Everything You Wanted to Know about Law Firm Document Management

February 26, 2020In Document ManagementBy Dennis Dimka

It wasn’t long ago that law firms had only a few choices when it came to managing their client, matter and firm documents:

  • Store files on the local file server (eg: “The G: drive,”), or
  • Get an expensive, premised-based law firm Document Management System (DMS).

Today, law firms have much more choice when it comes to managing their documents (managing, in the broadest sense). You still have simple, on-premise file servers and legacy/premise-based DMS platforms; you also have basic cloud storage as well as more sophisticated, modern law firm Document Management software. Even some Legal Practice Management software (that traditionally manages your time, billing, calendaring) has rudimentary document management functions.

In fact, today there are so many options and lots of different (and sometimes contradictory) terminology, it can be hard to make sense of it all. What exactly is document management? Is it the same as practice management? Should I look to the cloud for a solution?

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to define your firm’s specific document management needs, understand the options available to you and identify the right type, maybe even the exact product that will help your firm take control of your documents, email and other data.

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1. Why You (Probably) Need a Document Management System

Law firms today use a number of different technologies to manage their cases and their business. The tools in a law firm’s technology toolbox range from billing and accounting software, to case management software.

One tool in particular, however, might be the most fundamental and the most important to law firms: A document and email management system.

You’ve probably at least heard that term before (perhaps along with it’s acronym, DMS). But what exactly is a law firm document management system? Does your firm need one? is that the same as practice management software? Is it the same as Dropbox?

In this section, we’ll answer these questions and describe the benefits of using a law firm document management system at your firm.

Related:

Learn the lingo for law firm document management.

Client/Matter-Centric Organization

Law Firms produce, receive and process all kinds of data throughout the course of their practice: documents, audio files, video files, email and notes. Think of all of these kinds of data, regardless of format, as content. And every law firm, regardless of practice area, should be organized by client or by matter.

A law firm document management system brings client-centric or matter-centric organization to a law firm. Without or prior to having DMS, I often see law firms with a “wild west” of data and documents.

  • Matter documents scattered between local file servers, network drives and individual computers.
  • Matter-related emails spread across multiple employees Outlook or Gmail accounts.
  • Notes saved without any consistency, on paper or in stand-alone note-taking apps.
  • Other files and data stored in Dropbox, Google Drive or some other, separate cloud app.

This creates a very disjointed system for law firms; different things are in different places. Beyond that, I often see (with law firms prior to adopting a law firm document management system) a lack of any real uniformity when it comes to where they save documents, how and why. This is often left to the discretion of each individual person, and what they decided to do with that document that particular day.

(This problem get’s worse as your firm gets larger.)

A law firm Document Management System, on the other hand, will organize your data by client and/or matter. No endless clutter of folders with nonsensical names. No more users putting things in the root of the G: drive.

Documents for a particular case will be saved in that matter record (and probably tagged and organized by document type, such as motion, pleading, complaint, contract and so forth.) Email messages–regardless of who in the firm received them–will be saved and stored in the matter (alongside documents). Notes, from phone call notes, to intake notes, to case law or research notes, will also be saved, stored, time-stamped and organized in the matter, also alongside documents and email.

(Example of Matter-Centric Organization)

The right law firm document management platform will bring some much-needed law and order to the lawless world of local file servers, email folders and basic cloud storage services.

Document Categorization: Tagging & Profiling

In a regular file system, such as a file server (your firm’s “S: drive”), Windows Explorer, or your own desktop computer, files are just files, and nothing more. The only distinction from one to another (apart from each file’s name), is the file format (.DOCX, PDF, etc.) This isn’t very useful when you’re staring at a matter or folder with hundreds of documents.

