Product Review: Does LawBase Software Make Government Legal Pros’ Lives Easier?

Juggling documents and keeping track of appointments should be easier with this tool.

by / September 5, 2014

LawBase is a document and content management system for legal professionals. In the public sector, you’ll see it used in places like the state attorney general’s office, and by state, city and county employees who need to work with legal documentation in some way. And in the private sector, you’ll see it in law firms. 

It’s designed to make the workflow process a lot easier. It’s powered on the back end by Microsoft SQL, and it’s written in C# on the .NET platform. And it's great that it works with Microsoft, because Microsoft products are pretty much ubiquitous in government work places, so interfacing back and forth between your LawBase app and your Microsoft software should be easy. 

The Pros

LawBase was designed to integrate with external applications to make your workflow process easier, so juggling your documents and keeping track of appointments should be easier in theory, because that’s what the product was designed for.

The program lets users look up and sort case files, and is optimized for convenience. You perform queries to sort files by certain criteria, like which lawyer handled the case. And if you want to take notes on the case, the document automatically extracts information from the file into the document you’ve just started, cutting out your typing time by eliminating your need to repeat the same information. 

You organize your cases into folders on the left side of your screen, similar to how you organize your Outlook files into folders. You also can switch back and forth from Outlook to organize and track your appointment dates, as well as automatically email information to colleagues you specify.

LawBase integrates with a laundry list of applications, including time, billing and accounting software, and document management software. The product’s been around since 1981, so it’s venerable. It was named the best case management software for Chicago law firms by National Law Journal’s Best of Chicago readers ranking survey.

The Cons

LawBase is marketed primarily to large and mid-sized organizations, so it may be more than a smaller outfit really needs. Company president Phil Homburger said in a June 24, 2014, press release that smaller firms may not have the resources to handle the software, meaning they may not have the server space and IT support to keep it running in-house. However, the company announced in the same press release that it was partnering with Uptime Systems to improve that situation. They’re offering LawBase as a hosted solution, which may be the answer for local governments that wouldn’t have a large legal user base. 

Hilton Collins

Hilton Collins is a former staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines.