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Updated May 15, 2024

Best CRM for Law Firms

Law firms need to be able to share information about clients quickly and securely — that’s where these CRM systems come in.

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Mark Fairlie, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
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This guide was reviewed by a Business News Daily editor to ensure it provides comprehensive and accurate information to aid your buying decision.
Best Law Firm CRM for Medium to Large Practices
Salesforce CRM
Salesforce company logo
  • Highly customizable workflows
  • Very scalable, adaptable system
  • Excellent choice of legal apps
  • Highly customizable workflows
  • Very scalable, adaptable system
  • Excellent choice of legal apps
Best Law Firm CRM for Expanding Practices
HubSpot CRM
Hubspot company logo
  • Excellent client management tools
  • Area-of-law specific workflows
  • Superb communication integration
USALinks to HubSpot CRM
Visit Site
  • Excellent client management tools
  • Area-of-law specific workflows
  • Superb communication integration
Best for Automation
Creatio
Creatio logo
  • Starts at $25 per user per month
  • No-code automation and workflows
  • Creatio Copilot generative AI
USALinks to Creatio
Visit Site
  • Starts at $25 per user per month
  • No-code automation and workflows
  • Creatio Copilot generative AI
Best Law Firm CRM for Small Practices
Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM logo
  • Streamline scheduling and billing
  • Manage your resources efficiently
  • Track overall firm performance
USALinks to Zoho CRM
Visit Site
  • Streamline scheduling and billing
  • Manage your resources efficiently
  • Track overall firm performance
Best Law Firm CRM for Practices Handling Simple Civil Cases
Zendesk
Zendesk company logo
  • Excellent marketing integrations
  • First-class AI tools throughout
  • Wide range of third-party apps
  • Excellent marketing integrations
  • First-class AI tools throughout
  • Wide range of third-party apps

Table of Contents

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To determine our selections for the best CRM software for law firms, our team of small business sales and marketing experts attended live demonstrations, interviewed company representatives and conducted hands-on testing of leading platforms on the market. Our reviews included a deep dive into pricing plans to find which vendors offered the best value to small law firms. We also tested setup, usability and top features, including workflow automations, alerts and notifications, and seamless integrations with other key business software. We also examined customer reviews to find out how real-world users’ experiences lined up with our testing results. Learn more about our methodology.

Running a legal services business is complex. Each individual case you work on may be subject to many twists, turns and unexpected delays before there’s a final resolution. Often, multiple colleagues work on the same case and, if they’re working from different locations, sharing information can be difficult. Clients expect immediate responses too, putting further pressure on your people’s time and demanding a high degree of internal organization to be able to deliver to service users’ satisfaction.

Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system can remove many of the complexities of running a law firm and the room for error that can harm client confidence in a practice. We’ve reviewed dozens of CRMs and, below, we’ve selected our five top picks for law firms.

 

Compare Our Best Picks

BND Ribbon
Our Top Picks for 2024
Salesforce CRM
HubSpot CRM
Creatio
Zoho CRM
Zendesk
Keap CRM
Rating9.5/109.3/108.5/109.2/109.0/109.4/10
Starting price (paid plans)

from $25 per user, per month

from $20 per month (two users, annual billing)

$25 per user per month

from $14 per user, per month

from $19 per user, per month

from $159 per month (two users, extra users $29)

Free trial for paid plans

30 days

14 days

14 days

15 days

14 days

14 days

Free service tier

No

Yes

N/A

“Free Forever” plan (up to 3 users)

No

No

Customer support

24/7 phone, email and chat

Dependent on service level

24/7 phone and email

8/5 (24/5 premium support)

24/7 via help center and dashboard

24/7 phone, email and chat

Cloud document storage

10GB (not on Starter)

No

1 GB

From 1Gb

From 2Gb

5GB (starter plan)

Law-firm related apps

Multiple

1

N/A

2

1

0
Review Link
Scroll Table
Salesforce company logo
  • Integrates seamlessly with many legal-specific apps, providing a centralized platform for managing clients and legal matters
  • Automates a wide variety of tasks including complex contract management, essential for medium to large law firms
  • The platform may require integration with additional tools for optimal functionality in your particular legal setting, potentially increasing overall costs
Editor's Rating: 9.5/10

The organizational demands of larger law firms are difficult to manage and span all areas of activity from contract management to handling client relationships. Salesforce’s adaptability, comprehensive internal features and huge app store make it the CRM that’s best capable of managing the complex demands of larger legal practices.