A law firm document management system gives you additional dimensions of categorization. For instance, for any (or all) documents in your system, you’ll be able to apply:


  • Document Types, such as Motion, Complaint, Contract or Invoice
  • Document Statuses, such as Draft, Pending Review or Complete
  • Additional Document Tags, custom labels that you can create and apply documents, such as Filed, Urgent, Do Not Destroy


Adding these properties to a document is sometimes called profiling that document. It’s useful because it allows you to see what documents you have at a glance, and allows you to filter, search and sort by document type, status or tag.

Imagine having hundreds of documents in a particular matter or folder. Now imagine being able to, for a moment, just see the Orders within that folder (for instance).

(Example of Tagging and Profiling a Document)

2. Why You (Also) Need an Email Management System

As much as (or perhaps more than) documents, email is a staple of communication for law firms. But keeping on top of your email, keeping them organized and searchable and sharing them with the rest of your firm can be a real challenge. And that challenge only grows as your firm does.

The Problem with Email in a Law Firm

So email management should be a core part of any law firm’s document management strategy. Without the proper tools, here are the problems fundamental to email within a law firm.

Information in Too Many Different Systems

Email lives in its own closed system (email software). That is, when you’re having a relevant conversation with a client on a particular matter, this conversation, along with any attachments or pertinent information, is stored in Outlook (or your favorite email software/service). Other important matter related information, including documents, case notes, matter data, and so forth–will be somewhere else. Maybe in your Practice Management software, maybe on your local file server. But in any case: matter-related emails are segregated from the rest of your matter data, which means inefficiency, wasted time and a potential for mistakes.

Not Centralized, Not Shared

Another problem inherent to email for law firms is lack of centralization. You may be one of three legal professionals within your firm working on a particular case, for instance, and may be trading emails with a client. Perhaps these emails are vitally pertinent to the matter, and support you’re extra-diligent about saving email mail to a particular folder for this matter in Outlook. Kudos to you for being so organized–the problem, however, is that that doesn’t help the other people working on this matter. They may need to review a particular email chain, or know what you said in a recent reply. Email, on its own, is fundamentally de-centralized.

law firm email management

Email Organization (the Wrong Way)

The wrong way to approach law firm email management is probably the default way for any law firm: Simply having each person in your firm “manage” email in Outlook.

That is: You get a new client or start a new case, and begin to send and receive emails pertaining to this matter. So naturally, you create an Outlook folder for this case or client.

And maybe your law partner is also working this matter with you, so she creates a similar folder, in her own Outlook.

And perhaps your paralegal is also doing some work on this case, so he also creates a folder for this matter in his Outlook.

The problem: All emails associated with this case are now decentralized, spread across three (or more) people’s email software. And nobody can see the emails that the others have saved for this case.

What’s more: Email messages are likely duplicated between staff.

Its disjointed, messy and a surefire way to miss something important and frustrate your team.

Search is Hit-or-Miss

Searching email with built-in email software is hit-or-miss. In fairness, Gmail has got email search down pretty well (though Gmail still suffers from the other fundamental law firm email management challenges discussed here). Outlook on the other hand can often let you down. The index engine is prone to breaking, which makes searching slow or impossible. What’s more: Because the indexing for Outlook is done individually on each computer: Your outlook index and search may work great on one computer, but be completely broken on another. (I say this as an otherwise avid Outlook fan.) Leaving search to your email software is a mixed bag at best.

OCR is Left To You

Another thing that basic email software leaves you on your own to deal with is OCR. Even if your firm is very diligent about OCR’ing every document, every time (and let’s be honest: they’re probably not); outside parties are notorious for sending un-OCR’d documents. This means that this document will never be found in a search (as there’s no actual text within the document).

Implementing Email Management

Email management needs to be part of any law firm document management strategy. After all, emails are documents too, albeit with their own unique elements and properties.

The solution to these fundamental email challenges is implementing software that was meant to organize and manage email, and do it in a matter-centric way. A legal-centric Email Management System is sometimes part of a broader Document Management System (DMS), sometimes referred to jointly as a Document and Email Management software for law firms. (Titles, titles.)

