HoudiniESQ

Cloud or on-premise legal practice management software

Overall rating

4,1 /5
(141)
Value for Money
4,4/5
Features
4,1/5
Ease of Use
3,9/5
Customer Support
4,4/5

79%
recommended this app
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141 Reviews

Jeff
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  • Review Source

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  • Ease of Use
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Does what it does better than the others...

Reviewed on 2015/01/14

(Full disclosure: I am an INDEPENDENT legal practice management consultant who chooses which...

(Full disclosure: I am an INDEPENDENT legal practice management consultant who chooses which products I want to work with... and a HoudiniEsq consultant - among others.)

HoudiniEsq is one of a few legal practice management products that actually gets it: it will do a lot of end-user concepts (custom forms, triggers, document management/generation) better than any other legal practice management product. It also does a lot of the administration concepts (true relational database; updates that work and don't force you to roll back because they don't install properly, flexibility to run in almost any environment) very well too.

HoudiniEsq makes it easy to capture and bill time; it allows firms the ability to create and store data on custom forms that provide the firm with the necessary data in order to function efficiently; it is intuitive and continues to add new features that mean something to the user base, and not just something a marketing guy thought would be great to list on a brochure - heck I don't even know if they have a "marketing guy"!

Mobility is probably it's strongest point: it can be accessed by a phone/tablet/laptop, and an iPhone app is in the works (currently it's biggest end-user request.)

The list of what it doesn't do is a small list: besides the above-mentioned iPhone app, electronic billing is probably at the top. It continues to grow its list of end-user features, often because the developer listens to the requests that come directly from its users.

And the price: FREE for solos? You cannot beat that deal. Add more users and pay more, but you are still paying for a product that works, and every time they make a product release the response from the user base is "Yes!" and not "So what? Does this stuff actually work?" Want to write a check and not deal with updates, backups and server updates - go with the SaaS version and pay monthly. If you still prefer the idea of your data residing on your servers in your office, then go with the On-premise version. Not all practice management programs offer both options.

While not perfect (no software is), it ranks at the top of my list when clients look for legal practice management software.

James
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  • Industry: Law Practice
  • Company size: 2–10 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

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  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
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  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

7 Years Since Dumping Time Matters for HoudiniEsq

Reviewed on 2017/01/09

It's been seven years since we made the switch from Time Matters to HoudiniEsq, and we're not...

It's been seven years since we made the switch from Time Matters to HoudiniEsq, and we're not looking back. HoudiniEsq has provided us with an easy to use system to manage our law practice. I recommend HoudiniEsq to my colleagues regardless of the size of your firm or practice area. I don't have time to try to figure out complex systems that require vendor technicians to get me going. I needed something that was user-friendly and intuitive, and found both in HoudiniEsq. Thanks the support staff at HoudiniESQ for making our lives a little easier. In today's fast-paced legal enviroment where time management and billing are so critical, it's a relief to know that HoudiniESQ is on the ball with cutting technology to make my life simpler.

Pros

The support staff is a stallion.

Cons

Some reporting features can be improved.

RICCI
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  • Used Daily for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

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  • Likelihood to recommend 7.0 /10

Somewhat user friendly, but can be customized with help from support. Has potential to be...

Reviewed on 2017/11/03

Cloud based, easy to use out of the office.

Cloud based, easy to use out of the office.

Pros

Templates are easy to use. The fact that it is cloud-based is excellent; relatively easy learning curve.

Cons

Email feature saves all image files from email, rendering this feature unusable. Keyword search feature in Documents does not function correctly, only partially works. Interface is not the most user friendly and requires knowledge of ins and outs of Houdini which must be obtained from customer support. Developers will not fix the above issues or do not know how. To have a feature of a program only partially work is subpar. Also, the invoicing feature defies commons sense.

Response from LOGICBit

Ricci, if you are using version 2.0.0.1 or greater then you should be able to search for anything across all data. That being said, we will look at your firm's logs and get to the bottom of the issue. We will at the very least rebuild your document indexes for you tonight when everyone is logged off. In the meantime, when searching documents you want to use natural language. Since everything is indexed Full words work best when you search because ESQ returns everything on server side but we only return the top 50 hits to the user to reduce bandwidth and increase response times.

Re: Email, we do save every attachment to a email especially when you link that email to a Matter. Not having a image in a email as it was originally sent makes the email incomplete so we save and store everything. That being said we are capable of providing whatever you wish we just ned to know exactly what you expect and we can make it so. Just give us a ring. We would love to fix for you.