The ability to set individual workflows across different areas of law in Salesforce is impressive. We like how the platform streamlines what can often be very complex contract management processes. You can store base contacts when new instructions come in as well as draft and amend contracts as individual cases progress, appending each case with supporting documentation if required. You can customize these processes further by using one of many professional services-targeted apps available in the Salesforce Exchange like Juro or DocuCollab.

Managing hundreds of different cases each at different stages at any given time presents a real challenge for larger firms. Salesforce provides robust and scalable client and matter management whatever the volume of work. We appreciate the level of detail and granularity that you can achieve with both client and case profiles. This completeness ensures that your lawyers deliver the most efficient and personalized service possible on all the cases they’re working on.

There are more than 2,000 plug-ins on Salesforce’s AppExchange, including NuLaw, Litify and Mattely, which focus on improving internal operations at law firms, and AdvoLogix, which offers law practice and legal matter management.

Hubspot company logo
  • It’s easy to set up specific workflows on HubSpot to cater to different areas of law ― for example, one for family law and another for intellectual property
  • The communication and marketing tools are excellent at both retaining existing clients and attracting new ones
  • HubSpot is expensive in comparison to other CRMs. While its suite of features, adaptability and ease of use justify this, much of the most useful functionality is available on the lower-priced tiers.
Editor's Rating: 9.3/10
Visit Site

Growing a law practice presents real operational challenges for your management, legal and support staff. HubSpot’s intuitive interface and organizational capabilities make it easier for you to retain and manage existing customers and win new ones when you’re expanding.

As law firms grow, so do their caseloads. We like how HubSpot allows you to create tailored stages for each area of law you work in. Have one CRM workflow for your litigation team and another for your family law team. This adaptability and flexibility are vital for quality case management and helps firms keep their levels of customer satisfaction high.

We were also impressed by how you could set automatic actions as you move different stages on individual area-of-law workflows. For example, you can set up triggers to chase a client for paperwork or remind a colleague or yourself to perform a specific task. Automation reduces the chance of human error and can add speed and urgency to how you manage clients’ cases. This benefits you because clients will see you’re in control and on top of everything so they retain their confidence in you, even as your workload increases.

We thought how HubSpot handles communication was stellar. HubSpot can identify individual clients’ preferred communication methods. If you know whether they prefer phone, email or SMS contact, your team will know the best way to get the answers they need quickly, reducing potential blockages on a case.

The HubSpot app store has more than 1,000 apps available with one law-firm-specific app, SimpleLaw, designed to help law firms convert prospects into actual clients.

Creatio logo
  • Creatio starts at $25 per user per month, making it a cost-effective option for most budgets.
  • Creatio offers easy no-code automations that help you build an efficient workflow that suits your team and customers.
  • Creatio is best suited for medium-sized and large businesses, and smaller businesses may have trouble implementing it effectively.
Editor's Rating: 8.5/10
Visit Site

A law firm is a busy place and automating the client journey can be a huge time-saver, not to mention improve a client’s overall experience. Creatio makes automating client onboarding a cinch with its no-code customer journey and workflow automations, helping you focus less on your tech stack and more on customer service. The software starts at $25 per user per month and is especially well-suited to medium-sized and large law firms.

 

In our test of Creatio, we considered a law firm’s need to drive client satisfaction and develop a referral pipeline that brings in new business. The flexibility Creatio offers and its ability to automate redundant tasks was a big reason we chose it as one of our best picks. Support staff with no development skills can help set up workflows that create a smooth client experience and allow the legal team to focus on clients’ cases, rather than data entry.

Creatio’s price point was about average for the other CRM software we reviewed, but it stood out by offering 24/7 customer support. For law firms, which are often working around the clock, it’s especially reassuring to know that customer service is available anytime you need it.

Overall, we recommend Creatio for growing law firms that want a no-code platform that helps boost client satisfaction and make for a smooth experience both internally and externally.

Zoho CRM logo
  • Zoho makes case and client management much easier, traditionally an area where smaller practices suffer.
  • The time-keeping, billing and invoicing tools are particularly effective and will help greatly with cash flow.
  • Despite its competitive pricing across the board, many useful features are locked away behind higher subscription levels. That includes telephone access to Zoho’s customer service team.
Editor's Rating: 9.2/10
Visit Site

Smaller firms lack the staffing and resources of bigger practices. They must constantly raise their game in how they practice law, manage customers and allocate scarce resources to compete effectively. Zoho CRM offers an ideal solution for smaller practices in a powerful but budget-friendly package.

