LOGICBit

HoudiniESQ


4 / 5
137 reviews

Who Uses This Software?

Fortune 500/100/50 organizations, State Agencies, and thousands of independent law firms.


Average Ratings

137 Reviews

  • 4 / 5
    Overall

  • 4 / 5
    Ease of Use

  • 4.5 / 5
    Customer Service

Product Details

  • Starting Price
    Not provided by vendor
  • Free Version
    Yes
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Deployment
    Cloud, SaaS, Web
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Mobile - Android Native
    Mobile - iOS Native
  • Training
    Documentation
    Webinars
    Live Online
    In Person
  • Support
    Online
    Business Hours

Vendor Details

  • LOGICBit
  • www.HoudiniESQ.com
  • Founded 2008
  • United States

About HoudiniESQ

HoudiniEsq Provides matter, contact, email & doc management. Includes doc assembly, workflow automation, billing & trust, task scheduling, group calendaring, 1 click PDF/Word doc generation, document & email templates, full-text search including documents, email & email attachments, collaboration tools, customizable fields forms & list. Integrates with LawPay, Word, Excel, Outlook, Evernote, QuickBooks, Acrobat, Calendar/Court Rules, WordPerfect & Google.


HoudiniESQ Features

  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Calendar Management
  • Case Notes
  • Client Management
  • Conflict Management
  • Contract Management
  • Docket Management
  • Document Management
  • Email management
  • Expense Tracking
  • Task Management
  • Time Tracking
  • Trust Accounting
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Calendar Management
  • Client Portal
  • Conflict Management
  • Contract Management
  • CRM
  • Document Management
  • Email Management
  • Legal Case Management
  • Task Management
  • Time Tracking
  • Trust Accounting
  • Account Tracking
  • Calendar Management
  • Case Management
  • Client Statements
  • Document Management
  • Expense Tracking
  • Retainer Billing
  • Time Tracking
  • Case Defined Timekeepers
  • Completion Tracking
  • Conflict Management
  • Multi-Office
  • Reminders
  • Rules-Based Scheduling
  • Staff Calendar
  • Status Tracking
  • Task Management
  • Access Controls
  • Archiving & Retention
  • Collaboration
  • Contract Management
  • Document Assembly
  • Document Indexing
  • Document Tagging
  • Full Text Search
  • Version Control
  • Accrual Accounting
  • Activity Tracking
  • Asset Gain & Loss Reporting
  • Check Writing
  • Compliance Management
  • Cross Ledger Posting
  • Customer Statements
  • Fee Calculation & Posting
  • Receipt Management
  • Tax Management

HoudiniESQ Reviews


Capterra loader

It's my understanding this product built by architect of much larger yet more stagnate competitor.

Dec 12, 2017
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
Likely
Extremely
Likely

Pros: Versatility- This product intended for lean and mean firms. You don't need to have a Masters Degree in Computer Science, but it helps if you are somewhat computer savvy. There are features on this program that have been integrated in that even I haven't found time to master... yet (e.g., Quickbooks and Excel).

Comprehensive- Lower your IT overhead costs. These people know what they're doing. Your investment here means less investment in some IT guy sitting in a corner twiddling his or her thumbs. When they say 99.9% up-time, they mean it. This is an incredibly powerful time-keeping program, that has a very good overlap with document integration.

Customer Service- Usually only the occasional call, but they are ALWAYS there, and can walk you through any issues.

Cons: As with any newer product, there is going to be the inevitable growing pains. My favorite application integration was with the Outlook Add-in for e-mail. This is giving me hiccups at the moment. You are actually partnered with this vendor, so when rep can't figure this out, you have to evolve with the product limitations by creating a work-around (e.g., saving the e-mails manually to the file).

I'm also a creature of habit, so I struggle with major platform updates. They are kind enough to leave the old platform running, and aren't demanding their clients evolve overnight. So now I am learning two different platforms.

Overall: Peace of Mind. My information is secure and isn't going anywhere. It is always available to me. I have a very good rapport with my Houdini IT Department.

Houdini 2.0 is a vast improvement over prior versions

Mar 08, 2017
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
Likely
Extremely
Likely

Pros: I'm not sure yet. So far, the speed is by far the best improvement. Version 1.9 would stall or take a long time to access contacts, events, and matters. So far, we have not experienced these delays with version 2.0.

Cons: It's difficult to multitask. If I am trying to schedule an event on the calendar and another phone call comes in, I cannot open anything else in Houdini without first finishing the event I was working on. In previous versions, we could leave the window open, take care of the incoming phone call, and then finish the event on the calendar. We also miss being able to access the contact record on the event to find the client's phone number from the calendar. This was especially important for confirming the appointments for the next day.

Overall: We unexpectedly updated to Houdini 2.0 so the difference was quite a shock, but we have found it to be much more user friendly than previous versions. The response time is also much faster when adding notes, contacts, events, and matters. We are only on day 3 here with version 2.0 but the ease of use is biggest improvement we could have asked Houdini for. Also, the customer service has been absolutely amazing. Since we had no warning of the upgrade from our system administrator, we were caught on our heels on a busy Monday morning; however, every time we called for help, which we did multiple times over the course of the day, we were given outstanding service and attention. I wish I could rate the customer support higher than 5 stars.

Recommendations to other buyers: The appearance of the calendar is off putting because it starts with Monday on the left hand side and ends with Sunday on the right hand side. All other standard calendars begin with Sunday on the left and end with Saturday on the right.

Vendor Response

by LOGICBit on March 10, 2017

Kelly, thank you for your review. BY now you should have been updated to 2.0 build 12.

In Build 12 we now include event, matter and contact details when you hover over an appointment on the calendar.

We will fix the issue with Monday being the first day of the week. This si a bug. It seems to be stuck in euro display mode.

Build 12 has over 100 fixes and enhancements throughout the App. We hope your experience with this build helps you be more productive and helps you provide superior service to all your clients.

Houdini Esq is smooth, powerful, flexible, logical and secure. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Nov 06, 2017
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
Likely
Extremely
Likely

Pros: I have been practicing law for almost a quarter century. I started with Houdini many, many years ago, when the project was still teething (I switched from Abacus). I can confidently say that even in infancy Houdini and its combination of logic, power and flexibility were head and shoulders above any other package on the market, many costing three times more. Since then, the management and development teams had nurtured and evolved this software into an awesome powerhouse with intuitive, user-friendly features, and absolutely unique capabilities, which other packages sorely lack.

