Overall, our firm has had a great experience with Firm Central, but that is largely because of the additional add on products we integrated with Firm Central (Custom Form Builder, Company Investigator, Westlaw). If it was not for those seamlessly integrating with each matter it would not be worth the price.
This is a great Case Management system if your willing to invest the money to purchase the add on's like Custom Forms, Westlaw, Company investigator and etc. It can get extremely expensive however, our Firm saw the financial benefits in several ways once we committed to using all its features. The biggest benefit was the ability to automate the Custom Form Builder from data out of Firm Central.
The Firm Central Plug in for Outlook was terrible and unreliable. Firm Central should have put more focus on that aspect of the software because Lawyers and law firms live out of their email.
Client/Matter management and organization. Document builder. Time/Expense billing and accounting.
Potentially any firm could be run on Firm Central almost exclusively. It's designed to contain anything and everything a firm could administratively need, and succeeds on most levels in that regard.
Customer service has been exceptional as well. Each member of the team that I have spoken to has been consistently helpful. In situations where they could not help me with my concerns, they took the information I provided back to their team to implement features on my recommendation - they even called me personally and excitedly announced the implementation of those features.
Some of the features show great potential; however, they remain half-measures and are therefore left underutilized.
For example, the platform offers a cloud drive functionality that automatically creates folders for each client and matter - but then nothing is actually saved in those folders automatically. The document builder only saves user input, not the document itself, and so the document must be downloaded and saved manually - and you're going to want to save them locally anyways, because anything saved in the Firm Central drive cannot be consistently accessed by other applications (e.g. e-filing service websites).
There are many other ambitious features here that will remain underutilized, but I've seen improvements just in the few months that I've been working with the program. Time will tell if these features will be fully implemented and incorporated into Firm Central's functionality.
Dear Mr. Edward,
We appreciate you taking the time to write a product review for Firm Central. We are happy to hear that most of the functionality is working very well for you. We will pass along your comments to the product development team as we prioritize enhancements based on our users feedback. Thank you very much for being a valued customer of Firm Central!
Overall, I have been pleased with the features offered by Firm Central. I like the ease of saving and retrieving files stored in matters, and it is fairly easy to open new client files and matters.
Creating client files and sub-files. It is pretty intuitive, and I can find just about everything that I have saved. The Technical Support is great, and I usually have a very short wait to get in to talk with them. They have always been helpful.
I can't rename emails that I have saved in Firm Central, so searching for an email I saved 6 months ago is pretty time consuming and hit or miss. I can rename any Word or Excel file I want, but I can't change a name or date on an Outlook email. That makes no sense to me.
It gave us a strong platform to work from
I like the look and feel of the program. I like the stability. I love Deadline Assistant and I love the West Support
I really dislike the program because it has no email integration. Given that this is Firm Central, not having an email integration is not very "CENTRAL". I need a color-coded calendar, I also need an app that I actually can use on my smartphone. The current semi app really is not a good fit.
Dear Attorney Sergi,
Thank you for taking the time to review Firm Central. We are glad to hear it is generally is a good fit for your firm! We carefully listen to customer feedback and we're happy to say that desktop calendar integration does exist including a two-way sync with Outlook that as of this week, will now allow for color coding on your website calendars and on your desktop. To get the color coding on your desktop calendar please go to the Firm Central support page and download the most recent software release. Please call us with any questions at 1-888-287-8537. Thank you for being a valued customer!
We've been using Firm Central for 16 months. The reason I know exactly how long we've been using it is because I had to sign a contract for 3 years. You see, West ties Firm Central to your WestlawNext and Doc & Form Building subscriptions, so each time you want to add a new employee as a user, you are required to renew your contract for all of the products you have from them. Therefore, your contract will never end so long as your firm keeps growing. If that employee leaves and you no longer need them to be a user on the system, they don't then shorten the contract back to its prior term, however.
Easy to use and intuitive. The link to WestlawNext and Doc & Form Builder is very helpful, but it's not enough to make it worth the price. The Deadline Assistant integration is very helpful as well. But all of these programs can be used separate and apart from Firm Central, so don't feel like you have to buy Firm Central to get access to them.
Yes, they advertise that it's only $40 per month per user. However, it requires a contractual commitment to get this system. Then, if you have any other West products tied to it, that means that if you ever need to add another user, they will renew your contract for everything tied to that user name and password that you needed for Firm Central. It's a complete racket, and when your bill is almost $1,600 per MONTH for what they provide, every month of extension of the contract is very expensive when your firm has one lawyer and one paralegal.