Everything about Zoho is customizable from area-of-law workflows to creating automations to reduce colleague workloads. We like how tightly document management is integrated into the platform through Zoho Projects, allowing easy retrieval of information in a secure environment. Zoho is part of a suite of business products and choosing it often eliminates the need for legal firms to invest in further apps.

We were impressed by the streamlined scheduling and billing processes, two vital areas for smaller practices. Tracking billable hours, managing invoices, scheduling appointments and assigning tasks to colleagues during a case is straightforward. It handles client communication superbly well when a case is live, instilling confidence in clients that you’re on top of the brief. Set Zoho to manage your internal processes and client interactions so your colleagues have more time to manage their workload.

The Zoho app store has more than 1,000 plug-ins including two legal firm-related apps, Lawpay for legal billing and Decision Vault for estate planning.

Managers have a birds-eye view of how the firm is doing so they can see opportunities for improvement and rationalization. The system gives small practices the information they need to make quick, informed decisions to secure an advantage in a crowded market.

Zendesk company logo
  • Zendesk is superb for enabling instant communication between colleagues and clients for faster service.
  • The marketing platform built into Zendesk, particularly the customer portals, is great for search engine optimization (SEO) and should drive visitors to your site.
  • Zendesk is primarily a customer service tool, albeit one of the best in class. For complex areas of law, there are better choices.
Editor's Rating: 9/10

Zendesk is a simple, easy-to-adapt CRM that can help them with that. We like how Zendesk integrates AI into the platform well. It monitors everything you and your colleagues do and suggests workflow and automation improvements. It’s easy to train Zendesk’s artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot on the type of work you do so it can answer visitors’ questions on your website and capture their details for follow-up.

What about when an inquiry comes in? In many of these types of firms, customer service representatives answer the phone, not legal staff. You can train the AI to help reps answer potential customer questions either when they’re live on a call or answering emails. This ability to provide the information clients want when they want it is great for converting them into instructions.

Firms offering simple legal services rarely need complex workflows that can run sometimes into hundreds of case management stages. Zendesk is great for simple cases, automating everything from initial contact right through to dispute resolution. Keep in touch with clients afterward by email marketing and use one of the review apps to get valuable testimonials to put on your site.

If you want to build on the platform’s strengths, specifically so that it can handle more complex cases, there are over 1,000 apps available for Zendesk including Everlaw, an e-discovery plug-in.

keap company logo
  • For the price, Keap is one of the best-featured CRMs and handles client management and case tracking very well.
  • Many solo practitioners find promoting their business stressful but the built-in marketing suite and analytics simplify finding new clients.
  • Although the system is highly scalable, the CRM’s target market is very small businesses. If you intend to grow substantially in the coming years, it may be better to choose a solution more suitable for enterprises now.
Editor's Rating: 9.4/10
Visit Site

Keap CRM is very affordable and will streamline everything from marketing to case management so you provide the very best service to your clients.

We appreciate how simple the customer interface is and how it takes little to no time to master the platform. Keap will manage everything from your ongoing interactions with clients and tracking case-related documents to scheduling appointments with clients. Integrating Keap into your practice will mean that it runs much more efficiently and free up more time for billable client hours.

We liked the workflow automations the platform offers too. Keap will automate reminders either to yourself or to your customers at each stage you define in each case so you stay in charge and don’t lose momentum when representing clients. Clients will greatly appreciate your timeliness and attention to detail.

How Keap handles marketing is very impressive. You can manage email marketing, short message service (SMS) marketing and social media marketing from one platform and track which campaigns get the most engagement. All done from within the platform, Keap makes the job of finding new clients much easier. Keap currently has no app store.

Costs of Law Firm CRMs

Below, find the pricing tiers offered by each provider we reviewed above.