Law firm email management software keeps your emails organized, searchable and shareable to your whole firm. Most Email Management software works by integrating with your Outlook, allowing you to quick save or send emails to a matter, in a digital file within the document and email management database.

(Example of Saving an Email to a Client/Matter File)

All Matter-related Data in One Place

A law firm Document Management System (that also includes email management capabilities) will keep all matter-related data together in one place: Documents for a matter, emails pertaining to that matter, case notes and more–all in a single system. After all: When you’re working on a particular case: don’t you need speedy access to all potential types of data?

For example, in our own LexWorkplace document and email management system: when you open a matter record, you’ll have a tab for documents, for email and for notes relating to that matter: All together in one place.

Centralized and Shared

Unlike individual Outlook folders scattered between multiple attorneys in your firm: With a law firm email management system emails are stored in a single, central database. And–a database that is accessible to your whole firm. With a law firm email management system, when one user saves a relevant email to a matter, the rest of the firm working on that matter can see and access that email (along with any other documents or data relating to that matter).

Perfectly Organized

With a law firm email management system, the system does the organizing, as opposed to the user. There’s no need to manually create an Outlook folder or a Gmail tag for a new matter: In many document and email management applications, when you create a new matter you can automatically start saving emails to that matter. For instance, in LexWorkplace a list of your current matters appears right in Outlook.

(Example of Email Management in a Document Management System)

Practice Management Software ≠ Document Management

We sometimes help law firms evaluate, select and implement software to help them manage their practice. We often start by asking the firm what kind of software they feel they need, or are missing. For instance, does your firm need Practice Management or Document Management software?

Oftentimes, the response we’ll get back is: “What’s the difference? Aren’t they the same thing?”

The short answer is: no, not at all. Practice Management and Document Management are two different categories of software. And this isn’t just semantics, these are two different kinds of applications made for two different purposes.

We realize that the differences, similarities and (slight) overlap between these two categories is often unclear. Sometimes lawyers don’t fully grasp which they need, and why. Other times lawyers we work with assume that one type of software includes the other. It’s okay, it’s a common point of confusion. And, it’s due, at least in part, to the way that many Practice Management software companies describe their own products (more on this later.)

Defining Document Management

To understand the difference between Document Management and Practice Management software (and, more importantly, to clearly understand which your firm needs, if not both), we need to define both. To recap:

A Document Management System provides two fundamental capabilities. It is:

  1. A central repository to store documents, email and other types of content, and:
  2. Provides tools for your firm to effectively manage documents and data.

A law firm can get #1 (storing documents) from many different services and technologies. Simple cloud storage, an on-premise file server, the G: drive: You don’t need a Document Management System just to store files and documents. What makes a DMS different, and necessary for many law firms is #2: tools to manage those documents.

Some law firms, particularly solo and small firms, don’t need any more than simple storage to hold their files and documents. Many law firms, however, especially law firms of about 5 total people or larger, begin needing more sophisticated tools to keep their arms around their growing data. Tools to catalog, search, comment on and generally keep documents in order. That’s where a Document Management System comes in.

The DMS Toolset

To review, a law firm document management system provides the following capabilities (without these functions, you can’t really call the software a “Document Management System.”)

So what tools does a DMS provide beyond simply storing files and emails? While each document management product varies, they generally provide the following capabilities.

  • Organization – A DMS will provide structure and organization to your documents beyond the (default) wild-west of folders everywhere, without any semblance of organization. A good, legal-centric DMS will organize documents by client or matter.
  • Index & Search – A DMS will provide full-text search, allowing everyone in your firm to perform a Google-like search across all of your documents, email and notes (regardless of how much data your firm has).
  • Version Management – Document Management software typically provides bult-in version management, allowing you to view previous versions and add comments to each document iteration.
  • Check-Out / Check-In – Allowing you to keep documents locked so others cannot modify then while you’re working on them.
  • Microsoft Office Integration – Allowing you to save documents and email directly to your Document Management software (and directly to the relevant client or matter).
  • Email Management – Good Document Management platforms integrate with Outlook, allowing you to save relevant email directly to a matter, where it lives alongside other documents and data for that matter (and where other people in your firm can access them).
  • Document Tagging and Metadata – Another staple of Document Management software is the ability to tag or profile documents; that is: adding document types, statuses and other classifications.
  • OCR – The better law firm Document Management software applications support OCR, either built-in or via a third-party integration. OCR automatically converts scanned documents (images) into text-enabled, searchable documents.

Defining Practice Management

Now that we’ve clearly defined what Document Management software, lets do the same for Practice Management.

Legal Practice Management (LPM) software, as the name implies, helps a law firm manage their practice. If Document Management software is designed to manage the documents, email and content of a law firm and its cases, it’s fair to summarize Practice Management software as managing cases and the business side of a law practice.

Practice Management Software Capabilities

While the exact functionality within Practice Management software will vary from one application to another, typically Practice Management software will include:

  • Customer and Contact database – a central, firm-wide contact and client database.
  • Case database – including (sometimes) details unique to different areas of law and types of cases.
  • Calendaring – ranging from a basic firm-wide calendar to sophisticated rules-based calendaring and deadline management (docketing).
  • Time Tracking – Recording of billable (and non-billable) hours.
  • Billing – Invoicing clients for time and expenses.
  • Form/Document Assembly – The automated creation and population of specific court forms and fillings.
  • Accounting – Some LPM applications include built-in, full-fledged accounting. Others require you to maintain accounting in other software, such as QuickBooks
  • Basic Document Storage/Linking * – More on this shortly

A Key Point of Confusion

These, in general, are the features of an LPM application, and what makes Practice Management software Practice Management software.

Notice that last bullet, with the asterisk. There’s an important reason I noted this feature this way. Most LPM applications can interact with your documents in a number of (limited) ways.

Some premise-based LPM applications can link to documents you’ve stored elsewhere. For instance, if your law firm runs premise-based Practice Management software and also has an on-premise file server, and your firm stores matter-related documents in the S: (network) drive… your Practice Management software may allow you to link, for instance, specific documents in S:MattersSmithMatterMotion.docx to the Smith Matter in your LPM software. (Effectively, a shortcut.)

Some cloud-based LPM applications allow you to upload and attach documents to a particular matter. (Similar to attaching a file to an email.) You, for instance, attach Motion.docx to the Smith Matter in your cloud-based LPM software…and that’s about it. It’s good for simple filing of documents, but usually doesn’t allow for or provide any additional tools to manage that document (like version management, tagging, profiling or search). This kind of integrated storage is akin to a simple Google Drive built into your Practice Management software.

Related:

Learn about the three primary types of law firm software: Practice Management, Document Management and Accounting.

Now, for some firms, this document linking or attaching is all a law firm needs (particularly, solo and small law firms). And if that’s you: That’s just fine.

But here’s the problem.

When many Practice Management software companies describe a list of their software’s features (such as time and billing, calendaring and so forth), when it comes to describing the document linking or attaching capability… they don’t call it that.

What do they call it?

You guessed it: They call it document management.

Which you now know, based on our definition above, it most certainly is not. Linking or simply attaching a document is not Document Management. The problem becomes: When someone at a law firm, not up to speed on all the semantics, sees “Document Management” listed as a feature of a particular LPM application, they may think: “Great! Document Management is built in!”

And they assume, based on that label, that this Practice Management application will come with the entire Document Management suite we described earlier (search, version management, OCR, tagging and profiling). Which it doesn’t.

And that’s where all the bodies are buried.

Basic Cloud Storage ≠ Document Management

We see it time and time again: A law firm’s local file server has reached its end-of-life and has become a headache to maintain. So the firm looks to the cloud to modernize its file storage and document management. Wouldn’t it be great to get rid of that server and be able to access documents from anywhere?

A solution search often leads the firm to basic cloud storage services like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive or Box. The firm transitions to one of these consumer-grade cloud storage services, only to find it woefully lacking in functionality. In short, they find, these cloud services are little more than their old “G: drive,” just in a web browser.

The Problem with Basic Cloud Storage

Consumer-grade cloud storage services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Box are designed for home/conumer use, and for businesses with very limited, basic needs (not law firms). These products:

  1. Lack structure or matter-centric organization. Rather, they become unorganized dumping grounds for files and folders, leaving organization to the discretion of each member of the firm.
  2. Lack security and compliance. Many of these services do or can replicate your data to overseas data-centers, creating data sovereignty and ethical issues. Add to that, most services lack the document audit trails required by some compliance standards.
  3. Lack document management features beyond simple storage, including version management, indexing, search, metadata, and more.
  4. Attempt to sync data to each user’s computer. A fundamental problem with all of these services is they attempt to synchronize to each of your user’s computers. This works okay for a couple of people, but when you get to more than a few users, the synchronization becomes inefficient and inconsistent, leading to inconsistencies in data from one person’s computer to another.

These basic cloud storage services services are great for personal use, quick-and-dirty storage, and sharing of files. (Even this author uses Google Drive for certain personal cloud storage needs.) But they are not robust, they don’t scale well, and they lack features required by most law firms.

That means that these services lack the full DMS toolset described earlier, including (to recap/review):

  • Client / Matter-Centric Organization
  • Full-Text Search
  • Integrated / Automatic OCR
  • Version Management
  • Document Check-Out / In
  • Email Management
  • Outlook Integration
  • Document Profiling & Tagging
  • Document Notes & Metadata
  • Robust Data Security

Basic cloud storage is (more or less) the ability to (a) make folders, and (b) put files in them. That’s it.

Now, if yours is a very small law firm, especially a solo practice, basic cloud storage may legitimately be all your firm needs. And if that’s the case–there’s nothing wrong with that (and no shortage of basic cloud options at your disposal).

But if your law firm is five or more total people with a growing repository of data, chances are you’ll soon outgrow basic cloud storage (if you haven’t already), and may need to graduate to a full-blow, law firm Document Management System.

Today’s Law Firm Document Management Landscape

We’ve covered the basic tenants of document management software, what law firm document management looks like prior to adopting a DMS; we’ve covered legal practice management software and basic cloud storage.

Which brings us to today.

There are arguably more options for law firm document management today, but unfortunately there are few good options for most law firms. Next, I’ll cover everything wrong with today’s law firm document management software (and what to do about it).

The Dinosaur DMS

Long ago, law firms had (essentially) two choices when it came to storing and managing their electronic documents. They could (a) store them on local file servers (eg: “The S: drive,”) which was simple but unsophisticated, or (b) they could implement a DMS (Document Management System). These DMS applications provided a lot of tools for managing documents (search, profiling, check-in/out), but required extensive (and expensive) in-house server infrastructure and specialized IT experts to implement and maintain them. In the case of the latter, the added expense was seen as a necessary evil, even a requisite for some larger law firms to keep their documents under control. These legacy document management applications were purchased, installed and run locally on a law firm’s in-house servers.

To be fair, these document management products were cutting-edge at the time. They were sophisticated, feature-rich and flexible. In the 90’s and early 2000’s, these products were more-or-less considered cutting edge.

But today, they’re showing their age.

Old, premise-based document management applications haven’t changed all that much since their inception. But the needs of lawyers have. The main problems with these Dinosaur DMS’s include:

Big, Clunky and Unwieldy. Implementing a premise-based DMS is anything but plug-and-play. They’re big, require a lot of (expensive) server power. This often means a law firms has to buy and manage twice the server infrastructure then they would otherwise have to. Add to that, these older document management applications are often clunky to use, difficult to navigate and likely to frustrate your users.

