Featured: Writing Paralegal Resumes

New: How To Discover Business Assets

New: Criminal Motion Practice (with forms)

New: Trends in paralegal training &  programs.

New: Getting Started as a Paralegal

Featured topic: Billable Hours

Recently Posted:  Avoiding Technology Traps



LexisNexis Practice Advantage

By Kim Plonsky

November/December 2006 Table of Contents


With the June release of Practice Advantage, part of LexisNexis’ Total Practice Solutions suite of products, LexisNexis set a new benchmark in software solutions for law practice management. Tight integration with the full suite of online research services available under the LexisNexis umbrella takes Practice Advantage a step beyond the expected. Even powerhouse law practice management programs, such as Gavel & Gown’s Amicus Attorney, LexisNexis’ PCLaw, Abacus Data System’s Abacus Law and Software Technology Inc.’s Tabs3, can’t compete with Practice Advantage when it comes to accessing online research services and incorporating them into a law office management software solution.

Practice Advantage currently is available in a bankruptcy law version, a general litigation version and state-specific litigation versions for California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

LexisNexis’ first-rate Time Matters 7.0 (part of the LexisNexis suite since 2004) forms the backbone of Practice Advantage, with the user interfaces of the two programs being nearly identical. Practice Advantage, however, includes innovative new capabilities, over and above the standard features ordinarily expected from practice management software, such as managing contacts, clients, files, calendaring, time tracking, billing and more.

Most of the stellar features of Practice Advantage center around other goods and services LexisNexis offers, which mostly are available only through separate subscriptions or fees. Subscribers to LexisNexis’ legal and other research services have the ability to save retrieved documents into any Practice Advantage database. An impressive array of other valuable LexisNexis and third-party online research options are available to subscribers and nonsubscribers alike. The ability to capture and interweave online research into its fabric is a powerful tool that serves the ultimate goal of most law office practice management systems — total knowledge management and dissemination.

In addition to legal research and practice management, Practice Advantage focuses on client development, with tools to perform tasks such as conflict checks, which includes searching the Web, Practice Advantage document files, Microsoft Outlook folders and Martindale-Hubbell; generating initial client intake documents and other critical documents using the free HotDocs 2006 Viewer; and monitoring clients and matters. Investigative tools allow users to find assets, investigate people, search public records via CourtLink and search news. Additionally, LexisNexis users can access more than 7,000 state-specific litigation forms as well as their own databases directly through Practice Advantage.

Overall, there is really nothing not to like about Practice Advantage, except perhaps its subscription-licensing plan (in addition to the cost of the LexisNexis subscription required to access some of Practice Advantage’s best features), which can be cost-prohibitive for small firms.

Although the jury might still be out as to whether legal professionals will embrace or reject the apparent trend toward subscription licensing of legal software solutions that hold vital client and other data captive, there is no doubt that Practice Advantage greatly enhances the functionality of LexisNexis’ time-tested Time Matters software. Its seamless integration with LexisNexis services takes law practice management software to a new level. Whether such enhanced functionality will justify incurring another monthly operating expense is a decision each firm must make.

Aside from cost considerations, it’s easy to recognize the need for, and potential value of, this powerful software program, which I would be thrilled to add to my software repertoire.



home  |  advertising  |  press center  |  about us  |  contact us  |  conexion international

© Legal Assistant Today Magazine