ProviderNumber of TiersLeast Expensive OptionMost Expensive Option
Salesforce4Essentials: $25 per user, per monthUnlimited: $300 per user, per month
HubSpot3+Starter: $30 per user, per monthEnterprise: $5,000 per user, per month
Zoho4Standard: $14 per user, per monthUltimate: $52 per user, per month
Keap3Pro: $129 per user, per monthMax: Custom quote
Zendesk4 each for Sell and ServiceSell Team: $19 per user, per monthSuite Enterprise: $150 per user, per month

The higher the pricing plan you select, the more services you have access to. Some features, like Einstein AI on Salesforce, are add-ons that you’ll need to pay an additional fee to access. The same is true for third-party apps that extend the functionality of each CRM. While some are free, others are chargeable on either a per-user or company basis.

The monthly prices shown are for annual upfront payments. Most platforms require a year’s commitment and don’t offer payment by the month. There are exceptions like HubSpot’s Essentials tariff.

There may be other charges, such as HubSpot’s onboarding service, which is compulsory and starts at $750. Zoho charges for enhanced 24-hour customer services at a premium of 20 percent of your monthly fees.

Key features of law firm CRMs

When purchasing a CRM for your law firm, try to ensure that it has the features you need to make running your practice more efficient. Look out for these features when making your choice:

Client and case management tools

Select a system that has effective contact management tools that allow you to maintain detailed client profiles and case histories.

By having one central source of data in your practice, every person working on an individual case is working from the latest and most accurate information. If a client gets in touch and wants an update, everything your co-worker needs to help them is there. Whenever a change is made to a client or case record or new information is added, it’s there for everyone to see.

The best CRMs log phone calls, emails and other types of communication and then add them to both client profiles and case histories so that there are no gaps in history. Some systems will now transcribe calls between your colleagues and clients and place them in the particular client’s folder for later retrieval.

Effective and efficient client and case management can lead to more successful case outcomes as well as closer relationships with clients.

TipTip
Select a CRM with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance if you regularly come into contact with clients’ medical records

Document management features or integrations

When representing clients, law firms generate volumes of documents, many of which contain sensitive client material like wills, commercial secrets and intellectual property. Many CRM systems offer native or third-party document management and tracking tools making it easier for your staff to organize and retrieve documents when needed. These online vaults are secure and searchable too.

The ability to access the right documents quickly is important for maintaining client trust when you’re representing them on a case.

On a wider organizational level, having access to your firm’s entire legal output is like having your own LexisNexis type of repository ― an electronic and accessible form of your firm’s experience and expertise.

Workflow automation functions

CRMs allow practices to streamline and automate their legal processes. By handing organizational responsibility over to a CRM, you reduce human error and ensure that important tasks like client follow-ups, chasing documents from third parties and providing case status updates aren’t forgotten.

CRMs are adaptable and you can create their own area-of-law-specific workflows to accommodate the various types of cases you work with clients on. You can also streamline marketing communications and billing leaving your legal professionals with more time to spend on core, billable work.

Reporting and analytics tools

Gain valuable insights into your law firm’s performance in areas like won/loss rates, client satisfaction score and hours billed by departments and the individuals working for you. Use comparative analytics to understand how well various practice areas like litigation and corporate law are doing. As a law firm partner or senior manager, the reporting and analytics tools in your CRM allow you to identify growth opportunities and allocate resources better.

On a more specific level, your marketing team can run email, SMS and social media marketing as well as SEO drives from a CRM and monitor how every campaign performs. You can also track how clients respond to communication requests during cases to determine which method individuals respond to fastest to enhance workflow and efficiency.

On-the-road connectivity

Modern CRMs now feature on-the-road connectivity as a core service allowing lawyers to access case notes and documents when they’re out of the office. As the number of law firms has mushroomed in recent years, there’s a growing expectation among clients for face-to-face interactions, often at the client’s home or business premises.

Thanks to how CRMs centralize data storage and update it whenever a colleague amends or adds to a record, your lawyers and attorneys can host more productive client meetings and be better briefed in court.

Choosing a Law Firm CRM

When choosing a CRM, adopt a structured process to ensure that the system you choose meets your firm’s needs. Follow these steps.

1. Be clear on your requirements

Identify and define the primary objectives that you want your CRM to deliver on.

Specify your exact requirements beyond managing client interactions better or being more efficient in time tracking or case and matter management. Set actual targets for what it is you want to achieve in each area and try to understand how much of the heavy lifting you want your CRM to do.

2. Shortlist potential CRMs

Search online for what CRMs are available, taking note when at each site of the system’s scalability, capabilities and the levels of customization it offers. Try to find out how complex onboarding the system will be too as you’ll need to spend time making the CRM work how you want it to.

