Best Legal Document Management Software for 2021

law firm document management

What is the best legal document management software in 2021?

Time to modernize your law firm: It’s time to implement a Document Management System to keep your firm’s documents organized and searchable. And there are no shortage of options when it comes to law firm document management. There are old products and new products. Premise-based solutions and cloud-based products.

Who This Overview is For:

  • Law firms looking for a better solution than basic Windows folders.
  • Law firms looking to for a better system than “the S: Drive” to manage documents.
  • Law firms looking to graduate from basic cloud storage solutions.
  • Law firms looking to upgrade from their old, dinosaur DMS.

Are any of these you? If so: We’ve got you covered. Here we provide an overview of and additional resources for the best legal document management software in 2020.

Defining Document Management

Before we head into our list of the top law firm document management applications, we need to define the category. Many types of software and services are casually referred to as “document management,” but aren’t.

A Document Management System is a system (cloud-based or on-premise) that not only stores your law firm’s documents, but provides a comprehensive set of tools to find, organize and manage your documents. This is in contrast to basic file storage systems (which do little more than hold your files), or even law practice management applications that provide built-in, but basic, storage of your documents.

  • OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox are not Document Management Systems.
  • Your on-premise file server (ie: “The S: Drive”) is not a Document Management System.
  • Practice Management applications that include basic storage are not Document Management Systems.

See Also: Best Law Practice Management Software

See our list of the top-rated Law Practice Management software.

See Also: Best Law Practice Management Software

Many Practice Management applications describe “document management” as among the features their software provides. This often misleads or confuses potential buyers, as the phrase “Document Management” strongly insinuates the rich capabilities of a true DMS, whereas Practice Management software almost always provides only rudimentary document management.

Related Resources

Document Management Features

Semantics don’t matter, but capabilities do. Generally speaking, document management software, often called a Document Management System (DMS), is special software that stores your documents and provides tools to manage them. The ‘manage’ part of document management software’s capabilities is what sets it apart from using a basic on-premise file server or simple cloud storage.

Document management software can come in either an on-premise variety (installed on your own local servers) or can be cloud-based. Document Management Systems, by definition, usually provide many of the following capabilities.

  • Document Storage
  • Document Tagging / Profiling
  • Full-Text Document Search
  • OCR (Included or via Integration)
  • Microsoft Office Integration
  • Email Management (Save Emails to Matters)

  • Document Check-In/Out
  • Document Version Management
  • Unique Document ID
  • Permission & Access Management
  • Manage Favorite & Recent Documents

These are considered (more or less) standard fare for document management software. More sophisticated document management applications will offer even more advanced functions, including:

  • Full Mac OS Compatability
  • Integrated, Automatic OCR
  • Secure Cloud Storage
  • Data Encryption In-Transit and At-Rest

  • Direct Outlook Integration
  • Geographic Data Redundancy
  • Two-Factor Authentication
  • Create and Manage Notes

How to Evaluate Document Management Software

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best law firm document management software for law firms. We encourage you to learn about each application, visit the publisher’s website and even share your own experience with each application.

Let’s get started.

Best Legal Document Management Software 2021

Worldox

Worldox is a popular document management system for law firms. Worldox is a mature product: it’s been around and used by law firms for over a decade. Worldox is powerful and capable, and integrates with Tabs3, a popular legal practice management and accounting application for law firms.

Worldox is server-based, which means you’ll need to own and maintain an on-premise server to run it. Worldox does offer a hosted version, though this is not a true cloud application (rather, it’s a remote desktop connection to traditional, premise-based Worldox).

LexWorkplace

LexWorkplace is a cloud-based, matter-centric document & email management system. LexWorkplace is the first and only document management platform that has complete support for Windows and Mac.

LexWorkplace will keep your documents, email and notes organized by matter, indexed and searchable. LexWorkplace includes document versioning, powerful search, integrated OCR, Email Management/Outlook integration and document tagging/profiling. Being cloud-based, there’s no software to install, nor are any on-premise servers required.

Data stored in LexWorkplace is secured with two-factor authentication, data encryption in-transit and at-rest, and by geographically redundant data centers.

iManage

iManage is a long-running DMS. It is powerful and robust and provides as many, or more functions to manage documents and email as other Document Management Systems in the industry. It has a powerful index and search engine which works across document and email.

iManage does require significant server resources, as well as a highly specialized IT expert to implement and administer. iManage can be run on your own in-house server or in a private cloud, and is thought by many to be big, and sometimes cumbersome in its technical requirements. Generally speaking, iManage can be a good option for very large firms, but firms of less than 50 people should shy away.

ProLaw

ProLaw is a combination Practice Mangement, Document Management and Accounting solution for law firms. While its document management functionality isn’t quite as robust as some of the stand-alone DMS solutions, it is the only legal software package that truly handles practice/case management, document management and accounting in one product. Many law firm prefer the all-in-one nature of ProLaw compared to using multiple products to meet each individual need

ProLaw is server-based, which means it requires a sophisticated on-premise server or a robust private cloud.

NetDocuments

NetDocuments was among the first cloud-based document management applications. NetDocuments is used by a variety of industries including legal, accounting and financial services, and is well-regarded in each industry. NetDocuments includes ndOffice, its Microsoft Office integration. Being web-based, NetDocuments does not require an on-premise server, nor does it require software installation apart from ndOffice.

NetDocuments does not perform its own data migrations; instead NetDocuments will require you to hire an independent consultant (VAR/reseller) to implement the software and move your data to the platform. Feedback on this network of third-party consultants have been mixed.

netdocuments revew

eDOCS

Opentext eDOCS, formerly Hummingbird, is a long-time Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system used by a variety of industires, including law firms. eDocs includes basic Document Management and Records Management capabilities, and is popular among legal departments within larger organizations. The lateset update to eDOCS includes a user-customizable tile-based interface.

eDOCS is an older application. Being that the software is not cloud-based, fewer law firms today use eDOCS than did a decade ago.

eFileCabinet

eFileCabinet is a document storage and document management system for law firms, accounting firms, HR and insurance teams. eFileCabinet focuses less on traditional DMS functionality, and more on business automation and workflow. If your law firm is less concerned with searching, categorizing and managing documents, but more focused on defining workflows for each document, eFileCabinet may be worth a look.

Being designed for a number of different industries, eFileCabinet lacks matter-centricity, but delivers functionality useful to a broader range of needs.

Looking for a Legal Document Management System?

LexWorkplace is born in the cloud, and built for law firms. Manage documents, email, matters and more with our award-winning legal DMS. Get in touch with our team to learn more.

Learn More

Is your firm evaluating document management software? Are you looking for the best legal document management software for your firm? Is your law firm looking to go paperless? Take a look at the Document Management Comparison Chart and our Paperless Law Firm Checklist.

Take a Look at LexWorkplace

Looking to implement your first document management system? Or is your dinosaur DMS no longer cutting it?

Take a look at LexWorkplace, our own document management product that was born in the cloud, and built for law firms. LexWorkplace has a clean, modern interface that helps you keep your matter documents, email and notes organized.

Use LexWorkplace with any web browser. Save documents to LexWorkplace with a simple drag-and-drop.

Set document types, statuses, tags, and manage document versions all from one intuitive screen.

Effortlessly save emails to a matter, right from Microsoft Outlook.

Learn more about LexWorkplace, or use the form below to schedule a full demonstration.