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Compulaw is a rock-solid rules-based calendaring system that boasts a 73% adoption rate in the AmLaw 100 group.
It is sql-based and is designed with the understanding that many if not most attorneys will view their information via their Outlook or PDA interface (through Exchange), while the staff responsible for calendaring will do so from the program itself (called Compulaw Vision). This strikes us as a reasonable compromise to what is most likely a de facto reality these days for a majority of practicing attorneys.
The application interface itself strongly resembles the Outlook interface, with the "navigation panel" on the left to browse to different record types, while displaying different levels of detail on the right. The interface also temptingly invites the user to conclude that Compulaw could be a comprehensive legal CRM or Case Management package, as it displays tabs for Contacts, Matters, Notes and Documents.
However, this perception should be tempered by several considerations:
While accommodating the main record types (minus e-mails), the relatedness of these different record types to each other is not as feature-rich as full-fledged legal CRM packages.
CRM's are at their best when they include all record types while accommodating as much customization as possible per record type. In this area, Compulaw shows its lack of strength when one looks at how it handles Contacts, Matters, Documents, and Billing items. The product falls short on features or outright precludes functionality in these areas. This means the product must be linked with other products that do provide the more robust features commonly expected. But the integration with other products according to our research is either limited, or requires custom development that many firms will not have the interest in pursuing.
These observations aside, we must give credit where credit is due: When your priority is handling calendaring as a risk management, as well as practical reality, Compulaw is one of the only products we know of that addresses this challenge as seriously as it does. In addition, the breadth, selection and accuracy of it's rule sets is far beyond what other CRM/Case Management products make available.
If you’re looking for rules-based calendaring as part of an overall case management system, there will be better choices for you; but if your primary need is dependable docketing and calendaring, Compulaw is the "800-pound Gorilla" in this area.