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BeetleGirl

Lawyers, what time-keeping software do you/your firm use?

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My firm uses PCLaw, which I find to be clunky as sh*t. Besides having an interface reminiscent of the 1990s, it only saves entries locally (rather than on the cloud), so if I start a time-sheet locally then I can't finish it remotely (and vice versa).

Having a background in tech and finance from my pre-law life, I know for a fact that way better technology exists for time-keeping, but not sure if its only PCLaw or if all software commonly used by law firms are the same.

What time-keeping software do you or your firm use? Is there life/hope beyond PCLaw?

 

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There are tons of different options. Local software and cloud based subscription stuff. 

What area(s) of law? 

How big is the office? How many lawyers and staff?

How junior are you?

The main reason that firms stick with PCLaw and continue to use it for some sub-optimal purposes is that it is seen as the proper accounting software. A lot of the newer, cloud based file management systems that let you track time neatly do not do proper trust accounting. Firms that use something like Clio need to still use something like PCLaw for trust accounting, which is a huge pain. 

Your firm is probably using PCLaw for billing/accounting and just incidentally continues to use it for time tracking. 

There are cloud based options like Cosmolex that will apparently let you manage files and do proper trust accounting. In theory you could replace PCLaw with something like that. But that's a big migration. It's also a monthly subscription per user so if your firm is not tiny the monthly cost can get up there. 

I don't practice in an area where I track time but I'm sure there are standalone time-tracking software solutions if you just want to track time outside of PCLaw, on the cloud, and then enter stuff into PCLaw later.

Edited by BringBackCrunchBerries
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iTimekeep - cloud based. Can use it on my phone/tablet/computer and it's synced on each device. 

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My firm uses an outdated accounting/payroll software called IdeaLaw. Everyone keeps track of their time however they want and then has their assistants enter the data in IdeaLaw. Some lawyers jot down their start and end time on a notepad. Some of the younger lawyers use spreadsheets that automatically convert their time to tenth of an hour.

I'm an articling student using Clockify, which is decent. I like the the browser plug-in.

At the firm I summered at everyone used TimeCamp, which was pretty good.

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I used PC Law at both firms I worked for before being in government. 

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PC Law. I wouldn't hate it so much if every single institutional client didn't require slightly different usage of task and activity codes, lest they automatically bounce your invoice. For example, for AOR review, I enter that time as either BW, L110, L140 or L320 depending on the client. And certain clients automatically bounce any time entries for inter-office communications or even research. It's madness. 

PC Law just makes it worse by being an absolute garbage user interface that constantly requires maintenance and updates. And occasionally wipes my time sheets when I am using RDS. 

This is one aspect of working in government that was so, so, so much better than private practice. 

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My small firm uses PC Law. I hate it so much, it's such a pain to use and navigate. We used to have Amicus, which was much nicer to work with but the powers that be decided it was not worth the cost. 

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Cosmolex is the best cloud-based solution if you want an all-in-one that includes business and trust accounting.

Edit: the only thing it doesn't do is HR.

 

Edited by Mountebank
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