On the technology: it doesn't work on Outlook running in Terminal Server (RDP), and it's wonky even on the desktop. The add-ins do not work with Outlook for Mac, and there is no way to "pack up" or export a matter onto a thumb drive or into the cloud so that you can take it with you to court. There's no way to export matters so that you can transfer them to an associate who is leaving the firm. You have to down load all of the documents, print out all notes, and otherwise go through a lot of hassle to move an associate from your firm to another one. Also, if you had ProDoc prior to Firm Central, it will import all of your data from all of the files you had previously opened in ProDoc. In my case, that was over 1,500 matters. Now I am finally down to 1,200 "open" matters in Firm Central, but there is no way to mass-close multiple matters at once. So it requires me to spend about 20 seconds per matter to close each one. Do the math.
We are sorry for your disappointment, we value your feedback and will take your comments into consideration. An account representative will be reaching out to you to discuss your experience.
Firm Central has been a complete disaster for my firm. I have a small (6 attorney) immigration law boutique practice and have been in business for 10 years. When we were considering changing our client database management system, we had a wish list of things we needed a new system to do that would be an improvement over our previous system. When presented multiple times to the sales person Thompson Reuters sent over to us, he assured us repeatedly that it could do what we needed it to. Turns out, after we signed the long term expensive contract, it was mostly lies. We got jobbed big time. After a while of using it, frustration mounting, costs rising, we got the IT guys on the phone to help us figure out what we were doing wrong. The sales person was so convincing, we kept thinking it must have been user error. We tried training, doing things different ways, etc., and nothing worked. When we connected with the IT guys, most of our conversation was met with responses of, "Nope, it can't do that. Never could, never will. What made you guys think it could?" It was crazy. So, realizing it was not going to work for us, and that we had been sold a bill of goods by the sales person, we confronted Thompson Reuters and requested that we be let out of the contract. Fat chance. They told us to shove it, not caring that we were lied to by the sales person. Apparently, that was his responsibility, it's on him and us for being suckers enough to believe what we were told. So here we are, stuck with paying tons of money for a product that is counterproductive to our business. Please don't get suckered like we did. Amusingly, we got a call from someone whose only job is to call people to find out why they are cancelling. The person actually admitted that to us. So many people cancel that they have people employed just to find out why. Don't buy it.
Actually we had a very good experience, the only one, with the off boarding customer service folks. They were very nice and really helpful. Made it easy to get everything moved over from Firm Central to our new system that actually works.
Everything about it. The sales people say anything to get the sale, and you will pay whether it works for you as sold or not.
Simply being better organized.
Its intuitiveness, flexibility and ease of use. We used ProLaw some 10+ years ago and I recall that invoicing, pre-billing and matter creation were fairly tough. Firm Central is a breeze to use and even the moderately difficult stuff is easily retained after simps explanations.
As a very small firm, the predictable grumble is that I would like to prove to be lower. I would love to have e-mail reminders that say "send out your billings, you distracted money-hater". or even better, re-billings that are auto printed for all open time-accrued matters by the Nth day of each month.
Thank you very much for your excellent product review of Firm Central. We are glad your experience is going so well this far and intend to keep it that way! We look forward to helping you get long term benefits from Firm Central. Thank you for being a valued customer!
The integration with westlaw researching is great. Firm central documents display when conducting westlaw research so you essentially can look on your own system for information while searching westlaw. The customer support is great, but if it's after business hours the 24/7 support is farmed overseas, which is similar to no customer service at all.
There are several small bugs in the software. You cannot drag and drop files from an email into firm central sometimes. the load time for larger files is unusually long despite a fast internet connection. Displaying the pages and moving from page to page is not instantaneous and takes too long
Total firm management from one platform and scalable for a big firm with lots of cases. Project management team has been an absolute godsend for us!
The platform is so intuitive and the customization is superb. The system is quick and we have everything we need at our fingertips to run our firm for the foreseeable future.
I am blown away by how professional, prompt and helpful Project management team assigned to my account has been.I can't say enough good things about the team. they have gone above and beyond what I expected from Firm Central and stepped into the shoes of the tech assigned for my migration since he was away on vacation. Team helped us troubleshoot the migration process and we are up and running already with over 730 active lawsuits! AMAZING CUSTOMER SERVICE!
I would love a "batch" time entry option for the cases in which one task has been performed/applies to all.
Thank you very much for for the positive review of Firm Central. We are thrilled to hear that you've had such a positive customer experience! Please utilize the many resources we have available as you continue to use the product and don't hesitate to reach out with questions. Thank you for your business!