Joan
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  • Industry: Law Practice
  • Company size: 2–10 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

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  • Value for Money
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  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Excellent

Reviewed on 2018/01/18

the office is better organized and everyone is aware of what is happening from one moment to the...

the office is better organized and everyone is aware of what is happening from one moment to the next throughout the day. It is great to be able to have all the information so easily accessible.

Pros

easy to read, easy to search for information , like the way you can color code appointments and alert each other for deadlines

Cons

I don't like that you cannot multitask, it doesn't allow you to change the alerts, they have to be deleted first, I miss being able to see the day along with the dates when setting appointments

William
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Cloud Computing? Houdiniesq is your solution.

Reviewed on 2010/11/08

I would recommend this product to anyone wanting to transition to cloud based practice management.

I would recommend this product to anyone wanting to transition to cloud based practice management.

Pros

HoudiniEsq has the best and most responsive technical support I have ever encountered with any program or platform.

HoudiniEsq works entirely inside of your browser so you can access it anywhere you have an Internet connection. For us smaller guys that mean no exchange server costs or problems with syncing. Also, Houdini is optimized for mobile phone browsers such as the iPhone.

HoudiniEsq works a bit different than Time Matters in that everything is a billable "event." Even on your calendar you can view all calls, to do's, drafting ... anything you want can be viewed on your calendar or removed from view with the click of a button. Only want to see appointments with clients and court dates on the calendar, no problem, just a click away. The calendaring is powerful and different than any other calendaring program I have encountered or tested. It does take a bit of time to get used to, but when you do, it results in amazing control of your schedule and your matters.

Cons

Lack of a functioning document automation/assembly system and lack of quickbooks integration.

Response from LOGICBit

With the release of HoudiniESQ 1.7 our users have native integration with Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook. Our team has been working on our Quickbooks link and Document Management and Automation. You can expect the QUickBooks integration to be pretty seamless.

Arnold
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  • Industry: Law Practice
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

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  • Likelihood to recommend 8.0 /10

I have watched grow , making really important improvements.

Reviewed on 2017/11/08

Complete office management, including file organization and billing.

Complete office management, including file organization and billing.

Pros

Program is based upon the case, as it should be. Support is outstanding. It anticipates what you are looking for. I have not yet sent emails via HoudiniEsq. and am looking forward to using it.

Cons

I wish that phone calls were a separate category of input, instead of added to events. Would like to see preview of docs as I review them. I am still catching up with changes in billing.

Rex
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Great features, hard to use, can grow into something great

Reviewed on 2015/01/19

I have used HoudiniEsq for a year. I love the features that this software provides. However,...

I have used HoudiniEsq for a year. I love the features that this software provides. However, there are a number of bugs and glitches. For example, some of the reporting screens don't translate correctly from the actual accounts receivables or balance due on when creating two invoices for a matter.

Additionally, a number of the features take more time to use then doing the task the long way. For example, when linking matter information to a word document, it takes more time fixing the spacing issues and bugs then it is to just type in the name and address yourself. Sometimes, the names don't have a space in between them, sometimes the first name doesn't show up etc.

I think now that HoudiniEsq has a good setup, they should work on simplifying the program and work out the kinks in the many features.

Response from LOGICBit

Rex, thank you for your review.

There is only one accounts receivable report which is a direct reflection of the invoiced amounts. If this report is wrong then your invoices would be as well. The estimate on the matter dashboard is probably what you are referring to. This should not be used to tie back to the actual receivable report because this figure takes everything into account, including items you may not bill. We removed this figure form the dashboard a while back because users weren't reading the tooltip but received so may request to put it back so we did. This figure is only a running estimate, not your actual receivables figure. Use the Client statements or Receivables report for the correct figures.

Rex it appears that you are using the old template format. In order to have the best output you must convert your templates to the new ODT format.

Lauren
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  • Industry: Law Practice
  • Company size: 11–50 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

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  • Likelihood to recommend 8.0 /10

User interface and experience lacking - nuts and bolts are there

Reviewed on 2018/06/22

Pros

It does what you need it to do. It stores client information, documents, deadlines, etc. You can run reports. You can generate bills and track time.

Cons

The user interface is outdated and difficult to navigate at times. Updates will cause reports or features to stop working randomly.

Danielle S.
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Heartfelt Review!

Reviewed on 2015/01/14

At the law practice of Danielle S. Archer, we have been using this product for just about 1 Year...

At the law practice of Danielle S. Archer, we have been using this product for just about 1 Year and we are really excited about the usability and flexibility of the product. Managing matters has become a breeze, at just the click of a button. Where before we had problems locating files and documents.