Magic has universal appeal, and Houdini is equally well suited for solo practitioners, who appreciate its instinctive simplicity, and multinational law firms, who take advantage of its infinite customization and industrial-strength features. I can wholeheartedly recommend Houdini to any law firm regardless of its size or practice areas.

Cons: I really had to scratch my head to identify any faults or weaknesses in Houdini. Still scratching .....

Overall: Houdini makes my life easier and my practice more productive and profitable.

HoudiniESQ: A promising case management program

Jan 14, 2015
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: Overall, I am very satisfied with HoudiniESQ. I have used the one-account free version to manage the cases for my budding law firm for several months now. The program is relatively straight-forward. Many of the program's parameters can be readily customized, which I appreciate. Also, it can upgraded to accommodate my growing legal practice. Customer service is generally pretty on-point when it comes resolving occasional issues. Plus, the price can't be beat! For a sole-proprietor like me, the fact that the program is offered free of charge for a one-seat account, was a big selling point when I was opening up my law firm.

However, as with any case management program, there are a few drawbacks to HoudiniESQ that I would like to see corrected. For instance, some minor cleanup may be necessary when it comes to invoices. Presently, I have to limit the length of each task that I enter into HoudiniESQ for any given client because, if the task description is on the longer side, it will be cut off on my invoice, with a "..." appearing at the end. I wish that the program could simply carry over the rest of the task description to the line below.

Also, there is another invoicing issue. More specifically, if a decide to not charge a client for a task, but still want to have the task appear on the invoice as a "no charge," I have to remember not to open up the task again after I put "0" for the charge about b/c, if I do, HoudiniESQ will automatically refill the charge amount per the going rate for the task, effectively overriding my override. Left unnoticed, this issue can cause MAJOR issues b/c the error tends to spill over to future invoices. Another issue that needs to be addressed has to do with calendaring. I regularly use Google Calendar for organization. But, almost immediately after syncing my HoudiniESQ with my Google Calendar, I had to turn off syncing. The problem was that syncing made all of my case tasks appear on my Google Calendar, regardless of whether the task was an upcoming hearing reminder or a notation that I received and read a letter from an opposing attorney. In effect, my Google Calendar became heavily cluttered, showing tasks that have no reason to be on my calendar. In short, I would like more control over the calendar syncing option and invoicing. I trust that these issues can be fixed in future updates. But, all-in-all, I am very happy with this program and I think that it shows great promise. Thank you, and keep up the good work!

The best there is but not for the entry level user

Jan 22, 2015
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: Cons: HoudiniEsq has learning curve. This is not a terrible thing when all things are considered. The product is feature rich. It does a lot of things and does them very well but getting setup does take time. Since every organization has its own way of doing things it would be difficult to have a system that is customized to a particular preference out of the box. I think if there was a way to add custom fields or change labels directly on the forms instead of a admin panel it would really make the setup more intuitive.

Pros: HoudiniEsq really shines when it comes to collecting data. You can customize the product. Fields can be added to Matters, Contacts and Events. You can have fields placed by the record's type, subtype and or status code. Fields only appear if they apply. This unclutters the screens. I love the fact that we can place fields based on a status code. As a case moves from one phase to another, new fields appear and the others are hidden.

A huge benefit is the ability to create custom forms. Forms are child records of a matter. This enables us to collect a lot of very specific but repetitive information like injuries for each party without having to see hundreds of fields on screen. Each form neatly collects and displays this information. It deserves a mention that you can change practically any label in the system as well.

Another area we are very pleased with is the ability to create templates that will merge data including custom fields. We can generate one document or several in a single shot. We like the ability to use these templates with the workflow automation feature to generate supporting docs automatically. The workflow automation feature isn't limited to docs. You can calendar events, send email, reminders and notifications.

HoudiniEsq is worth a serious look. I would not suggest this product to a Solo although according to the HoudiniEsq LinkedIn group solos are very happy with it. HoudiniEsq isn't an entry level product like My Case or Clio. Simplicity isn't its mainstay it is the ability to handle the complex that sets it apart. If you wouldn't use Pro Law then you probably shouldn't consider HoudiniEsq. I'm not saying Solos should stay away, the solos who do use HoudiniEsq seem to be the enterprising upstarts who are growing their businesses quickly.

Currently not for Solos, a con only if you need an entry level product. I give HoudiniEsq 5 stars overall because it really can do remarkable things.

Review of HoudiniESQ

Jan 14, 2015
4/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

2 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: Pros: Platform independent and on-premise and cloud options.

Features and included plugins

Cloud services integration

Browser interface. Scalable licensing.

Multiple supported back-end database choices. Opportunity to architect legitimate HA and DR solutions.

Cons: Adobe Flash as a front end is somewhat of a non sequitur.

My experience with support has been measured in days. I've had to send follow up emails after no response for 3+ days to hopefully keep a support request alive. I'm currently on day 9 waiting for a response. I don't necessarily expect a solution, but I do expect a response; especially after multiple follow up emails.

I've done some testing with "short codes" but the product feels a bit reliant on the mouse to navigate the interface and input data.

The document storage architecture appears to only offer a single folder approach when storing files and templates. A nested physical folder structure is preferred and common in firms. Logical folders by matter, case type and doc type would be an advantage when dealing with many templates and files. This might also exclude the need to manually (re)assign and maintain the metadata assignments of all documents via the gui interface. Finally, the doc management approach requires full commitment to document access and management through the user interface and the provided plugins. Integration with a content management system or a scanning and imaging solution while possible via ECF, is a non-starter due to the required manual cloning of documents into IRIS

The API while advertised as simple and easy to use appears to not have much if any documentation or reference material to support very simple proof of concept integrations

Finally, the reputation of HoudiniESQ on the street is "it's one-man shop".

Overall Impression: My overall impression of the product is good. I like the platform and the enterprise approach. The coverage of specific and general needs of many different law firms is impressive. Integrations are there for targeted solutions like Google,Dropbox,Evernote but integrations outside of those select few seem dependent upon the development pipeline.

The full commitment required to IRIS with little to no opportunity to bring enterprise doc management/workflow automation to the solution is a little unnerving. Generally speaking the feel of the platform is constrained primarily by the UI and doc management.

Does what it does better than the others...

Jan 14, 2015
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: (Full disclosure: I am an INDEPENDENT legal practice management consultant who chooses which products I want to work with... and a HoudiniEsq consultant - among others.)

HoudiniEsq is one of a few legal practice management products that actually gets it: it will do a lot of end-user concepts (custom forms, triggers, document management/generation) better than any other legal practice management product. It also does a lot of the administration concepts (true relational database; updates that work and don't force you to roll back because they don't install properly, flexibility to run in almost any environment) very well too.

