For some time now there has been a debate in the legal technology industry about the merits of “all-in-one” versus “best of breed” law office software. The earliest entrants in the legal technology field (Timeslips, TABS, Worldox, etc.) were clearly targeting a “best of breed” approach in their designs. Those apps continue with that software design approach to this day, although some (Like TABS) have branched out to offer complementary products (i.e., PracticeMaster) that integrate tightly with their flagship product. Lexis (now P|T) took a similar approach with their ownership of Time Matters and PC Law.
The emergence of Cloud-based law office software applications has fueled a movement toward “all-in-one” software. Products like Clio, MyCase, CenterBase, and CosmoLex all tout the ability to provide time billing, case management, and document management within their single product offering. There are clearly some advantages to this approach, but so called “best of breed” products can legitimately argue that their feature sets are much richer, and better designed, than an “all-in-one” product can ever hope to offer.
Enter the new kid on the block: LEAP. LEAP offers the standard “big three” components (case management, time billing, and document management) but has enriched their product with a fourth feature that may begin to tip the scales: document automation.
HotDocs has long been the “best of breed” standard bearer for document automation in the legal technology community. It likely will remain so as a “best of breed” product, but it comes with both a hefty price tag and a complex configuration scheme that typically requires significant input from a HotDocs-certified consultant.
LEAP has cleverly addressed this need for document automation by bundling into their product an impressive array of pre-designed merge forms, with links to the app’s underlying table structures already embedded into all of the included forms. Creating standard legal documents for a variety of purposes, driven by the matter type selected, is extremely easy to complete out of the box. Because all of the merging is done from within Microsoft Word, however, extensive customization is readily accessible, including inserting additional merge fields from any of the myriad of table types available within LEAP. The developers have even embedded some HotDocs-like “ask” capabilities and “if-the-else” logic into their document automation toolkit.
LEAP has tightly integrated its app with both Word and Outlook, using those industry-standard tools to both manage document creation and send and receive email messages, all of which are then stored in the LEAP Correspondence area and can be easily accessed from the matter record. Creation of PDF documents from Word files, LEAP invoices, and email messages is equally intuitive. You can learn more about LEAP and its many interesting and innovative features by clicking this link to download a product brochure.
As with its competitor “all-in-one” applications, LEAP will likely never become as feature-rich as a dedicated, “best of breed” product that only needs to do one thing extremely well. With its extensive library of legal documents, and its tight integration with Microsoft 365 products, however, this new kid on the block has “leaped” ahead of the competition, in my opinion.
Interested in learning more about LEAP, or stacking it up against the competition? Looking for some specific features in a legal software app to make your life easier? Give us a call at 877-357-0555 or email us at [email protected] and let’s talk.
Jack Schaller has been active in the field of law office technology since 1989, and has worked with a variety of commercial accounting, legal billing, practice management, and document management software products during his twenty plus years in the software consulting field. During his tenure as a software consultant he has garnered many sales and service awards for his work with legal software products. Jack is a frequent presenter at legal conferences and seminars, and is a regular contributor to TechnoLawyer and other technology publications.