Billing is one of the most tedious and frustrating tasks in every lawyer’s week. Many lawyers struggle to find time to track hours, follow up on unpaid invoices, and accurately bill for work completed, leading to thousands of dollars of unpaid work every year. According to some estimates, the average lawyer’s collection rate (hours billed compared to hours paid) is only around 90%—that’s a full 10% of potential revenue lost to poor collections practices.
Some attorneys, particularly in criminal or family law, prefer flat-fee billing instead of hourly billing. Flat-fee billing reduces the need to keep track of billable hours. Attorneys who utilize flat-fee billing charge a standard fee for a particular service, providing predictability for both clients and attorneys.
Flat-fee billing reduces some of the headaches that come with law firm accounting, but attorneys still need to set profitable rates, stay on budget to keep matters profitable, and follow up on invoices to ensure they get paid. The right legal billing software can help with all three of these objectives—but there are a wide range of billing software on the market, and choosing the best one for your family law firm can be a challenge.
Here are Cosmolex’s top five picks for the best family law software that support flat-fee billing:
- Best overall: CosmoLex
- Great for range of billing options: LeanLaw
- Great for ease of use: TimeSolv
- Great for speedy billing: Clio
- Great for billing insights: PracticePanther
Ready to simplify your billing practices and get paid for all the difficult work you do? Choose the best family law software for your firm, so you can spend more time earning money and less time billing for it.
Best overall: CosmoLex
CosmoLex is the best overall billing solution for family law firms. With its all-inclusive pricing and easy-to-use and multifunctional billing, accounting, and legal practice management capabilities, CosmoLex streamlines each matter from start to finish.
Accurately tracking time is essential, even when using flat-fee billing, because it allows firms to regularly evaluate whether fixed fee matters are running over budget. CosmoLex makes time tracking simple by attaching each entry to the appropriate matter, so lawyers can analyze their efficiency on every account, no matter how billing was handled.
CosmoLex also facilitates streamlined batch billing and allows you to generate invoices quickly from flexible, customizable templates. Firms can effortlessly process invoices from either flat fee or hourly time cards and can even set up recurring billing for flat fee matters.
Once invoices are sent, CosmoLex’s built-in payment solution, CosmoLexPay, makes it simple for clients to submit their payments online by client credit card, eCheck, or directly from a bank account. This helps your firm get paid faster while also creating a convenient and quick payment experience for clients. Additionally, CosmoLex is specifically built for law firms, so it includes compliance safeguards to ensure that no ethical or legal violations are made when billing and accepting payments online.
CosmoLex has the highest security standards for protecting client information, as evidenced by their SOC 2 attestation. This means the data stored in the cloud by CosmoLex is secure and private, giving attorneys and their clients peace of mind that clients’ financial information won’t be leaked or stolen.
Unlike other family law software programs, CosmoLex is more than just legal billing support. CosmoLex’s software also includes robust practice management capabilities: it centralizes emails, payments, and documents so the entire firm can stay efficient and organized. CosmoLex also has built-in accounting software, so there’s no need to integrate with an additional accounting program like QuickBooks.
Great for range of billing options: LeanLaw
LeanLaw is a flexible family law software option for firms looking to utilize many different billing formats. LeanLaw’s timekeeping and billing software supports flat-fee accounts as well as hybrid flat-fee/billable hour, recurring flat-fees, multiple flat-fees, fixed-fees with overages, and milestone flat-fee contracts.
Like CosmoLex, LeanLaw is a legal-specific software, so it protects against IOLTA violations and other legal payment ethics violations on every account.
Great for ease of use: TimeSolv
Let’s face it—you don’t have the time or the bandwidth to learn complicated family law software. Enter TimeSolv, a software notable for its intuitive interface and high usability.
For busy legal professionals looking to streamline their payment processes fast, TimeSolv has customizable solutions that are simple to implement. For instance, TimeSolv allows attorneys to choose when they get paid, and firms can store client payment information to improve payment collection rates. TimeSolv also helps attorneys estimate profitability, allowing firms to create budgets and accurately price flat-fee work.
Great for speedy billing: Clio
Clio is popular among solo and mid-size family law firms for giving users the ability to bill clients with a single click. Its many unique billing features help attorneys get paid with minimal effort spent on complex billing practices.
With Clio, attorneys can set up automated credit card payments for clients or apply interest on late payments, ensuring work completed is work paid. Lawyers can also create bills from anywhere in just a few moments and send them electronically through a secure, easy-to-use client portal.
Great for billing insights: PracticePanther
Like the other software listed above, PracticePanther boasts ease of use, legal payment-specific compliance standards, and fast expensing. What sets PracticePanther apart is its automated, custom reporting capabilities, which help large and small firms evaluate their daily practices and earn more money.
PracticePanther anticipates your reporting needs by allowing attorneys to tag and track specific metrics over time, like revenue or billed hours. Whereas other software typically require you to manually choose which reports to run, PracticePanther automatically generates reports and insights, so you can make appropriate changes to improve your firm’s bottom line.
So why Cosmolex?
Each of the other software above comes with its own set of unique advantages, but CosmoLex stands apart in one key way: it allows law firms to handle all of their flat fee billing, payments, and accounting needs within one software. Whereas each of these other software solutions require an integration with an accounting software like QuickBooks in order to handle daily business accounting, Cosmolex can allow your firm to:
- Track time and run reports to establish profitable fixed fee rates
- Quickly and easily bill for fixed fee matters
- Accept and process secure online payments from clients
- Handle both trust and business accounting
All from within the same software tab, and without the need to spend money on another software subscription. Since your accounting and billing are handled using the same software solution, you’ll also be able to easily ensure that your books stay synced and up-to-date as you manage your practice.