Amicus Cloud Web-Based Law Firm Management Review

And we’re back with a new round in this article series on law firm practice management software. Today we’re testing out Amicus Cloud, the web-based law firm case management software from Amicus Attorney.

Amicus Attorney offers both a computer server-based solution (installed on your office computer, they call it Amicus Attorney Premium) and a cloud-based solution (accessible via any web browser, they call it Amicus Cloud) for law firm practice management.

Related: The Best Law Firm Practice Management Software

Why I prefer Cloud-Based Services

I’ve mentioned this before in past articles, so I will just say that I prefer web-based / cloud-based solutions. Yes, you have to pay a monthly fee as opposed to a single license fee, but it can be more cost effective for solo practices and small firms, especially considering the cost of a server and IT setup, and that your software and hardware will be obsolete in three years. At least with a subscription-based service, they will keep updating the technology.

Pricing

For Amicus Cloud, each user is $34.95 per month. For an add-on email account, it’s another $10 per month, and for Blackberry users, another $10 per month. Amicus Attorney Premium, the desktop-based software, runs $999 for the first license and $599 for each additional license. For Amicus Attorney Small Firm Edition, the software costs $499 for the first license, and $399 for each additional license.

Trying Out Amicus Cloud

Going through the initial setup of Amicus Cloud, I’m extremely excited with how well they do their setup screen. They have this right. Kudos to Amicus Attorney for this. Sure, first you set your password and set your name. That’s standard. But, then they integrate your Microsoft Outlook (or Microsoft Exchange) e-mail account into Amicus Cloud. It’s not a suggestion, it’s a requirement (What’s the point of having case management software when you can’t take full advantage of it?). This has you on the ground running before you’re even there. Don’t have an Outlook / Exchange e-mail account? They give you one for free. Amazing! One drawback here is that they don’t integrate so seamlessly with Gmail if that’s what you use. Regardless, this is an impressive feature that I haven’t seen duplicated by other law firm case management software. No one else, as far as I can tell, has this. Sure, other law firm practice management apps can integrate e-mail, but none do it this well. Once the e-mail account is set up, we’re good to go. Now it’s time to check out what’s under the hood.
RelatedMyCase Law Practice Management Review

Functionality

It is very easy to add new clients and create new matters. Amicus Cloud has a great user interface and is fairly straightforward. You can easily use Amicus Cloud to send emails to clients, keep time, and add and edit documents to your database.

Amicus Cloud plays nicely with Quickbooks, allowing you to export your billing / timekeeping entries to Quickbooks so you can bill your clients with Quickbooks if you would like. Amicus Cloud also has its own built-in Amicus Cloud for billing, collections, and trust so you can bill clients and track payments.

Drawbacks

Amicus Cloud feels like a stripped down version of Clio or MyCase in some ways in that a few of their best features seem to be missing from Amicus Cloud. Maybe Amicus Attorney Premium or Amicus Attorney Small Firm has these features. I’m really not sure why they’re not in Amicus Cloud though.

Document automation - Amicus Cloud doesn’t automate documents like Clio, MyCase, or HoudiniEsq. Document automation is one of my favorite features of law firm case management software. This one is a must. Document automation allows you to upload a particular form / template document (the kind you use over and over again in your practice where you keep the content the same but change the client name and contact information, i.e. real estate closings or wills) and have the software automatically replace the template client contact information with your new client’s information when you choose to use the form document. It can save you hours and save you from driving yourself crazy with having to manually replace information on a template form. Do it once and you’re good to go forever.

Google Docs / Drive / Dropbox – Amicus doesn’t play well with Google Docs / Drive or Dropbox. If you don’t use Google Docs / Drive / Dropbox, you can ignore this one.

Online payment acceptance – Amicus Cloud allows users to bill clients and email invoices but Amicus Cloud doesn’t accept online payments. It’s not a necessary feature, but it would be nice.

iPhone / Android app – There’s an app for Blackberry but not for iPhone or Android. I don’t get it. This is way too outdated.

Client portal – Amicus Cloud could use a client portal to allow clients to access Amicus to get updates on their case. It’s a great feature of MyCase and Clio.

RelatedClio Case Management Software Review

Overall

Amicus Cloud is a very well-polished medium-frills offering for law firm practice management. It is easy to use, integrates with accounting software, allows for users to send emails and manage their case load, but it doesn’t have some of the best features that its competitors have. It sorely needs document automation and could benefit from an iPhone or Android mobile app.

Let us know your thoughts. Have you used Amicus Cloud?

Andrew Cabasso is a practicing attorney and co-founder of JurisPage, an Internet Marketing firm specializing in online presence solutions for law firms including website design, SEO, and search marketing. He has given many lectures and CLEs on website design and Internet marketing to legal professionals. He is on the Committee for Information Technology in the New York City Bar. Follow Andrew on Google+ and Twitter.

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8 comments on “Amicus Cloud Web-Based Law Firm Management Review”

  • I have been using Amicus Cloud for about two weeks now. I will never practice without it. You don’t need a droid app, the whole thing is designed to run on a smartphone. I use it on my droid phone all the time, the buttons are designed large to work on smartphones. The email integration is something you have to try to appreciate. This is a great program.

  • Since this review there have been several enhancements to Amicus Cloud that might be helpful to know about. Amicus Cloud has recently added Document Assembly (currently in beta) which, as mentioned in the review, saves a great deal of time and eliminates the constant headache of manual input. There is also a seamless integration with Dropbox. So if you store firm documents in Dropbox, you can now easily view and access them through Amicus.

    Where you mentioned the iPhone/Android applications, Amicus Cloud has TimeTracker (released in April 2013) – an app optimized for iPhones, Androids, BlackBerry devices and other phones with modern browsers. When you log into Amicus Cloud from your phone you have the option to open up TimeTracker where you can record your time with just a few taps.

  • Be warned that once your trial has expired you CANNOT download your data from Amicus unless you subscribe. Other products give you a short number of days after expiration of the trial in which to download your data. Amicus, however, demands a ransom.

    This was particularly disappointing since I could not get anyone at Amicus to answer my questions about this exact issue prior to signing up for the trial.

  • Something about Amicus Cloud, I believe the MS Exchange interface BADLY corrupted my system. I use nothing at all exotic — Win7, MS Office 2010, Outlook 2010, Nuance PaperPort, etc.

    • Mr. Tanner,

      Please communicate with Amicus Cloud support at your earliest opportunity. We are unaware of any issues with the Microsoft Exchange Services provided by our partner, Intermedia, one of the leading vendors in the space. But we would be happy to investigate your issues.

      Best regards,

      Christopher Cardinal
      Chief Technology Officer
      Gavel & Gown Software
      Makers of Amicus and Credenza products and services

  • Our firm has been using amicus for a month we are in canada and have found numerous issues in bc lawyers have to charge on there bills separately for paper ect under the bc code there is no quick way to do this in the system let alone run a taf (trust admin fee) report. We also have big issues with it being very slow work productivity has dropped dramatically in our office with staff on the chat and telephone with cloud support daily.

  • The idea of having to use Exchange is an unfortunate deal breaker for me. It is simply the worst implementation of an email server on the planet. It is very sad that you are required to use this abomination. Sorry Amicus, but you really ought to look into something that does IMAP properly.

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