Legal Software Survey Report

To help lawyers make good choices on software, and vendors better tailor their offerings, Capterra surveyed legal software buyers about what they bought and why.

Published by Cathy Reisenwitz, April 14 2015

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Capterra exists to connect people to the right software for their firm or company.

We were born 15 years ago out of a desire to create one central place to search and compare legal software (because lawyers aren't necessarily software experts.)

Getting in lawyers' heads is essential for assisting them in making good choices. Buying software can be a daunting task, and we want to make it as simple, easy, and effective as possible. Also, if possible, fun. After all, it's still shopping.

You're the legal expert. Let us be your expert in software.

We surveyed 100 legal software buyers to get a better feel for how, why, and what they purchased. The below guide should be helpful for software vendors looking to better meet customer needs, and software buyers looking to see how their search compares with others in their field.

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Key Takeaways

  1. Two thirds bought new legal software in the past year.
  2. A slight majority bought legal case management software.
  3. Twice as many bought because their caseload grew than because their firm grew.
  4. Most, 59%, used a third-party review site before buying legal software.
  5. A plurality, 42%, budgeted more than $100/mo for law practice software.

When are buyers shopping for legal software?

How long has it been since you last purchased legal software?

That such a high percentage of legal software buyers bought within the last 12 months suggests the market for legal software is growing.Tweet This Legal-time-since-last-purchase-pie

That such a high percentage of legal software buyers bought within the last 12 months suggests the market for legal software is growing. Evidence of this growth includes the $1.5 million in seed funding for contract review and analytics software company eBrevia that Law Technology News reported late last year. This is great news for buyers and vendors. For buyers, it likely means greater investment in research and development for better software. And a growing market means growth and profits for vendors.

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What legal software are they buying?

What type of software did you purchase at that time?

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The responses were nearly evenly split between law practice management software and discovery software. Legal case management software was a slightly more popular choice, with about ten percentage points on the other two. On Twitter, @lawinsider differentiated law practice management software as offering revenue management, and legal case management software as offering product delivery. And as he put it, “Revenue always wins.”

Why are they looking for legal software?

What prompted your software search?

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Twice as many people started looking for software to deal with a growing caseload than started looking for software to better manage a growing firm. Firms aren't growing in tandem with caseloads. Legal professionals are being asked to do more than ever before.Tweet ThisThis speaks to the reality that firms aren't growing in tandem with caseloads. Legal professionals are being asked to do more than ever before. With so many cases and so few people, managing it all with Word and Outlook alone becomes unfeasible.

How are they looking for legal software?

Did you consult a 3rd party review site during your software search?

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The overwhelming majority of buyers consulted a third-party review site during their search for software. Law practice software is still a complicated purchase, and implementation is time-intensive. People want help making a good decision.

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What's a typical legal software budget?

A slight majority of people budgeted more than $100 per month for legal software. While 38% budgeted between $10-$100, fully 42% responded that they would be willing to pay over $100 a month for law practice software. This makes sense, as most cloud-based legal solutions cost between $40-$79 per month per attorney. Desktop software generally runs over $1,000.A majority of people budgeted more than $100 per month for legal software.Tweet This

Conclusion

With demand for comprehensive software solutions growing, there's definitely room in the marketplace for better software, and better ways to find that software.

5 Key Lessons

  1. The market for legal software is growing.
  2. Demand is higher for a more comprehensive solution than a more narrow one.
  3. Caseloads are growing faster than firms or legal departments.
  4. Software is a complicated purchase, and people want and seek out help.
  5. People expect to pay more than $100 per month for software.

Methodology

Capterra collected responses for this legal software report through a five question survey to law software buyers and users, conducted over the course of 21 days and receiving a total of 105 qualified responses.

About the Author

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz

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Cathy Reisenwitz helps B2B software companies with their sales and marketing at Capterra. Her writing has appeared in The Week, Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, VICE Motherboard, Reason magazine, Talking Points Memo and other publications. She has been quoted by the New York Times Magazine and has been a columnist at Bitcoin Magazine. Her media appearances include Fox News and Al Jazeera America. If you're a B2B software company looking for more exposure, email Cathy at cathy@capterra.com. To read more of her thoughts, follow her on Twitter.