Difficulties staying in touch and communicating with our clients, whilst updating them on the status of their matter is now a thing of the past.

Even though the software is mostly tailored to US based law-firms our in house paralegal and technical personnel has used the flexibility of Houdiniesq to facilitate our matters and our office.

We only ask that you make an effort to add our jurisdiction to calendar based events and a flexible currency choice.

Aside from issue with currency Houdiniesq has made our office efficiency now at A+ level, had we known about this tool before it would have been our main focus.

Our in house paralegal and Technical personnel has been using the product long before we decided to purchase without us knowing, and became so efficient remembering dates and matters while managing his time effectively. We wondered what his secret was until Houdiniesq was revealed to us by him.

Our encounters with customer service is always pleasant and fruitful. We have never called without a response and or a solution. Kevin is a world class agent. No matter the time we call he is always there to assist.

Overall an excellent product !

John
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  • Industry: Law Practice
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used Daily for 1+ year
  • Review Source

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  • Value for Money
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  • Likelihood to recommend 7.0 /10

Couldn't run my law practice without HoudiniESQ

Reviewed on 2017/11/11

Organized my practice...makes it much easier to stay on top of matters and billing.

Organized my practice...makes it much easier to stay on top of matters and billing.

Pros

Flexibility is most important for my niche practice. I am able to customize HoudiniESQ to meet my exact needs.

Cons

Updates can be buggy, but the rep is very responsive to getting issues fixed if you give him a call or email. Tutorials need to be updated more frequently so that I don't have to call tech support to find out how to do something.

Gennet
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  • Industry: Law Practice
  • Company size: 2–10 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

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  • Value for Money
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  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

Great Program.

Reviewed on 2017/11/16

The is used to maintain time spent on matters and printing invoices.

The is used to maintain time spent on matters and printing invoices.

Pros

Very user friendly. Dashboard is easy accessed and filled with information at a glance. Time entry is easy as well as client/matter setup.

Cons

Some reports are still not correct. Technical support not always helpful. Accounts Receivable Aging report is a mess. Most of the time I cannot use this report. Program does not calculate interest charge on outstanding balances.

Matthew
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Peace of Mind....Always!

Reviewed on 2015/02/04

I've been using HoudiniEsq for a couple of years now. Overall, I have to say i'm extremely happy...

I've been using HoudiniEsq for a couple of years now. Overall, I have to say i'm extremely happy with the product and the customer service.

The Product:
All the sync capabilities make this, by far, the best product on the market. I've looked at Abacus, Amicus Attorney, goClio, RocketLawyer, MyCase. The functionality of HoudiniEsq has far exceeded that which was available in any others at the time I tried them. It does what I want, how I want, when I want. This, on top of continual upgrades to the system itself.

Ease of Use:
This is sort of an "It depends" answer. Because of the nature of the system, learning the system and getting comfortable with it will probably take a bit of time. It's not quite "plug 'n' play". However, once you are set-up and comfortable with the system, it's extremely easy to use and modify as necessary. When speak with other colleagues about time management issues they are having, I am constantly amazed at how much time I do save because of the capabilities HoudiniEsq offers.

Customer Service:
So far, it's arguably the best I've seen (other than my own firm's, of course.) Anytime there is an issue, the multiple avenues available to seek support make it fairly simple to receive a quick response to the issue at hand. When you need someone live to go in and check out the system for themselves, they are usually available on the spot to create a screen share session and diagnose and correct the problems immediately.

Overall, you can't go wrong!

Kristen
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  • Industry: Law Practice
  • Company size: 2–10 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1+ year
  • Review Source

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  • Value for Money
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  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

HoudiniEsq: Best Solution for Our Firm

Reviewed on 2017/04/12

HoudiniEsq is easy to learn and use, and because it costs so much less than what we were using...

HoudiniEsq is easy to learn and use, and because it costs so much less than what we were using before, every user in our organization can have a seat, rather than just 3 of us as we had before. It syncs with Outlook and QuickBooks, and customer support is always free!

Pros

The fact that everyone in our firm can use it and enter their own time and calendars.

Cons

There are occasional problems with the way it integrates with Outlook and Quickbooks.

Michelle
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  • Industry: Law Practice
  • Company size: 2–10 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

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  • Value for Money
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  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Great software!

Reviewed on 2017/02/28

Our law firm has been using HoudiniESQ for years. We love it! It is so easy to use and so helpful....

