Both Rocket Matter and Clio are online practice management solutions. Based on their respective demos, they both offer an integrated intake-to-billing system. Sam Glover on the Lawyerist offers a good review of both Clio and Rocket Matter.
While both products offer very attractive user interfaces and operating system independence, I don’t get their pricing model. Based on their introductory pricing, ether product will cost a single lawyer firm $600 per year. At first blush, this is less than half the cost of a product like AbacusLaw, but a maintenance contract for the more traditional practice management solutions typically run less than $200 per year, the long term cost of the online products soon outstrips the cost of the more traditional solutions.
So, I don’t get the “why” of online practice management. There doesn’t seem to be any outstanding difference in features and the price is not that competitive. Install a traditional product on a laptop and you have data portability. Backup your computer hardware regularly and you have the same degree of data security. I suppose not having to do software upgrades is a plus, but is that really worth an extra $400 a year? If the yearly cost of either Rocket Matter or Clio was equivalent to the cost of a traditional product’s service contract, I’d buy in, but until then I’ll keep looking into a more local solution.
3 thoughts on “Rocket Matter & Clio”
The benefits of online practice management such as Rocket Matter are numerous, such as universal access, not having to worry about backups or theft due to losing equipment, equipment portability, or any of the other advantages you commonly hear when it comes to SaaS. For a broader discussion, see http://tinyurl.com/3gsxe7
Your specific concern about price and value is a good one. Once a firm grows, and multi-user access becomes an issue, then solutions beyond a single laptop are a necessity. Also, training and support is a big issue so that staff adopts the solution. All to often firms make technology investments that are never realized.
That’s why an easy, simple UI, and training are part of the value proposition of a good legal SaaS application.
But for a solo with a laptop, perhaps there is an opportunity to offer a scaled back product that may hit the value/price spot for you. Great ideas, and thanks for the links.
My office is still running TimeMatters; we have not adopted RocketMatter or Clio, though we are evaluating them.
One big advantage not captured adequately in your computation is the cost for server(s) and workstations. In the Time Matters model, an office (even a 2-person office) must provide a Windows server as well as Windows licenses for each machine. Moving to a web-based system allows the use of Mac or Linux/Unix based machines as appropriate.
I will probably be stuck in Windows indefinitely – or at least until my drafting and tax software moves to a SaaS model. However, that doesn’t mean that my staff (except for those who are doing drafting or working on returns) need to be stuck in Windows; or that I need to buy them hardware that keeps up with the latest Windows bloatware.
I would be delighted to dump my Windows SBS server and associated headaches and problems. I had a Linux server for several years before TM eliminated PostgreSQL support and found it to be stable, reliable, and economical.
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