. Fortunately, my Blackberry sync restored them–after three hours of reworking all of the bugs in the Blackberry update, too.

    In short, I’m still undecided about MyCase. I tried Clio for awhile, and at least it saved time with the sync tools. But the interface is not very good and it requires a lot of set-up to map everything in all of your programs to work the way Clio thinks you should. I’m eyeing Rocket Matter next, if not a completely non-legal project management option. Oh, and I also replaced my Blackberry with an iPhone. I’m finished with early adoption and prefer proven products that will get me through at least the next year or two.

  2. Everyday Law Staff says:

    That sounds very frustrating. Thanks for your feedback, Susan.

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