As a start up firm, we were looking for one product that would handle everything for us -- document management, time and billing and calendar. After working 25 years at a very large law firm I knew there had to be a program available that would do everything in one package. Firm Central was the only product I found that could do it all, eliminating the need for multiple subscriptions from multiple software companies. The software package was loaded remotely and after viewing a short tutorial, I was able to immediately begin setting up client files and adding documents. I found all facets of the program easy to navigate, the tutorials are great, the ongoing technical support is always one click or one phone call away. I have been very impressed with everything about Firm Central, the software, the tutorials and the knowledge of all the support people I have spoken with by phone or corresponded with by email. I highly recommend Firm Central to anyone looking for one comprehensive software package to handle document management, calendars and time and billing.
One program does everything we need.
Would like time entry to have a repeat last client/matter function so that I could enter multiple time entries on same day for same client.
Thank you, Carol for the wonderful review. We appreciate your valuable feedback and will pass your suggestion along to the product development team.
The calendaring feature is great! Most of the people we have asked for help with the program have been extremely responsive and helpful.
There are so many options in the Deadline Assistant, that it is often difficult to find what I am looking for. For events like "Court Holidays" or "Attorney Out of Office" I have to create a fake client matter and calendar it for that just so the entire office can see it. I wish there was a way to make an event, viewable to the entire office, without having to attach a matter to it. Integration has not been as swift as we though it would be. It's laborious and extremely time consuming to move all our clients' documents from our current platform to Firm Central.
Thanks for taking the time to write a review for Firm Central. We're glad you're finding good value with the software and it's been beneficial for your office. We're happy to say that the feature you mention below, creating non-matter events and sharing across the office is being released in Firm Central this month. Please reach out to your product specialist if you'd like assistance with training on this new functionality. Thanks for being a valued customer!!
I like how it is very user freindly. It is easy to navigate, and customer support is excellent.
I would recomend that Frim Cen tral/Westlaw allow their customers to have trial access to their addins before commiting to a subcristion agreemnt (or an increase in their subcription agrrement). There are many futures that I think could be benifial to our firm. However, I want to test the product before commiting to it.
Thank you for your favorable review of Firm Central. We are very happy to hear that you find the software easy to use and are leveraging the expertise of our customer support teams. With regard to the trial process, that is something that we are working on and we will definitely pass along your feedback. Thanks for being a valued customer!
It saves me a lot of time because it is much easier to use than other programs.
Speaking from the perspective of a small firm, this software is ideal for time keeping and billing. It is easy to open a client and a matter, and to generate invoices. It is easy to access off-site. The ease of use and portability to different devices makes it more likely that you will capture your time because you can just do it on the spot (e.g., in court) I also like that my client information is kept on TR servers rather than in the Cloud.
I would like more flexibility in terms of layout. For example, I would like to be able to make my calendar bigger on the home page, and I would like to have a bigger field for entering time from a Matter page (as opposed to from a time-sheet) so I do not have to scroll down to complete the entry
Thank you for the positive feedback on Firm Central. We are glad you find the system easy and intuitive to use and appreciate the security as well. I will pass along your feedback to the product development team. We value your input and thank you for your business!
I can do legal research. Of course, I get a free research tool with my bar dues so that really isn't that great of a benefit.
Trust and billing component not user friendly. No evergreen trust feature, client complain about bills. The program recently started deleting court dates from the calendar and deleting documents. I have contacted the company regarding terminating the contract as they are unable to fix their program. I had to call ten different times and was told that unless the issue occurs while we are on the phone with you, we can't help you. For years, they did not even have a "void bill" feature. If you make a mistake entering a check, you cannot edit it.
Dear Attorney Fischer,
We are sorry to hear that Firm Central was not a good fit for your firm and that you encountered some issues with the functionality. Based on our internal records, we did attempt to follow up with you several times to help resolve any issues and had difficulty connecting with you. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and the customer experience is extremely important to us. Please let us know if we can assist in any way.
Having everything in one place. The matter page for each client is neat, organized and easy to read.
Having to flip back and forth between screens, not being able to pull lists of data for cases overall or pursuant to specific parameters.
Dear Ms. Lang,
Thank you for taking the time to write a product review for Firm Central. We are glad to hear that the matter page is helping with your case file organization. We will have a product specialist reach out to see if we can assist with the data pull in regards to your comments below. Thanks so much for being a valuable customer and for providing your feedback!
We are better able to keep track of overdue invoices and unbilled time and it's much faster-sending invoices to client's because so much information can be kept in one place. Also, the support I have received from the support team and their responsiveness to questions/concerns I have had are very much appreciated. They have helped to make our transition from Ebillity to Firm Central and enjoyable one.
The way the software groups all matters together and shows the matter balance and unbilled time, which makes it easy to select client's that need to be billed.
I wish the software had the ability to have a window pop up to quickly input time entry's for multiple clients like Ebillity does, but it is just something to get used to.
Dear Ms. Shreve,
Thank you for taking the time to review Firm Central. We are so happy that you find the product enhances your efficiency, especially with your invoicing process and that you've received excellent customer support. Many thanks for being a valued customer!