Be sure to check each CRM’s app store for law-specific plug-ins, such as legal billing, e-discovery and marketing, as well as other plug-ins that would give you the functionality you require. At this point, you should have a strong idea of which CRMs are suitable to take through to the next stage.

3. Test drive each shortlisted CRM

Contact each vendor on your new shortlist. Take advantage of any free trials on offer ― some offer trials lasting up to a month so you can put the system through its paces before having to commit.

If no free trial is available, ask for a comprehensive demonstration. Ask the rep to show you how the CRM will do what you need it to do and get them to show you the process live. On any demo, get all the reassurance you need that the system can meet your requirements.

4. Gather and compare quotes

After the free trials and demonstrations, narrow down your options further to the most suitable systems. Get detailed pricing information and quotes from each vendor and ask them to include costs for additional features and plug-ins.

If you can, get quotes from at least three vendors to use later in negotiations to get the price down.

5. Do your due diligence

Before you make your final choice, consult with legal professionals at other firms if they’re using a system you’re considering.

Check for independent reviews online as well as reviews from customers, including those outside the legal sector to get a fuller picture on issues like user satisfaction, platform reliability and customer service responsiveness.

Advantages of a law firm CRM

Investing in a CRM offers many benefits for legal firms. Five of the most significant are:

Better client management

With a CRM, lawyers and attorneys have fingertip access to comprehensive information on every client in addition to their past and ongoing cases. Everyone with the practice sees the same information on each client leading to improved and more accurate interactions.

The automation tools in CRM systems offer significant benefits too, especially when a case is ongoing. CRMs streamline tasks like follow-up communications, sending reminders and scheduling appointments, key components in providing first-class client care.

Bottom line: Clients pursuing personal legal cases or who are subject to one are often nervous and upset through the period. Sensitive and timely contact management can offer them comfort and reassurance throughout the process.

Improved case handling

All cases require some degree of micromanagement which is made all the more complicated if multiple colleagues are working on it at different times.

The ability to assign tasks to other colleagues on the team and access to a central source of up-to-date information, data and documents greatly improve the speed and quality of service. Clients are happier because their cases are better handled which could lead to more favorable outcomes.

Internal and external communications

CRMs improve communication between colleagues and communication with clients. Colleagues share information and insights faster leading to better decision-making as a team.

They also provide insight into individual client responsiveness depending on the channel used. If lawyers and attorneys know a phone call with a particular client gets things done quicker, for example, they can keep case momentum going. If marketers know that a client opens each email on a particular subject, they can follow up with products and services of interest.

FYIDid you know
Marketing automation allows you to track multiple key marketing tasks so you can see how well campaigns are performing. Many CRMs now have a variety of marketing automation tools built into them with further choices available in their app stores.

Law firm CRM FAQ

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems help law firms manage a variety of tasks from client and case management to internal and external communications. You can also use a CRM to calculate billable hours, run marketing campaigns to clients and automate traditionally unproductive but necessary tasks that require human input.

CRM stands for customer relationship management. CRM systems for law firms improve internal efficiency and communication between colleagues and with clients. CRM systems are particularly useful for law firms handling multiple cases at a time to ensure that all procedures are correctly followed.

For many law firms, the best solution is to use a CRM with marketing automation features. By doing so, you can not only reach out to customers with information on services but also track which clients and prospects interact the most with your marketing campaigns.

The most successful firms use a CRM system to manage their internal processes and external communications with clients and prospects. CRMs automate and streamline the running of busy law firms allowing them to provide a better service to clients and free up more lawyer and attorney time for billable work.

Many law firms use HubSpot as their CRM. Its native features are excellent at handling client and case management as well as increasing overall efficiency. The platform offers a third-party plug-in called SimpleLaw, a case and practice management software package designed to help law firms grow.

author image
Mark Fairlie, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
Mark Fairlie is a telecommunications and telemarketing expert who has spent decades working across advertising, sales, and more. He is the former co-owner of Meridian Delta, a direct marketing company that he successfully sold to new management in 2015. Through this experience, Fairlie gained firsthand knowledge of the life of an entrepreneur, from conceiving a business idea to growing a company at scale to transferring ownership. In the time since, Fairlie launched a second marketing company as well as a sole proprietorship. He has expanded his purview to include topics like cybersecurity, taxation and investments as they relate to B2B business owners like himself.
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