West, a Thomson Reuters business, is a corporate sponsor of the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division. Neither the ABA nor ABA entities endorse non-ABA products or services. This review should not be construed as an endorsement.
The authors of these reviews may receive complimentary review copies of the products being reviewed. In addition, Thomson Reuters paid travel expenses for many of the journalists and bloggers who attended the product briefing, including the author of this article.
With product names like Concourse and Firm Central, it is easy to glean that this year it is all about connections over at Thomson Reuters. The incoming line of products is clearly aiming for the center of your law practice circle of life. This past week the company held a briefing at its Eagan, Minnesota, headquarters to showcase several new products for the legal technology bloggers and media members. The law practice solutions will all be available for review by attendees at the upcoming Legal Tech New York conference, January 29–31, 2013. Among the products showcased, two should be of interest to solo and small firm lawyers: Hosted Practice Technology and Firm Central. Hosted Practice Technology is a suite of cloud-based litigation solutions. Firm Central is a cloud-based practice management solution for solo and small firm practitioners.
Hosted Practice Technology
Hosted Practice Technology unites a comprehensive suite of litigation solutions into a single user interface. Two solutions that it integrates are cloud-based versions of Westlaw’s Case Notebook and CaseLogistix. Case Notebook assists attorneys in case analysis and in creating an electronic case file. CaseLogistix is a document review e-discovery tool. With this product Thomson Reuters will offer scalable storage space to accommodate documents and files associated with complex litigation.
Image courtesy of Thomson Reuters.
Firm Central is a cloud-based law practice management system similar in concept to Clio, Rocket Matter, or MyCase. The product is a little late in joining the cloud-based practice management party. However, Thomson Reuters’ behind-the-scenes efforts to create a top-of-the line secure data center, coupled with its integration of legal research, makes Firm Central a contender in the cloud-based law practice management market.
Image courtesy of Thomson Reuters.
Firm Central provides some unique features that solo and small firm attorneys should find valuable, but it does have some room for improvement. At launch it will have a time and billing component, powered by a third-party application eBillity. It lacks the client relationship management tools you may find in desktop-based practice management solutions. The built-in integration with Westlaw research tools is a very attractive feature. If you are already a Westlaw Next or Form Builder user, then Firm Central will unify and simplify your law practice.
For a comparison chart of how Firm Central measures up to other cloud-based practice management products, check out this post from fellow conference attendee, Lisa Solomon.
Other law practice products that Thomson Reuters is launching new or improved versions of this year include:
Concourse, a cloud-based practice management product targeting corporate counsel.
Elite 3E, a financial and practice management solution designed for large law firms.
Current Awareness, a joint effort from Thomson Reuters and Wolters Kluwer to offer easier access to legal developments that have been analyzed and categorized by their attorney-editors.