Last Updated: May 1, 2014
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.
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.
For Amicus Cloud, each user is $45 per month. For an add-on email account, it’s another $10 per month if you don’t have Microsoft Exchange already set up.
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 can set you up with one (for an additional $10 per month). One drawback here is that they don’t integrate with Gmail if that’s what you use. You have to use Microsoft Exchange if you want to send email from and receive email in Amicus Cloud.
Regardless, this is an impressive feature that I haven’t seen duplicated by other law firm case management software. Sure, other law firm practice management apps can integrate e-mail, but none do it this seamlessly. 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.
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.
Updated: Since this article was originally published in August 2013, Amicus Cloud has updated the platform, reducing some of the drawbacks we originally reported on.
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.
Update: Amicus now has document automation. Awesome.
Google Docs / Drive – Amicus doesn’t play well with Google Docs / Drive. If you don’t use Google Docs / Drive, you can ignore this one. Update: Amicus added Dropbox integration!
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. Amicus now. Update: While Amicus doesn’t accept online payments, it does integrate with PCLaw and Timeslips for billing and invoicing.
iPhone / Android app – There’s an app for Blackberry but not for iPhone or Android. I want to see an Amicus Cloud iPhone / Android app.
Client portal – Amicus Cloud could use a client portal to allow clients to access Amicus to get updates on their case, see their bills, view shared documents, or use the platform to send secure communications.
Related: Clio Case Management Software Review
Amicus Cloud is a very well-polished 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. It could benefit from an iPhone / Android app.
Let us know your thoughts. Have you used Amicus Cloud?