HoudiniEsq makes it easy to capture and bill time; it allows firms the ability to create and store data on custom forms that provide the firm with the necessary data in order to function efficiently; it is intuitive and continues to add new features that mean something to the user base, and not just something a marketing guy thought would be great to list on a brochure - heck I don't even know if they have a "marketing guy"!

Mobility is probably it's strongest point: it can be accessed by a phone/tablet/laptop, and an iPhone app is in the works (currently it's biggest end-user request.)

The list of what it doesn't do is a small list: besides the above-mentioned iPhone app, electronic billing is probably at the top. It continues to grow its list of end-user features, often because the developer listens to the requests that come directly from its users.

And the price: FREE for solos? You cannot beat that deal. Add more users and pay more, but you are still paying for a product that works, and every time they make a product release the response from the user base is "Yes!" and not "So what? Does this stuff actually work?" Want to write a check and not deal with updates, backups and server updates - go with the SaaS version and pay monthly. If you still prefer the idea of your data residing on your servers in your office, then go with the On-premise version. Not all practice management programs offer both options.

While not perfect (no software is), it ranks at the top of my list when clients look for legal practice management software.

Great Software with a Few Speed-Bumps

Jan 14, 2015
4/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: I have used Houdini Esq on the Mac for several months now as a solo practitioner. I use it primarily for case management and invoicing. The great thing about this software is that the interface just makes sense, and it is feature rich and comprehensive. I have case and event management, document templates, and trust management and invoicing all in one place. In other words, I don't have to switch between multiple programs to get the job done, which is something I love, and it isn't hard to pick up . . . once you get it going. That's the speed bump.

First, my set-up is probably not conventional. I have a single laptop, with a main user account, and a secondary user account that I use for my law practice. When I first installed Houdini, if I started my computer, logged into my law practice user account, and tried to open Houdini, in any web browser, I would get an error saying that the local host was not found. I finally discovered that I would first have to start up the file "HoudiniESQ_start" to fix this error. Additionally, I don't think that this install is doing the automatic backups as advertised, but I use Time Machine, so I'm not too worried.

Second, I wish that there was more control over invoices. I would like to be able to list the start and stop times for events, the option to include tasks that are not billed, and include my logo at top. However, the controls for these are limited-to-nonexistant.

Finally, there are some strange quirks with the interface. For example, sometimes I can't get menus to close unless I close the whole window containing the menu. Also, sometimes my events won't show up in the Dashboard unless I go to another tab and back. If they made a shift away from the browser-based interface, I would not complain at all.

These are my main complaints, and none of them are deal breakers for me, especially when otherwise you are getting a comprehensive, easy to use software that should be enough for any legal professional. If you are on a Mac, it is just about the only real locally-based client management software worth considering.

Review of Houdini ESQ

Jan 14, 2015
4/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: As a bookkeeper in a law firm, Houdini ESQ presents some challenges. The program is very user friendly overall, except for certain bookkeeping limitations. It is easy to teach, and the learning curve is small.

There is no way to generate a true prebill, an invoice in invoice format prior to finalizing all information for invoicing. The prebill screen does not print the matter name, or balances due, or trust balances. If an invoice is generated to be used for reviewing prior to finalizing, it is necessary to delete that invoice, make any needed changes, then regenerate the invoice - a cumbersome, time-consuming process.

If edits are made to events on a printed prebill (one of our partners prefers to review his invoices on paper and have me make the changes), it is necessary to "find" the event and make the edit in the system. If multiple events are to be edited, as often occurs, each time I save the changed event, the screen flips back to the top and I have "find" the next event for editing, rather than being able to continue chronologically forward to make all necessary changes. Either keeping the screen at the event just changed and being able to go forward chronologically, or being able to search by date/time, would make this process much easier.

The Houdini generated statement of account lists every invoice, payment, and all charges ever generated for the client's matters. Our office prefers to generate statements indicating only the prior open balance, if it was paid when the payment was applied, and only for matters with activity during the prior 60-90 days. We have to generate a manual statement in order to limit the amount of information provided to the clients.

When payment is received in a lump sum with more than one open invoice, Houdini does not automatically apply the payment back to the prior open invoices -- this has to be done manually, again a time-consuming, cumbersome task.

We are happy with the program and its learnability. We'd just like some fine tuning to be done.

Thanks for the opportunity to share.

It's been worth sticking with.

Jan 16, 2015
4/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: The Pros:

The price. The power and flexibility. The ability to integrate.

Continuous improvement. These guys are constantly working to make a better product.

The support staff. I was a bit cranky with the way the whole flash problem went down, but I get the impression that was a significant stressor for Houdini, as well. They seem to have worked hard to overcome that, and since then have continued to provide "on the spot," "out of their way," profoundly dedicated service.

The cons:

The learning curve is significant. Houdini is anything but plug and play. It takes significant time to get comfortable with the various modules, which are not always, and especially not at first, intuitive.

Integration ability generally limited to microsoft products. Would love to see the ability to integrate with something like libre office and Mozilla's Thunderbird (not sure if the coding time is worth it for Huodini, but I would love it.)

Buggy - weird things happen from time to time, like already added events or contacts "disappearing" from a matter. They tend to reappear after one (or a few) restarts, or after a patch, but they keep me in constant fear of losing some important data.

The way ledgers work could be much smoother. I hate having to generate a bill to give a discount, and then having to produce a statement to reflect the discount, and then give the client two sheets of paper with an explanatory letter because without an explanation it won't make much sense to the client. It can be even more painful when generating the statement brings up every matter I have handled for a client that is still open, even though I only want to provide 1 bill for one matter at the time.

Overall, I stick with Houdini because it provides what I need, appears powerful enough to provide what I will require as I grow, and, most importantly, because it is constantly improving. Houdini appears genuinely interested in what its users want and is continually working to provide just that. Once a person gets over the learning curve, Houdini is hard to beat.

Great value for time tracking program

Nov 06, 2017
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money

Pros: Price; customer support; fairly easy to add new matters and add time to events. I like that is is fairly compatible with Quickbooks.

Cons: The stopwatch feature. You have to manually add time to an event and then unclick and click on "bill" to update the fees. You should have the option for the stopwatch time to automatically add to the open event and update the fees accordingly. The old version did this well.

Vendor Response

by LOGICBit on November 07, 2017

Hi,

Thank you for your review. You make an excellent point about the Stopwatch feature. We will correct the current behavior to function as it once did. Release 2.0.0.117 will have this feature corrected. This version will also include a Intake button on the desktop which opens a wizard to quickly add a Contact and Matter. Less clicking.

