Lawyers specializing in criminal law experience unique challenges. From difficult client matters to negative public perception to high rates of Secondary Traumatic Stress, the weight of working on criminal law cases can take a toll on even the most committed attorney.
On top of long hours and emotionally difficult cases, criminal law is typically one of the lowest-paying fields. How can overworked and underpaid attorneys ensure they can keep the lights on and continue to fight for their clients?
Investing in the right software support can help you optimize your daily workflows and simplify law firm collections. There are several criminal law software options on the market, but CosmoLex stands above the rest because it simplifies matter document management and invoicing while expediting the billing and payment collection process. Keep reading to find out why CosmoLex is the best criminal law software on the market and how its unique features will get you paid for the work you do.
4 ways CosmoLex helps criminal law attorneys get paid faster
Law firm collections is a difficult task for many attorneys, but it can be especially hard for attorneys in criminal law, since clients may be incarcerated or may not have the means to pay for legal representation. Even if they can afford representation, paying legal bills may be the last thing on clients’ minds, since criminal cases are profoundly stressful and emotional for the accused.
There are two primary challenges to law firm collections efforts—billing clients and obtaining payments. By using CosmoLex’s criminal law software, these challenges become a thing of the past.
One of the most dreaded administrative tasks for any attorney is tracking time. Attorneys juggle dozens of cases at once and may work on several different matters throughout a typical day. For many attorneys, it may feel too time-consuming to allocate the days’ hours into easily billable chunks. As a result, many attorneys end up estimating their hours at the end of the day, week, or even month, a practice that has been shown to cause underbilling and create revenue leakage.
With CosmoLex, time tracking is as simple as clicking a button. Access your timesheet from your laptop or smartphone and track time whether you’re in the office, on a conference call in the car, or in the courtroom. Simply start your matter-specific timer to begin tracking, and start another one if you need to switch tasks—CosmoLex will ensure only one timer is active at once, so you’ll never overbill clients. As you go, you can attach relevant notes, documents, or expenses to each time entry to make billing a breeze.
Does your firm still manually draft, print, and mail client invoices? Think of how much unbillable time that takes each month. Generating invoices with CosmoLex takes one click of the mouse, saving you time and money.
Our organized matter-management software allows you to batch-generate every invoice for every client, with a personalized message on each invoice, in one click. If you’d like to save time (and postage) by sending invoices via email instead of in the mail, you can easily email bills to multiple clients at once.
Recurring payments are a win-win. They give your firm predictable income, and they represent a predictable expense for clients, which can make them easier to pay. Why waste time duplicating monthly invoices for clients when you could simply set up recurring payments with CosmoLex?
With CosmoLex, you can easily bill fixed-fee, hourly, trust, and retainer clients. If retainers are running low or payments are past-due, you can schedule automatic reminders to replenish accounts and make payments. Criminal law attorneys simply don’t have the time or the bandwidth to follow up on every invoice—automating the process gets you paid without any extra effort on your part.
Online payment options
Accepting credit cards and other online payment methods positions your firm as tech-savvy, client-focused, and competitive. It also gets you paid faster.
Online payments speed up law firm collections because they allow clients to pay from anywhere. Clients can receive an invoice and immediately pay it online rather than mailing a check or stopping by the office to make a payment.
Many firms are wary of using payment processors to accept credit card payments due to the complex compliance rules governing legal payments. CosmoLex’s legal-specific criminal law software prevents compliance violations by ensuring client payments never mix with other funds and allowing you to set limits on which accounts can remit processing fees.
Other criminal law software options
When it comes to criminal law software, you want options that are packed with features, easy to use, and don’t break the bank. Here are a few notable runners-up.
- TimeSolv offers simple time tracking, online payment options, and invoicing and project management features that save firms time and money. One unique feature of TimeSolv is its budgeting feature, which helps firms accurately establish fixed-fee pricing to maintain profitability. A TimeSolv legal subscription costs $39.95 per user.
- PracticePanther helps criminal law attorneys get paid with custom invoices, remote time tracking, and billing data to help firms invoice more efficiently and effectively. PracticePanther also boasts compliance with IOLTA, the American Bar Association, and state bars. PracticePanther costs $49 per month for a solo subscription or $89 per month for a business plan.
- Clio markets itself as a platform that helps attorneys satisfy clients. They do this through client-centered billing practices, like online payments and payment plans, e-signatures, and legal compliance regulations. Clio’s basic plan (EasyStart) costs $39 per month, but its most comprehensive plan (Complete) costs $129 per month.
While these criminal law software options are a great choice for many firms, they all have a key drawback compared to CosmoLex—they require a QuickBooks integration to handle law firm accounting.
Without built-in billing and accounting capabilities, attorneys must duplicate invoice and expense entry into both QuickBooks and their legal billing software. This opens up the possibility for data entry errors and also means your team needs to waste time manually copying data from one software to the other.
Additionally, users must pay for two software subscriptions: their criminal law software and QuickBooks. This additional monthly cost adds up and can significantly increase firm expenses over time.
Finally, QuickBooks is not a legal-specific accounting software. Unlike CosmoLex, QuickBooks is not designed to comply with ABA and state bar rules for legal trust accounting. This increases the risk that firms will accidentally become non-compliant in their billing or accounting practices.
Give your criminal law practice a boost with CosmoLex
CosmoLex’s innovative practice management, invoicing, and accounting capabilities simplify the business of running a firm, so you can focus on serving clients. Try CosmoLex for free or schedule a consultation to get started.