Expensive. I’ll cut right too it: Premise-based document management software is costly. Most Dinosaur DMS’s are expensive just in terms of buying the actual software licensing. But it doesn’t stop there: The aforementioned requisite server infrastructure itself is expensive–something you’ll need to buy and maintain just for the privilege of using your Dinosaur DMS. Add to that, implementation and support of your DMS will require a specialized consultant, which I’ll cover later, and which is also expensive.

Significant Server Infrastructure Required. I’ve touched on this already, but this drawback warrants another mention: Every on-premise document management application on the market today requires significant server infrastructure to properly host in-house. This means more cost, more complexity, more management overhead. Many of today’s premise-based document management applications require multiple servers, each of which must be configured in a very specific way. Don’t like being in the business of managing servers and IT? A Dinosaur DMS will firmly plant you in that role, permanently.

Limited or No Remote Access.Premise-based DMS software, by it’s nature, provides little or no remote access capabilities. This leaves it to you (and your IT consultant) to set up your own remote access solution, such as a VPN, remote PC tools or Remote Desktop. Most of these tools work well enough, but the performance of working remotely will be adherent to your law firm’s Internet upload speed, effectively making your firm in the business of server hosting. Nine out of ten firms we talk to that have done this share that the performance and user experience of working outside the office is awful. Which is a bit silly, when you consider we’re well into the Cloud Age. Dinosaur DMS’s (sort of) address this by bolting-on “cloud” options, presenting a “cloud” option for their software that really isn’t. Which brings me to:

Faux-Cloud In an effort to the increasing customer demands for cloud-based solutions, the Dinosaur DMS companies had to do something. But software is either fundamentally cloud-based, or it isn’t. And theirs isn’t. So to deal with this, these companies offer a “cloud option,” where they will host their document management software on their own servers, and provide some means for you, the customer, to access it. This usually comes in the form of a remote connection, RDP, Citrix or some other means to connect remotely; but the software is not run in a browser, which you’d normally associate with cloud-based software. Which means these applications aren’t true cloud, but rather a kind of jerry-rigged faux-cloud solution. The practical problem with these solutions is that they’re often clunky to use, slow, require significant client-side setup, and don’t alleviate the other problems inherent to premise-based software.

Confusing, Cluttered InterfaceHave you seen legacy document management software recently? The user interface for these dinosaur DMS’s are… awful, to be honest. The interface looks dated (something from the 90’s), text is tiny and hard to read, buttons are densely, crammed together, and finding what you’re looking for is completely unintuitive. You shouldn’t need a degree in computer science to use your law firm document management software, but it certainly feels like that’s what’s necessary to make use of a dinosaur DMS. This flies in the face of current, modern software design trends, which favor clean, intuitive design, simple layouts and a UI that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for, and that (maybe most importantly) doesn’t overwhelm the user.

BYO SecurityPremise-based document management software is subject to the same security challenges as any on-premise software: It’s only as secure as your servers and your firm’s cybersecurity practices. Threat detection, ransomware, hackers, virus infections, data encryption–is entirely left to you, your law firm and your IT consultant. This almost always results in sub-par security for your law firm and client data.

Related:

Learn more about all of the problems with dated, legacy DMS software.

Pervasive Document Management Problems

Shortcomings and serious flaws aren’t limited to the long-in-the-tooth, premise-based document management platforms. Even current cloud-based document management software is plagued with problems that make them difficult to adopt, and problematic when they are.

No Mac OS Support

Many of today’s law firms use Mac computers. Some firms are all-Mac. Other firms are mixed platform firms, and others still use Windows in the office and a Mac at home. A key problem of today’s document management software, including cloud-based DMS’s, is that they still only work on Windows. Sure, you can install Parallels on your Mac OS computer, install an instance of Windows, then run your chosen DMS on a Mac computer. But most Mac users would agree that this is a huge pain to setup, and is a slow, clunky and often glitchy way to run Windows software. Add to that, document management software often relies on addins for Word and Outlook, which (until recently) simply don’t work on the Mas OC versions of Microsoft Word and Outlook.