7 Years Since Dumping Time Matters for HoudiniEsq

Jan 09, 2017
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
Likely
Extremely
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Pros: The support staff is a stallion.

Cons: Some reporting features can be improved.

Overall: It's been seven years since we made the switch from Time Matters to HoudiniEsq, and we're not looking back. HoudiniEsq has provided us with an easy to use system to manage our law practice. I recommend HoudiniEsq to my colleagues regardless of the size of your firm or practice area. I don't have time to try to figure out complex systems that require vendor technicians to get me going. I needed something that was user-friendly and intuitive, and found both in HoudiniEsq. Thanks the support staff at HoudiniESQ for making our lives a little easier. In today's fast-paced legal enviroment where time management and billing are so critical, it's a relief to know that HoudiniESQ is on the ball with cutting technology to make my life simpler.

Money Maximizer

Jan 15, 2015
4/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: pros:

Integrates with so many different programs

easy to navigate and user-friendly

Very easy to customize and add specific categories, types, color customize a calendar, etc.

Runs in the background - keep it open all day long w/o slowing down computer and other programs

Creating and sending invoices is incredibly simple.

Trust Account, Billables, and Accounts Receivable is always available so it's easy to keep track of money.

Individual client ledgers makes accounting for each client's expenses, fees, payments, and trust easy to track and very clear and understandable.

Keeps everything up to date daily, instead of just at end of month.

Ability to link to matters from integrated programs allows maximum billing and the process is quick and painless

Support is great - can read articles and topics on any issue related to the program and telephone support is great.

cons:

Requires patience at first until you understand how the program thinks and operates.

Every now and then there is some small glitch that requires me to visit the support page or make a phone call.

Have had to install approx. 2 updates in past year - I guess it's a good thing they update the product, but taking the time to install the update is somewhat annoying.

Overall:

Great product that includes everything you'd need to manage your practice, all in one place. Can create memos while on phone, while the timer is on - takes the burden out of billing time because you're using it throughout the day as you work. Has increased income through ability to "capture" time by linking events, e-mails, documents to matters. For me, it somewhat takes away the panic at the end of the day I used to feel when trying to recall and write down everything I'd done that day. Now, it is all recorded for me as I work throughout the day and contributes hugely to overall organization.

Adequate but not amazing

Jul 11, 2017
4/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

3 / 5
Customer Support

3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Extremely
Likely

Comments: It just isn't as "clean" as some other programs that I've used. Again, it serves it's purpose but it's nothing to write home about.

Pros: Inexpensive cloud option. Minimal technical skill required. Good integration with Outlook, though the plugins often had issues.

Cons: Difficult user interface, it seems disorganized and not very intuitive. It's difficult to switch from one area of a file to another area (ie documents to billing and back to contacts). The web URL is complicated so if you don't have it bookmarked you're screwed.

Excellent

Jan 18, 2018
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: easy to read, easy to search for information , like the way you can color code appointments and alert each other for deadlines

Cons: I don't like that you cannot multitask, it doesn't allow you to change the alerts, they have to be deleted first, I miss being able to see the day along with the dates when setting appointments

Overall: the office is better organized and everyone is aware of what is happening from one moment to the next throughout the day. It is great to be able to have all the information so easily accessible.

Cloud Computing? Houdiniesq is your solution.

Nov 08, 2010
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Customer Support

Pros: HoudiniEsq has the best and most responsive technical support I have ever encountered with any program or platform.

HoudiniEsq works entirely inside of your browser so you can access it anywhere you have an Internet connection. For us smaller guys that mean no exchange server costs or problems with syncing. Also, Houdini is optimized for mobile phone browsers such as the iPhone.

HoudiniEsq works a bit different than Time Matters in that everything is a billable "event." Even on your calendar you can view all calls, to do's, drafting ... anything you want can be viewed on your calendar or removed from view with the click of a button. Only want to see appointments with clients and court dates on the calendar, no problem, just a click away. The calendaring is powerful and different than any other calendaring program I have encountered or tested. It does take a bit of time to get used to, but when you do, it results in amazing control of your schedule and your matters.

Cons: Lack of a functioning document automation/assembly system and lack of quickbooks integration.

Overall: I would recommend this product to anyone wanting to transition to cloud based practice management.

Vendor Response

by LOGICBit on February 05, 2011

With the release of HoudiniESQ 1.7 our users have native integration with Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook. Our team has been working on our Quickbooks link and Document Management and Automation. You can expect the QUickBooks integration to be pretty seamless.

I have watched grow , making really important improvements.

Nov 08, 2017
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
Likely
Extremely
Likely

Pros: Program is based upon the case, as it should be. Support is outstanding. It anticipates what you are looking for. I have not yet sent emails via HoudiniEsq. and am looking forward to using it.

Cons: I wish that phone calls were a separate category of input, instead of added to events. Would like to see preview of docs as I review them. I am still catching up with changes in billing.

Overall: Complete office management, including file organization and billing.

It has been a revolution in organising my workflow and easily producing itemised invoices.

Nov 07, 2017
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
Likely
Extremely
Likely

Pros: The degree of customisation that can be applied. it is designed for US based lawyers but i work in the UK in the specialised area of commecial rent review dispute resolution. I was able to customise the software to cater for my specialist needs and to generate invoices in UK pounds.

Cons: Bespoke customisation is time consuming, but once it is done, it's done. Once you have a basic framework set up, adding categories is very easy.

Affordable, customize-able, multifaceted client management software

Nov 09, 2017
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money

Pros: FANTASTIC client support. Agent is the best support person that I've had the pleasure of getting assistance from across all of the technical systems and software that I've used. He consistently goes above and beyond to make sure that whatever crazy customization that I want can happen.

Cons: A very superficial "con" but I don't like the aesthetic of the site. It looks outdated. The navigation could use some improvement.

Great Program.

Nov 15, 2017
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

4 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: Very user friendly. Dashboard is easy accessed and filled with information at a glance. Time entry is easy as well as client/matter setup.

Cons: Some reports are still not correct. Technical support not always helpful. Accounts Receivable Aging report is a mess. Most of the time I cannot use this report. Program does not calculate interest charge on outstanding balances.

Overall: The is used to maintain time spent on matters and printing invoices.

Very good overall experience.

Nov 06, 2017
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: The software is very reliable and fairly easy to learn. Video tutorials are very helpful. Customer service is excellent! Calls made to customer service are either answered right away or returned timely.

