I have spent some time talking about the legal practice software I did not purchase, and the products I used to use, but now I am finally ready to describe my final choice for my office.
I purchased Amicus Premium 2014 with Billing. It is expensive, around $1,000 for the license and about $400 per year for maintenance (and you need the maintenance- Amicus is complicated and can get cranky).
Amicus is classically complex desktop software, with an SQL server based server that is probably more powerful than most of us need, and an old fashioned Windows interface that is reminiscent of Microsoft Outlook 2000. Amicus is certainly not the smoothest experience I have ever had on a computer.
Yet, despite the flaws in its architecture, Amicus is quite good at what it is supposed to do, managing a law practice. It integrates with Microsoft Office, Acrobat, and Quickbooks. It syncs your contacts, calendar and email with Microsoft Exchange so that it is up to date regardless of where you do your work. The email integration can automatically designate emails as related to matters (which Amicus strangely refers to as files). It also automatically saves attachments from linked emails. This feature does not work as well when you have email from people linked to multiple matters, though.
Amicus does all of the basics of legal practice management, it’s time keeping is excellent, and it keeps track of billed work you have done in the “time entry assistant” that lists all in billed work including all of your unveiled emails. I have already made some extra money because of this feature.
Yesterday, I finally did my first mass billing, and it was quite good. Amicus can email invoices out to all of your clients at once, it simply prepares the invoices, deducts any available funds from retainers, and then gives you a list of who to email. It auto fills this into the list, but you can change or add addresses as needed (I need to make sure the billing component has the correct email address when I open my matters). The whole process took about ten minutes. When I used Clio, monthly billing would take hours, and I would have to manually apply any retainer amount, by checking what Clio had listed as available on the file.
Another automation feature that Amicus has is simple task and calendar templates, that allow linking tasks to a certain event, so that I can use a precedent for a real estate closing that auto links all tasks to the closing date I set for the file, when it is actually determined.
I am still getting my templates set up with Amicus for document automation, but it seems pretty good. I haven’t seen any perfect automation, but Amicus does the basics well, I just have to figure out how I want things set up.
Updated 12:12 PM to correct typos.