Our law firm has been using HoudiniESQ for years. We love it! It is so easy to use and so helpful. Thank you for a great software!!!!

Pros

I like how easy to use this software is compared to other software companies.

Cons

Nothing

Marta
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  • Used Daily for 6-12 months
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i love the program

Reviewed on 2017/11/04

Pros

it's easy to use. easy to enter payments and expenses. i love the accounts receivable report. the customer support is great. integration with outlook and word is very useful

Cons

it doesn't have some reports we would like to use and sometimes we have issues with the invoices. We have to restart the program once in a while and sometimes after updates we have issues.

Response from LOGICBit

hey Marta, thank you for your review of HoudiniEsq. Please send us any issue you experience. We love to fix the little annoyances.

Adam
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Great product. Wonderful service

Reviewed on 2015/01/14

I started my law practice a little over a year ago, and have been using HoudiniESQ since the...

I started my law practice a little over a year ago, and have been using HoudiniESQ since the beginning. I learned my way around the program by watching the tutorial videos on the main website and reading the forums. Because I run a small practice, often times I will bill out to my clients based on their individual needs, and while other programs weren't able to customize client matters based on those needs, Houdini could.

The invoices and statements look professional, and billing and time keeping is a breeze. Especially if you bill in tenths like I do. One thing I would like to see is an iPad app that I could take to court with me.

I definitely battled with the idea of using a software that had been on the market longer than Houdini, but Im glad I stuck with my decision. There have been numerous times when Ive needed to call customer service, and believe it or not, a real live person picks up the phone, and they answer every question you might have (even if it's ridiculous).

I have to say, as someone who started a law practice right out of school, Houdiniesq definitely made certain aspects of running this type of business easier. I have recommended this product to my colleugues, and will continue doing so.

Stephanie
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  • Likelihood to recommend 6.0 /10

Law Office

Reviewed on 2017/03/06

Update is quick but missing some features and options that would make my life easier. I need to...

Update is quick but missing some features and options that would make my life easier. I need to multi-task to do my job and I am not able to multi-task as well with the update. I also don't like how I cannot search my contacts.

Response from LOGICBit

hey Stephanie, thank you for the honest review.

We have been hard at work. A new update is coming that I think you will love. We have over 100 fixes and improvements throughout the App including but not limited to billing, boolean and elastic search support (google like queries against all tables and documents), and so much more.

The update will be available Wed March 8th (tomorrow). You don't have to do anything. The system will autoupdate for you.

If you experience any problems please don't hesitate to contact us Toll Free. We would love to hear form you.

If you ever experience a serious issue please contact us and ask to speak with Mark or Frank. They will insure your issue gets resolved asap with this new revision 2.0 Build 12.

Thanks again Stephanie.

Alexa
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  • Industry: Legal Services
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used Weekly for 1-5 months
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  • Value for Money
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  • Likelihood to recommend 6.0 /10

Confusing interface but cost effective

Reviewed on 2019/08/15

It works but it could be more user friendly.

It works but it could be more user friendly.

Pros

I like that the program is free for solo practitioners

Cons

It’s confusing to use and also runs quite slowly.

Response from LOGICBit

Features/Functionality 3 stars. Hmm. How would you know? We have no record of you in any of our databases, no record of a demo, download, participation in any free training or registering the product. It is technically impossible to use the product anonymously.

We have been in the marketplace for over a decade. This is what we do and we do it very well. We service large legal teams from DOJs, insurance, federal and state agencies to boutique law firms and solo practitioners. Although on average our clients employ over 300 legal professionals we are more than confident that HoudiniEsq provides legal professionals with the tools they need to manage their teams. Truth be told a spreadsheet and good file management is adequate for most lawyers.

A lawnmower and a car both have engines but that is were the similarities end. Your review seems to only have one agenda. To hurt our brand, not to provide a helpful review.

ABRAHAM
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ABRAHAM KLEINMAN

Reviewed on 2010/11/08

HIGHLY RECCOMENDED

HIGHLY RECCOMENDED

Pros

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT WITHOUT THE MANAGEMENT

Cons

DOES NOT YET HAVE ITS OWN WORD PROCESSOR BUT DOES LINK TO MICROSOFT WORD.

Response from LOGICBit

Although we provide several plugins for many popular products used in the legal profession, many of our clients love the fact that they don't ever have to leave HoudiniESQ to get their work accomplished.

When we architected the software we had one major requirement, you must be able to grab any computer or device with a Internet connection and have the tools you need to get the job done at your fingertips.