Cons: Our firm has had issues with searching. Would like to see cases in a "list" format, with more than 50 showing at once. Also, we have had an issue with printing an invoice from inside the "Matter". If the "print" is not chosen quick enough the program will print another matter's invoice. Note, these issues may just be settings and not a true problem with the software.

Very easy to use and great for managing my case load and process.

Nov 07, 2017
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: The ability to integrate with other programs and software. I am able to seamlessly work across outlook, adobe, and word, which makes document generation and calendaring a cinch. My favorite thing is the template creation and document generation, that has been a game changer.

Cons: Difficult to make changes to fields from the original Houdini version. The customization mode is a little clunky and arduous to use. I cannot print Ad-Hoc reports or my calendar.

Overall: Organization and a sense of control over my case load. This software has really changed the way I track and work my files. I absolutely love it!

Doan Law Firm - Bankruptcy Attorneys

Nov 09, 2010
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Customer Support

Pros: Easy to use, easy to configure, economical, scalable. Links Matters, Contacts, Notes, Emails, and Documents. Allows us to centrally manage our entire bankruptcy practice (17 offices and expanding) without the need for terminal services connections. The CEO, Frank Rivera, is extremely receptive toward ideas that enhance the product. Mr. Rivera's team is doing a great job of staying on the cutting edge of technology.

Cons: The release date. I wish this product was available BEFORE we dumped tens of thousands of dollars into Time Matters and the "leading bankruptcy customization feature package".

Overall: I manage a high volume bankruptcy practice in California and HoudiniESQ is living up to Mr. Rivera's statement he once made to me, "If you can think of it, we can get HoudiniESQ to do it for you." So far, I continue to be impressed. I highly recommend this product for law office management. Actually, it could be used for virtually any industry. I used to walk into court with a dolly. Now I carry only my laptop and can access my entire office from any browser (Explorer, Safari, Mozilla, etc). Best thing, I can access my office from anywhere in the world with any computer that has an internet connection. Or, I can access my office through my mobile phone with the HoudiniESQ mobile app. Way cool. Don't take my word for it... you can download it free from Houdiniesq.com. Whether you're a solo practitioner (like I used to be) or a firm with 17 offices and expanding (like we are now), HoudiniESQ can handle the load.

Mediocre Software that the Developers Like to Break and Blame on the User

Feb 07, 2017
2/5
Overall

2 / 5
Ease of Use

2 / 5
Features & Functionality

1 / 5
Customer Support

2 / 5
Value for Money

Comments: Generally speaking, the software offers everything you want in a practice management software. It does trust accounting, billing, general practice management, calendaring, e-mailing, and task management. However, every single one of these features is clunky and slow. The database constantly breaks and you lose information by clearing your cache and refreshing your page. The database will, occasionally delete or lose entries on its own but when you call tech support they blame you for it. Randomly, during updates, the developers decide that you should have been doing something (billing, trust accounting, etc.) their way and change the software to force you to do it that way in the future. Often, this breaks all of the entries that you put into the system in the past. For example, if a client had a carry over credit balance from a small overpayment; houdiniesq now doesn't use that in calculating the client's current balance. Many of the search features simply don't work correctly, particularly when trying to search for an invoice. You used to be able to print invoices when you generated them. Now, you have to go search for the invoices, after it is generated and on a search platform that doesn't operate properly, and then print them adding an entirely wasteful extra step to billing. Really, this software is a complete headache. The developers don't own up to these problems or offer solutions. They often don't answer the support phone line and seem to work limited hours. The price is on the lower end, although better companies are now competitive price-wise. The only reason I still have this software is because I don't have the time to move all of my data over to new software.

Vendor Response

by LOGICBit on March 07, 2017

hey Dustin, thank you for the honest review.

We have been hard at work. A new update is coming that I think you will love. We have over 100 fixes and improvements throughout the App including but not limited to billing, boolean and elastic search support (google like queries against all tables and documents), and so much more.

The update will be available Wed March 8th (tomorrow). You don't have to do anything. The system will autoupdate for you.

If you experience any problems please don't hesitate to contact us Toll Free. We would love to hear form you. Especially since we have implemented many of your very own request Dustin.

If you ever experience a serious issue please contact us and ask to speak with Mark or Frank. They will insure your issue gets resolved asap with this new revision 2.0 Build 12.

Thanks again Dustin.

Best Solo Management Tool

Aug 26, 2011
5/5
Overall

Comments: HoudiniESQ is by far the most feature rich law practice management tool for solo firms. I am very impressed with the robustness of the application and the ability to maximize billable hours and tracking. I initially installed HoudineESQ because it was a 'free' (for Solo Firms) management tool and I was looking for a system to merge case related information. After a few hours I immediately knew that this was a keeper. Setup was incredibly simple and I can access Houdini on any internet connected computer, tablet or smart phone. I can now keep my Google calendar (using Outlook and Google Sync) updated from within Houdini (and vice versa), client communication, and documents all in one place. Using the downloadable plugins I can now merge Houdini data fields into my own custom documents in Microsoft Office. (Huge time saver!) Also, Houdini provides a way to keep clients updated using Remote Client Access (RCA) that allows the client to login to Houdini and review their case.

Pros: It allows me to manage my cases from just one application that allows all aspects of the case to be housed under one umbrella. (Emails, document archive, document creation from templates, integration with Microsoft Office, billing & BIRT reports.)

Cons: I would like to be able to 'customize' some of the client communication forms to my liking. (ie Invoice layout, client email notification for RCA.) I would also like to have pre-made BIRT reports and a better billing / collection management module.

A good program that just hasn't kept up with the time

Jan 14, 2015
3/5
Overall

2 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: I used HoudiniEsq for about five months when I first opened my firm, and my experiences with it were a little mixed. The program itself is extremely powerful and has many features which can be used to automate a lot of billing and correspondence tasks... but only if you can figure out how to use them.

Take billing, for example. Some of my clients are the typical "charge an up-front retainer, then bill by the hour" clients, and the billing settings were easily adapted to that use and would produce nice invocies relatively easily. However, a large portion of my clients are billed a flat-fee for my services, but I would still like to provide them with an itemized bill showing the hours I worked on their case. After days of experimenting, trying to make sense of the Houdini support documents, and just generally pulling my hair out I gave up. I couldn't make it work.

Houdini does definitely excel in providing you with every option and feature under the sun. In my months working with it, I never came across a major feature which a competitor offered but Houdini didn't. But again, those features require you to learn how to use them.

The user interface is, to put it kindly, dated and not very intuitive. The user experience, then, is more about learning Houdini's quirks of placement decisions and icon choice and adapting your use to it. Even after five months of use I still hadn't taught myself Houdini's interface well enough to really describe myself as "comfortable" with it.