Migration & SupportOne phenomenon that you’ll see with all document management software companies, whether they’re a dinosaur DMS or a cloud-based application, is that they don’t manage your firm’s transition to their product, and, in many cases, don’t provide post-implementation support to your firm.

That’s right, most DMS companies outsource the implementation to third-party “consultants” (in actually, resellers) that will perform your onboaridng, including planning, setup, data migration and training. This creates a huge potential quality problem, as the company that made the software will not be the company that plans your transition to the software. And when it comes to legal document management, the onboarding process is often make-or-break; problems that occur during your data migration can have long-lasting effects for years to come.

When you purchase or subscribe to said document management software, you’ll be farmed off to a local reseller in your area, who may or may not understand the software, may or may not understand law firms and may or may not understand your specific needs. I’ve personally worked with dozens of law firms that have been down this path, with very mixed results. Some firms reported that the onboarding, training and data conversion process went well enough; others reported that their assigned reseller didn’t seem to know much about the document management software. Others still have reported disastrous data migrations (including the loss of data).

Unfortunately, it seems that most document management software companies simply don’t want to be bothered with transitioning new customers to their software (the service side of the business), which leaves many law firms in a tough spot. This eliminates any sense of accountability that your firm should (justifiably) expect when setting out to implement document management software. Add to that, getting onboarding, training and support services from an outside reseller is all extra cost that your firm will need to budget for.

Practice Management as Document Management

As we’ve already covered (but deserving of another mention), there’s the situation where a law firm mistakenly confuses practice management software with document management software.

It’s a common mistake (and one that’s not the law firm’s fault). To review:

Document Management software, by definition, includes features like index and search, OCR, document tagging and profiling, email management, folders for organizing documents/email, version management, and (usually) a plethora of other tools to keep documents organized, searchable and categorized.

Practice Management software, on the other hand, typically provides contact/client management, time tracking and billing, calendaring and (sometimes) accounting. Some Practice Management apps include a very basic inline storage system (something akin to a built-in-Dropbox)… and then call it “Document Management.” Which leaves a law firm, looking for document management software, assuming that this practice management application includes all of the features traditionally associated with a (true) DMS.

And it doesn’t.

I’ve personally talked to dozens of firms that jumped into a particular practice management solution, like the time/billing/calendaring functions but realized that, despite the software’s website listing “document management” as a feature, doesn’t actually include much in the way of document management functionality (apart from being a place to put documents). Don’t make this mistake–if your firm needs document management software, consider getting an actual DMS in addition to (or in some cases, instead of) practice management software.

Building a Better DMS

All of these problems are why we set out to build a better legal document management system. Law firms need modern tools to overcome modern document and email management challenges.

And from that need, LexWorkplace was born.


Packed with Real Document Management Features

  • True cloud-based software that runs in your browser
  • Secure cloud storage
  • One-click open & save
  • Microsoft Outlook integration
  • Powerful full-text search
  • Automatic OCR
  • Document tagging & profiling
  • Document version management

Made Just for Law Firms

  • Matter-centric document & email management
  • Full Windows and Mac OS compatibility
  • Simple, intuitive user interface
  • Access your documents anytime, anywhere
  • No outside reseller/consultant required

Built from the Ground Up with Security in Mind

  • Data encryption in-transit
  • Data encryption at-rest
  • Native Two-Factor Authentication
  • Define permissions & access
  • Geographic data redundancy

Closing the Loop

Legal document management software hasn’t aged well, and we believe that law firms deserve better. Learn more about LexWorkplace, modern document management, born in the cloud, and built for law firms.

Ready to talk Document Management?

We’ve been helping law firms bring law and order to their documents for years. Get in touch with our team to develop a document management strategy for your firm.