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Total Attorneys: Battle of the Cloud-Based Practice Management Software (Part 5)

Just when we thought the Battle Of The Cloud-Based Practice Management Software series was complete, Total Attorneys reached out to mention that they also offered powerful cloud-based practice management software. In other words, we have an unexpected challenger for round four. As I had done before with MyCase, 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 ease of the user interface, compatibility with other popular software programs, and other useful features. Of the four software we evaluated, Total Attorneys wasn’t my favorite in terms of user interface or appearance. However, what Total Attorneys lack in polish they more than make up for in price.

Price

Total Attorneys is unquestionably the cheapest practice management software solution for small firms and solo practitioners. Total Attorneys charges only $1 per month per user. The Total Attorneys rep I spoke with assured me that the $1 rate wasn’t going anywhere either. Instead of charging a larger monthly subscription fee, Total Attorneys relies on subscribers purchasing various upgrades for the service. For example, Total Attorneys began as a legal marketing service. One of the available upgrades, called Leads, provides integrated marketing services for subscribers. Payment Processing is another upgrade that is available which costs $35 a month for the whole firm.

Meanwhile, MyCase is $39 per month per attorney and $29 a month for paralegals and support staff. 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 being contacted by Total Attorneys I took an online training seminar with a member of their staff. The training demonstrated that the software was relatively straight forward and easy to use. Aside from that live call, the training options through Total Attorneys appeared to be relatively lean (or at least not easy to find). However, the software was pretty easy to use and Total Attorneys does provide full support if you need help using the software.

User Experience & Functionality

Like Clio, MyCase and Rocket Matter, Total Attorneys is operated through your browser. It’s optimized for use in IE, Safari, Firefox, or Chrome. Like its competitors, Total Attorneys offers a number of security features. For example, all communications and data stored in Total Attorneys use 256-bit encryption.

Total Attorneys is pretty straight-forward to use. At least on the surface, their user interface somewhat resembles Clio’s. A navigation bar runs across the top of the screen with tabs for matters, clients, billing, calendar, documents, apps, etc. In the right hand corner there is a stop clock that you can use to quickly track your time. In the bottom right hand corner you’ll find upcoming tasks and events.


One complaint I found, as I had with MyCase, is that Total Attorneys interface doesn’t allow you to bill directly from task entries and calendar events. Thus, you can’t automatically convert a calendar or task entry into a billable time entry. Meanwhile, in Rocket Matter 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 Total Attorneys, you’d need to create new time entries from scratch. In general I found it less convenient to enter billing into Total Attorneys than I had using their competitors software.

As with their competitors, Total Attorneys allows for 2 way syncing with your Google Calendar. This means that entries you create in Google Calendar will automatically appear in Total Attorneys, and vice versa. Total Attorneys also offers 2 way syncing with your iCal and Outlook calendar.

Total Attorneys offers great document storage as well. Like MyCase, Clio and Rocket Matter, Total Attorneys offers unlimited storage space for subscribers. To add documents, you just drag and drop up to five documents at a time into a case at a time. Total Attorneys allows you to upload all file types. It’s a feature I liked out in Clio and MyCase as well because, in my experience, case files often include photo and video evidence that I’d want to store with the rest of my case.

Total Attorneys already offers a number of integrations with their service, some of which are free and others which are paid upgrade. For example, they offer partnerships with Legal Web Experts and Fastcase. They’re also working on adding Dropbox and Box.com functionality to the software.

One of the features that Total Attorneys really highlights is their client portal. This feature allows you to create a site for your clients to connect directly with your practice management software. It’s a great tool for sending and receiving information from clients.

Unlike their competitors, Total Attorneys does not currently offer document assembly. However, their rep told me that it is a feature that is currently in the works. Each of the other three cloud-based practice management tools offer this feature. As I stated in my MyCase, 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, Total Attorneys is mobile device friendly, offering iPhone and iPad apps.

Conclusion

Total Attorneys $1 per month per user rate is pretty hard to beat. Their user interface, although not as polished as Rocket Matter or Clio, is still easy to use and not unattractive. They currently offer very few integrations with other online storage services, but those elements are already in the works. Although they are lacking some of the bells and whistles offered by their competitors, they do offer some very clean and useful features that are less prominent in their competitors’ software including an impressive client portal. In the end, Total Attorneys is another great option for a small firm or solo practitioner seeking an extremely cost-effective practice management solution.

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