But then there's the feature that drew me in to begin with: The cost. For solo firms, Houdini is free of charge. Some people will warn you that you get what you pay for, but with Houdini that's not really true. You do, in fact, get a very full featured very powerful practice management suite for no cost at all to you. But you also get to adapt your working habits to its interface and workflow style, because it will not adapt to you.

I consider myself quite computer savvy, I set up my own phone system for my office, but I still had a heck of a time figuring out how to make Houdini do some of what I knew it could do. So if you're a solo who's attracted by the price, but who doesn't have a lot of time to learn the quirks of the program, then you may be better off picking again.

In the end, my final verdict on it is this: Houdini was, once, on-par with the other practice management options; but Houdini has failed to keep up with the times, and it shows in many ways.

User interface and experience lacking - nuts and bolts are there

Jun 22, 2018
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: It does what you need it to do. It stores client information, documents, deadlines, etc. You can run reports. You can generate bills and track time.

Cons: The user interface is outdated and difficult to navigate at times. Updates will cause reports or features to stop working randomly.

Peace of Mind....Always!

Feb 04, 2015
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: I've been using HoudiniEsq for a couple of years now. Overall, I have to say i'm extremely happy with the product and the customer service.

The Product:

All the sync capabilities make this, by far, the best product on the market. I've looked at Abacus, Amicus Attorney, goClio, RocketLawyer, MyCase. The functionality of HoudiniEsq has far exceeded that which was available in any others at the time I tried them. It does what I want, how I want, when I want. This, on top of continual upgrades to the system itself.

Ease of Use:

This is sort of an "It depends" answer. Because of the nature of the system, learning the system and getting comfortable with it will probably take a bit of time. It's not quite "plug 'n' play". However, once you are set-up and comfortable with the system, it's extremely easy to use and modify as necessary. When speak with other colleagues about time management issues they are having, I am constantly amazed at how much time I do save because of the capabilities HoudiniEsq offers.

Customer Service:

So far, it's arguably the best I've seen (other than my own firm's, of course.) Anytime there is an issue, the multiple avenues available to seek support make it fairly simple to receive a quick response to the issue at hand. When you need someone live to go in and check out the system for themselves, they are usually available on the spot to create a screen share session and diagnose and correct the problems immediately.

Overall, you can't go wrong!

Great program

Dec 29, 2016
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Comments: We use Houdini at our law firm. It is easy to use and helps make our firm run smoothly. I am a paralegal here at the firm and for me, Houdini is wonderful because it helps me keep the attorneys on track. There are minor things that could be changed or updated with the new 2.0 system, but overall this program is excellent and we enjoy it here at the office. :)

Heartfelt Review!

Jan 14, 2015
4/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: At the law practice of Danielle S. Archer, we have been using this product for just about 1 Year and we are really excited about the usability and flexibility of the product. Managing matters has become a breeze, at just the click of a button. Where before we had problems locating files and documents.

Difficulties staying in touch and communicating with our clients, whilst updating them on the status of their matter is now a thing of the past.

Even though the software is mostly tailored to US based law-firms our in house paralegal and technical personnel has used the flexibility of Houdiniesq to facilitate our matters and our office.

We only ask that you make an effort to add our jurisdiction to calendar based events and a flexible currency choice.

Aside from issue with currency Houdiniesq has made our office efficiency now at A+ level, had we known about this tool before it would have been our main focus.

Our in house paralegal and Technical personnel has been using the product long before we decided to purchase without us knowing, and became so efficient remembering dates and matters while managing his time effectively. We wondered what his secret was until Houdiniesq was revealed to us by him.

Our encounters with customer service is always pleasant and fruitful. We have never called without a response and or a solution. Kevin is a world class agent. No matter the time we call he is always there to assist.

Overall an excellent product !

Great product, very good service

Jan 21, 2015
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: I have used HoudiniEsq for over 2 years now in my office. It was recommended to us when we were looking for a cloud solution, we chose it because it offered all the features we needed at the time, and there was no contract so we could cancel at any time if it didn't work out.

Pros:

It was easy to learn and navigate the system, I especially like the multiple workspace and window features so I can perform multiple tasks at the same time.

Integration with office is very good. All my email are now neatly organized by matter, time entries are auto recorded with emails and documents.

All matter information are centrally located, search works really well, very easy to find what I am looking for.

Knowledge base is very useful, hardly ever need to call the support staff. But the few times I did call, it was a very pleasant experience.

Document automation is a huge plus for us. No more copy and paste, it literally saves us at least one day a month on repetitive work.

Cloud version works great, have not experienced any down time.

Cons:

We used some of the advanced features in the last year and it took us sometime to figure it out, but we had it working the way we wanted with the help from the support.

Overall, it's a great product. It's much better than other user-friendly and simpler alternatives out there, especially after you learn how it works and can customize it so it works the way you want it to.

Capterra loader

Far better than the other management software out there!

Nov 13, 2017
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: I love the functionality of Houdini. While some of the features are not the EASIEST to use, the customer support to walk you through it is amazing, and done on the spot. Every issue I've ever had with Houdini has been lack of knowing exactly how it was done. But the program itself is amazing, works exceptionally, and their support is the best I've ever seen!

Cons: Some of the features can be a little confusing at first, but the support staff will immediately demonstrate how to use it. I have not done the free training program, which I'm certain is exceptional -- based on my experience with their staff -- so, a lot of my lack of know-how for certain features is my fault. But, even without the training the software is very easy to use and has amazing features.

Overall: The ease of having everything in one place that does everything a firm needs. I haven't found anything that our firm needs that Houdini does not already do!

HoudiniEsq: Best Solution for Our Firm

Apr 12, 2017
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: The fact that everyone in our firm can use it and enter their own time and calendars.

Cons: There are occasional problems with the way it integrates with Outlook and Quickbooks.

Overall: HoudiniEsq is easy to learn and use, and because it costs so much less than what we were using before, every user in our organization can have a seat, rather than just 3 of us as we had before. It syncs with Outlook and QuickBooks, and customer support is always free!

Great software!

Feb 28, 2017
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: I like how easy to use this software is compared to other software companies.

Cons: Nothing

Overall: Our law firm has been using HoudiniESQ for years. We love it! It is so easy to use and so helpful. Thank you for a great software!!!!

Recommendations to other buyers: I would recommend this software

Works well most of the time

Nov 08, 2017
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Features & Functionality

4 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money

Pros: The ability to customize some fields within the software to specific file types, because not every personal injury file requires the same customization.