I love the fact that the new Time and Billing syncs with QuickBooks. Invoicing is so much easier with Time and Billing.
We don't use the document management features as they are not easily accessible. The search function in Firm Central takes a long time to return results as well.
Hello Ms. Grayson,
Thank you for your review and your comments regarding Firm Central. I will share your feedback with the development team especially as it relates to searching and documents and have a Product Specialist follow up with you to get more specific details. Thank you for being a valued customer!
I like the ease of use that this software provides.
I do not like that the billing doesn't put all matters for one client on one invoice. Sending multiple invoices to one client can be confusing to the receiving party.
Thank you very much for your complimentary review of Firm Central. We are thrilled to hear you find it easy to use and will recommend Firm Central to your peers. We will pass along your billing feedback to the product developers-- this is something they are working on. Thanks for being a valued customer!
client portal for access to records so that you did not have to share the documents via email with client they could log in securely to see them
we purchased the program a few years ago and integrated it with our office, after a very difficult integration the program did not integrate with MS Outlook in the "very near future" as we were told. so we discontinued after contract was up and changed to Clio
Thank you for your review of Firm Central. We are sorry to hear that you encountered difficulty in integrating with Outlook. This is a capability of the program, provided your office uses PCs. Please let us know if we can help in any way or answer any questions about the functionality.
Best Regards and thanks for being a valued customer!
Efficiency and reasonably easy to use.
What we like best about the product is the integration of the case management software and the billing software. We previously used Amicus and Timeslips and had to transfer data between each and it tending to be a bit unstable. Also like the appearance of the billing documents. Very clean and professional.
It has caused auto fill of email addresses on outlook to not work correctly. The other item would be inability to pull up a mater file list by firm file number.
Dear Attorney Tomkins,
Thank you very much for taking time to provide a Firm Central product review! We are very happy to hear that Firm Central is working well for your practice and is an improvement to your work-flow. We will pass on your comments about the matter file list and email addresses to our product management team. Thank you for being a valued Firm Central customer!
Links to Calendar System
Communication in House
New Matter Set up
Links to Calendar in Outlook
Customer support has been wonderful
Multiple steps while using Deadline Assistant
Can be a little overwhelming with all of the functions
Thanks for the positive review of Firm Central. Please let us know if you need any help in the future, we are accessible 24/7 with any questions. Thanks for being a valued customer!
It actually protected us from a ransomware attack that annihilated all of our files on our server
I like the cloud-based technology and the constant updates to improve the software. Additionally, it is very user-friendly and the customer support is great. We love Customer support and she's always there to answer our questions.
Billing takes a little bit more time than my old software, which allows you to duplicate entries. I also wish that you could edit the "open date" since we uploaded older files, forgot to change the date and then couldn't edit it
Dear Ms. Estenson,
Thank you very much for your product endorsement for Firm Central. We are thrilled to hear that the product is working well for you and even protected you from a ransomeware attack. We will definitely pass-along your feedback to our product developers. Thanks for being a valued customer!
firm central has proved to be a very helpful and effective tool for my practice. It is the assistant/paralegal that I haven't hired to date.
the outstanding customer service. Both the firm software account personnel and the technical support personnel have been great. Additional, firm central is a very comprehensive management and billing tool that has cut the time required to complete the various administrative tasks required of a solo practitioner running a criminal defense practice.
the lack of integration between google calendar and the calendar on firm central.
Thank you so much for your review! We are happy to hear that Firm Central has helped you to organize your practice and be more efficient.
We are continually working to improve the functionality and user experience for Firm Central and will pass along your feedback to the product team regarding the calendar.
Firm Central is a fine product. It has some features that are geared more toward Litigation firms and not business firms, such as ourselves.
Ease of access. Syncing capabilities.
Appears geared to litigation firms. Transferring documents from one matter to another challenging based on how we name matters.
I would not recommend it.
The sales presentation was good. The software itself has not performed well.
It is not fully integrated with outlook - so every update to FC also has to be updated to outlook. Rule updates come late - our state revised its rule and gave 7 months notice of the rule change, FC is still making rule changes 3 months after implementation of the new rules.
Service requests are poorly handled and we often get bumped from one person to another who just want to talk about the experience. We still experience mistakes in calendaring (sometimes extra days are added for no apparent reason) and we end up having to double check everything which defeats the purpose of getting this software.
We are sorry to hear that Firm Central was not what you expected. We strive to provide excellent customer service and employ a dedicated technical support team for our Firm Central users to leverage with any technical difficulties. Our product team is very responsive to customer requests as well. Please let us know if you'd like to set up a call for assistance. Thanks for being a valued customer.