This is why we include integrated Document Management with full text search including email, and email attachments, a integrated email client, integrated Google Scholar, integrated billing and invoicing, integrated document and email templates, and so much more.

We think you should never be without your tools that is why we have totally revamped our inline editor and will continue to improve upon it with every new release.

Alexander
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Awesome Product and Customer Service

Reviewed on 2015/04/09

I have tried Time Matters, Clio, Rocket Matters and Pro Docs. I switched to HoudiniESQ and have not...

I have tried Time Matters, Clio, Rocket Matters and Pro Docs. I switched to HoudiniESQ and have not looked back.

I have been using HoudiniESQ for about six years now. In that time, I have experienced unparalleled customer service and product support. Its simply amazing.

HoudiniESQ cares about their customers and product and it shows. They have a great software program because they listen to their customers needs and respond to them. And lawyers nonetheless. Who wants to listen to a bunch of lawyers complain?

Technology, like law, is an ever evolving business. HoudiniESQ lives in both worlds and they know what they are doing.

If you are a lawyer reading this and thinking about making the switch to HoudidESQ, do it. You will end up asking yourself why you didn't do it sooner.

I'd give ten stars if that option was available on this site.

Ramona
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A wonderful service for the solo

Reviewed on 2015/01/15

HoudiniEsq is a quality product that works well for a solo. The clients enjoy the updates and the...

HoudiniEsq is a quality product that works well for a solo. The clients enjoy the updates and the back door access, and it saves a lot of time one would usually spend typing updates or in client meetings. This is particularly useful when there are billing questions. The linked calendaring has helped organize my office so that tasks are more likely to be done on time.
The biggest downfall is that there is a lot of data input and that takes time, particularly when you do not know the limits or uses of the system very well. Switching between one view and another seems to cause double entries.
It would be helpful to be able to speak notes into the system like you can on an iPad. It would also be helpful if there was a smaller, lighter version for syncing on the iPad/phone.

Ben
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A fantastic product ***** 5 Stars

Reviewed on 2011/02/28

The product is simply amazing. I often forget that I'm using a web browser. The product has rich...

The product is simply amazing. I often forget that I'm using a web browser. The product has rich easy to use features and the support is top notch.

The product acts and feels like a desktop application. HoudiniESQ seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office an Quickbooks. It supports calendaring, email management, document management, contact management, document assembly, email and document merges and template creation. Trust accounting, billing and invoicing. I can't list all the features. It does what 30K legal practice managements systems at a fraction of the cost.

Pros

Everything!

Cons

The Outlook plugin supports email, contacts and the calendar but there is no way presently to create email templates in OUtlook. You must use the Houdini interface to create your email templates.

Sam
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Great Product

Reviewed on 2015/01/14

I have used several law firm practice management programs. For a solo practice, each one has...

I have used several law firm practice management programs. For a solo practice, each one has significant deficiencies. Most are glossy and look good from the surface. Their sales departments will offer demos, but not actual use of the program. Basically because the program doesn't really do what you need it to do. They are difficult to setup and use, or require an IT department to run. A little snag and you are down for a day talking to their tech support in the Philippines.
Houdini is different, you can actually use the program before you buy, and tech support is right their to help you navigate through the setup and operation. Houdini Esq. by far solves many of the issues that a solo practice requires.

Mike
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Perfect for solos

Reviewed on 2015/01/31

Houdini is a feature rich product that cannot be beat for the solo practitioner. It has all the...

Houdini is a feature rich product that cannot be beat for the solo practitioner. It has all the bells and whistles you could want, with extensive customization possibilities. Moreover, the price is perfect: free. Although the learning curve might be steeper than you wish if you are not going to use all of its features, it will be well worth it for whatever features you wish. I am still learning new things after two months of use.

Even if you are a Mac user, the software is easy to use and highly functional because it uses your web browser to run. It has a few issues, but they seem so far to be quite minor. Updates seem to come out quite regularly as well.

Jordan
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After viewing a real time demo we were hooked.

Reviewed on 2015/02/04

I love that we have been able to automate so many repetitive and time consuming task. We have been...

I love that we have been able to automate so many repetitive and time consuming task. We have been using HoudiniEsq for only a couple of months and it has really made a difference.

We are just getting started but we can see the huge benefit in using this product. Every time we learn a feature we have found a way to use it to improve a process.

The only con I can report is the lack of a printed manual. The online knowledge base is pretty good but I would like to have a manual open while I experiment with the many features.

I was going to give 4 starts overall for lack of a printed manual but on second thought 5 stars is appropriate.