Cons: The ability to track documents and due dates for things that come in, such as discovery deadlines seems to not be there as previous users have said this was something that you could do.

generally acceptable but some report and bill features are not user friendly

Dec 18, 2017
3/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Features & Functionality

3 / 5
Customer Support

3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 6.0/10 Not
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Pros: The calendar shows work items at a glance which is convenient. You can change the time span of each item by moving the starting time or ending time of that item.

Cons: difficult to generate matter reports showing excel work narratives with time costs; this is important as we need to report to client regularly without billing. The matter number sometimes leaps and has to be manually adjusted each new matter is opened.

Overall: Mostly time entries and reporting; we use a separate billing system.

Vendor Response

by LOGICBit on December 28, 2017

Thank you for your review Jeffrey.

Re: Matter Numbers jumping. Matter identifiers are customizable under the App settings matter tab. It is odd that you see matter numbers jumping. Technically this would be impossible so we would like to schedule a tech call so we can view your instance while you create a new matter to see what you are seeing.

Matter numbers are assigned once and can not be reused. IF a matter is created then deleted or started and not completed the index is used and the next index is assigned since mater id MUST be kept unique.

Please give us a call toll free. We would love to speak with you about what you are experiencing.

Great Software

Jan 24, 2017
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: Ease of use - very user friendly.

Overall: HoudiniEsq is a great for case management, document management and billing! Technical support is extremely helpful and greatly assists with making the software tailored for our firm.

Review of Houdini

Jan 14, 2015
4/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

2 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: The product I find to be useful. It has easy to read billing. It is great that it is cloud based. That is the biggest asset for me. It is also multi-faceted that you can do other things with it aside from billing. The fact you can not only track revenue but also store documents is great. What I have found frustrating in learning to use the system which I am by no means an expert is that the customer service I have found to be hasty and sometimes a bit rude. I have in a pinch had to talk to various people and they have acted like they are pushed for time or slightly condescending. I always feel like the dummy calling the techy. Believe me if the attorneys are calling the tech firm directly for billing we have tried multiple times to get the question done with first picking up the phone. I also have had long response times in waiting for call backs or no call at all returned. I have considered changing billing but I have decided as of now to keep my business with Houdini in the hopes that I 1. won't have major questions that require phone calls or 2. Get someone in the office that can assist in learning the fine nuances of the program.

It would also be great if there was a single cheat sheet for frequent questions/Hints rather than looking through a library of videos and parceling through a page worth of articles.

i love the program

Nov 04, 2017
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money

Pros: it's easy to use. easy to enter payments and expenses. i love the accounts receivable report. the customer support is great. integration with outlook and word is very useful

Cons: it doesn't have some reports we would like to use and sometimes we have issues with the invoices. We have to restart the program once in a while and sometimes after updates we have issues.

Vendor Response

by LOGICBit on November 07, 2017

hey Marta, thank you for your review of HoudiniEsq. Please send us any issue you experience. We love to fix the little annoyances.

Best Secret Weapon for Attorneys

Dec 25, 2016
4/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: Full blown sophistication required for lawyers

Speed much faster than 1.9 version.

Cons: At the beginning, there were some kinks but at this point mostly addressed as far as I can tell.

Overall: The product is good and becoming great. Keep up the hard work.

The customer service is excellent and it is obvious that all employees and member care deeply about their service and product.

The billing functions are outstanding and offer all the functionality and customization one could hope for.

Recommendations to other buyers: None at this time

This software makes our firm work so smoothly since we are mostly not in the same place on a daily

Dec 27, 2017
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: The best part of this software is being able to commuincate what we are working on together as a firm but not have to be in the same location. We are striving to be paperless and this software has been

Cons: This software needs to be able to upload larger files to the documents sections. Being that we are a personal injury law firm, it would be more convenient for it to be able to upload large medical records files.

Overall: The largest benefit is having the ability to comunicate case info to each other with out beingin the same location all the time.

Vendor Response

by LOGICBit on December 28, 2017

Kristi, thank you of your review.

We will relax the upload limit. Currently it is set to 50MB per file. We do understand that files these days are much larger. You can expect this limitation to be increased to 150MB per individual file in an upcoming release. I believe it is in Build 2.0.0.165

Somewhat user friendly, but can be customized with help from support. Has potential to be great

Nov 03, 2017
3/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Features & Functionality

3 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Pros: Templates are easy to use. The fact that it is cloud-based is excellent; relatively easy learning curve.

Cons: Email feature saves all image files from email, rendering this feature unusable. Keyword search feature in Documents does not function correctly, only partially works. Interface is not the most user friendly and requires knowledge of ins and outs of Houdini which must be obtained from customer support. Developers will not fix the above issues or do not know how. To have a feature of a program only partially work is subpar. Also, the invoicing feature defies commons sense.

Overall: Cloud based, easy to use out of the office.

Vendor Response

by LOGICBit on November 06, 2017

Ricci, if you are using version 2.0.0.1 or greater then you should be able to search for anything across all data. That being said, we will look at your firm's logs and get to the bottom of the issue. We will at the very least rebuild your document indexes for you tonight when everyone is logged off. In the meantime, when searching documents you want to use natural language. Since everything is indexed Full words work best when you search because ESQ returns everything on server side but we only return the top 50 hits to the user to reduce bandwidth and increase response times.

Re: Email, we do save every attachment to a email especially when you link that email to a Matter. Not having a image in a email as it was originally sent makes the email incomplete so we save and store everything. That being said we are capable of providing whatever you wish we just ned to know exactly what you expect and we can make it so. Just give us a ring. We would love to fix for you.

Great product. Wonderful service

Jan 14, 2015
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: I started my law practice a little over a year ago, and have been using HoudiniESQ since the beginning. I learned my way around the program by watching the tutorial videos on the main website and reading the forums. Because I run a small practice, often times I will bill out to my clients based on their individual needs, and while other programs weren't able to customize client matters based on those needs, Houdini could.

The invoices and statements look professional, and billing and time keeping is a breeze. Especially if you bill in tenths like I do. One thing I would like to see is an iPad app that I could take to court with me.

I definitely battled with the idea of using a software that had been on the market longer than Houdini, but Im glad I stuck with my decision. There have been numerous times when Ive needed to call customer service, and believe it or not, a real live person picks up the phone, and they answer every question you might have (even if it's ridiculous).

I have to say, as someone who started a law practice right out of school, Houdiniesq definitely made certain aspects of running this type of business easier. I have recommended this product to my colleugues, and will continue doing so.

All Good Things Take Time

Jan 16, 2015
4/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: We began our journey with HoudiniESQ back in November 2012. It was a little bumpy getting started; we are a small general practice (3 to 4 attorneys) running QuickBooks Pro on a cash basis, and we do a lot of Matrimonial and Family Law that includes NYS Assigned and Attorney for Child cases. We didn't want to run our data in the Cloud so we chose to host on-site (which we were very pleased HoudiniESQ offered). Getting our data transferred from QuickBooks Pro into Houdini was the biggest hurdle; but Eric and Kevin from HoudiniESQ were both great help in walking us through the transition. I will not lie -- it took us nearly 3 months to get all the bugs worked out; but I have to say I'm really pleased with the end result. And, most of our challenges presented because we were already operating with QuickBooks Pro and we wanted to continue to do so. HoudiniESQ is really amazing software; and, we've figured out some work-arounds so that we are now running smoothly most of the time. I also really like the links to Outlook Calendar and Word, as well as how every invoice saves as a PDF to the matter in Houdini. We've been able to significantly reduce the amount of paper filing we are doing in our office.

Great Software...Great Learning Curve

Jan 03, 2017
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: It is Robust and Full featured

Cons: Since upgrading to version 2.0 there is not a quick bill button to add billable time immediately. There is a workaround which requires using the timer, but that just adds two more steps for recording my billable time.

Overall: The Software is the best value on the market and is very intuitive and full featured. There is a steep learning curve, however after some time using the software you will find out how amazing this software can be: Whether Organizing your case Documents; Document automation, or Automated Tasks, this software is very robust. Additionally, the software does some things that other software do not do at all, such as the automatic billing for email function that is built into the Outlook add-in. I am very happy with this investment. One suggestion, though, they need to add a quick bill tab to every screen to capture billable time.

Recommendations to other buyers: Keep on doing good work and add a quick tab to each screen to capture billable time events.

The future of online Legal Practice Management is here!

Feb 28, 2011
5/5
Overall

Comments: "The future of legal case management is HoudiniESQ... The HoudiniESQ team understands how case management software is supposed to improve a law firms workflow. What is different about HoudiniESQ is that everything you do is an event. Everything is an event that is billable. Read an email, it gets billed. That's right, as you read your email it gets billed. If you draft a document it automatically gets billed. Schedule an appointment, not only is it automatically billed, click a button when you schedule it and an email is sent telling the client the date and time of the event. I can go on and on. This application is the future of PMS. This is the way to practice.

Pros: Tight integration with Microsoft Office. If I don't have access to my own computer I can still work because HoudiniESQ includes its own integrated tools for Email, document management and assembly, billing , invoicing, contact and matter management.

Cons: None that we care about but it would be nice to have integrated document annotations.

Law Office

Mar 06, 2017
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 6.0/10 Not
Likely
Extremely
Likely

Comments: Update is quick but missing some features and options that would make my life easier. I need to multi-task to do my job and I am not able to multi-task as well with the update. I also don't like how I cannot search my contacts.

Vendor Response

by LOGICBit on March 07, 2017

hey Stephanie, thank you for the honest review.

We have been hard at work. A new update is coming that I think you will love. We have over 100 fixes and improvements throughout the App including but not limited to billing, boolean and elastic search support (google like queries against all tables and documents), and so much more.

The update will be available Wed March 8th (tomorrow). You don't have to do anything. The system will autoupdate for you.

If you experience any problems please don't hesitate to contact us Toll Free. We would love to hear form you.

If you ever experience a serious issue please contact us and ask to speak with Mark or Frank. They will insure your issue gets resolved asap with this new revision 2.0 Build 12.

Thanks again Stephanie.

Great features, hard to use, can grow into something great

Jan 19, 2015
3/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: I have used HoudiniEsq for a year. I love the features that this software provides. However, there are a number of bugs and glitches. For example, some of the reporting screens don't translate correctly from the actual accounts receivables or balance due on when creating two invoices for a matter.

Additionally, a number of the features take more time to use then doing the task the long way. For example, when linking matter information to a word document, it takes more time fixing the spacing issues and bugs then it is to just type in the name and address yourself. Sometimes, the names don't have a space in between them, sometimes the first name doesn't show up etc.

I think now that HoudiniEsq has a good setup, they should work on simplifying the program and work out the kinks in the many features.

Vendor Response

by LOGICBit on January 19, 2015

Rex, thank you for your review.

There is only one accounts receivable report which is a direct reflection of the invoiced amounts. If this report is wrong then your invoices would be as well. The estimate on the matter dashboard is probably what you are referring to. This should not be used to tie back to the actual receivable report because this figure takes everything into account, including items you may not bill. We removed this figure form the dashboard a while back because users weren't reading the tooltip but received so may request to put it back so we did. This figure is only a running estimate, not your actual receivables figure. Use the Client statements or Receivables report for the correct figures.

Rex it appears that you are using the old template format. In order to have the best output you must convert your templates to the new ODT format.

A Fairly Intuitive System

Jan 14, 2015
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: I switched to HoudiniESQ from PCLaw after getting tired of constantly having to pay for Lexis Nexis's "Annual Maintenance Plan" to get any technical support. The cost was really adding up and the product was not that user friendly. I spent hours researching the best systems that would also function with my Mac and settled on HoudiniESQ for its ease of use and fully integrated workspace. I love that it has all the features I need, with the exception of business accounting, in one program. I have had some difficulty relating to emails with attachments (the receiver cannot always see the actual attachment, even though it is clearly attached on my end, and sometimes I cannot open attachments from senders). Other than fixing that problem, the only thing that would truly make the system better is to have fully functioning accounting as part of the program so that I can track all of my non-client business expenses within the same program instead of needing to use quickbooks.

ABRAHAM KLEINMAN

Nov 08, 2010
4/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Customer Support

Pros: PRACTICE MANAGEMENT WITHOUT THE MANAGEMENT

Cons: DOES NOT YET HAVE ITS OWN WORD PROCESSOR BUT DOES LINK TO MICROSOFT WORD.

Overall: HIGHLY RECCOMENDED

Vendor Response

by LOGICBit on February 05, 2011

Although we provide several plugins for many popular products used in the legal profession, many of our clients love the fact that they don't ever have to leave HoudiniESQ to get their work accomplished.

When we architected the software we had one major requirement, you must be able to grab any computer or device with a Internet connection and have the tools you need to get the job done at your fingertips.

This is why we include integrated Document Management with full text search including email, and email attachments, a integrated email client, integrated Google Scholar, integrated billing and invoicing, integrated document and email templates, and so much more.

We think you should never be without your tools that is why we have totally revamped our inline editor and will continue to improve upon it with every new release.