I am a practice manager and Smart Advocate(SA), out of the box, comes with all the reporting you need to effectively manage your practice. This software gives you a competitive advantage, especially if your competitors are using Needles. They will write custom reports if you need something specific for your practice. Many redundant tasks can be completed with the click of a button. They also upgrade the software two or three times per year. If there is something you want added and it makes sense then they will add it. This is important because you benefit from the great ideas of other law firms!! They are also adding features that we have priced separately like a customer portal, phone app, etc. These features would have cost the firm more and we get them with our upgrades for the cost of our annual maintenance contract. They are also integrated with many 3rd party vendors like Ngage, LIP, court reporters, investigators and medical record retrieval companies. This means that you can order the product in SA and the product gets delivered directly to SA. I could go on all day about what I like best about this software.
The downside is that it was created for personal injury and mass torts. They have made several improvements to accommodate other case types but the main focus is personal injury. In the most recent update they gave administrators the flexibility to hide screens which will make the user experience for workers' compensation cases much better.
The SmartAdvocate support team is amazing and very responsive. You have to be patient with any software product that you launch, but the team at SmartAdvocate has seen it all and they will solve any issue quickly.
SmartAdvocate has all of the tools necessary to successfully operate a personal injury law firm with incredible efficiency. The ability to text and esign right from within the program is a game changer in terms of client satisfaction. Ordering medical records is simplified to a few clicks and tracking those requests is totally transparent. A huge benefit of SmartAdvocate is that they are not new to the space which gives them a huge advantage over their competitors because they know what makes a PI firm tick.
You have to be committed to SmartAdvocate and it will pay to back handsomely. If you take the extra seconds to input the data, it’s well worth it.
SmartAdvocate is simply the best case management software out there. It's great to finally use a program designed for Plaintiff's personal injury practice. The ease of use in generating forms, managing the calendar & statutes, tracking the status of cases, and easily accessing documents is phenominal. We've become so much more efficient thanks to this program.
Features of this program are specifically tailored to meet the needs of a plaintiff's personal injury practice. Makes keeping up with deadlines and workflow between staff members incredibly easy. Ultimately makes us much more efficient.
The interface could be a little more intuitive in places, but generally very user friendly.
Justin, Thank you for your great review of SmartAdvocate. The reason you feel so comfortable using SmartAdvocate is SmartAdvocate was designed hands-on by and for litigation attorneys and paralegals and only became a retail product many years later. As you know, SmartAdvocate has been listening very carefully to its clients and issues 3 releases per year with over 300 enhancements PER RELEASE. We will be contacting you to get your suggestions on what we can do to make SmartAdvocate even better. Thanks again, Jerry
I recently installed SmartAdvocate after switching from software for which I paid $5,000 just 11 months ago. I thought the software I had was extremely powerful but my partner didn't think it was easy to use. The admin side was even more difficult. I am the one who created template documents, especially since it was extremely complicated requiring 26 separate steps to save a template document after it was created.
I can honestly say I'm excited about SmartAdvocate. SmartAdvocate is not only much more powerful than my previous software, but it's very easy to use. My partner is also excited because he found it easy to learn how to use. It's not only easy to learn but it's also easy to enter data. It has time-saving features such as when entering a zip code, the town and state is automatically populated in the appropriate fields.
The admin side is also easy to use. One of the most critical aspects, creating template documents, is now extremely simple. After creating a template document, you just save it like a regular word document. No more multiple steps to save a template document.
SmartAdvocate is more powerful than any other software in every respect from the number of available merge codes to the information provided in the dashboards. It's also extremely customizable. There are so many features that I couldn't possibly go into all of them here. However, the first four and probably most important categories to look at is ease of creating and saving template documents; the number of merge codes available; ease of use; and the information displayed in the dashboard. Only SmartAdvocate wins all four categories.
One of the reasons that make SmartAdvocate different from most of the other case management software is that SmartAdvocate has been designed, for over 10 years, specifically for personal injury by a very large personal injury law firm. They currently have 7 programmers and customer support couldn't be better. I have have had issues corrected and suggestions implemented within minutes of my call or email.
I have been using personal injury case management software since 1992 with a 100% personal injury practice in NY. I currently have over 200 websites which I built and maintain. I have more experience than I would like de-hacking phising files from websites and I have designed my own software including personal injury lead capture software and software for the mortgage industry.
Smart Advocate give you a competitive advantage over the other personal injury law firms in your market. Just the reporting alone is worth 10 times the price!!
It is very intuitive and windows based. It is compatible with Microsoft Office and Adobe so creating coded documents is easy. It is also very flexible because you can make changes to the software at the local level(Admin) without having to open a ticket with SA Support.
It is hard to make the change from your existing software but the pain with worth it!!!
Brian, Thank you for your thoughtful review.
At SmartAdvocate we listen to our customers and update SmartAdvocate about 3 times a year, each time with over 200 enhancements - some big and some small - most are based on our clients feedback. I'm told that is very unusual in the personal injury case management application space.
I hope you have tried our new iPhone app - everyone using it loves it. Its in version 1 right now. Version 2, which is in progress,is going to amaze you.
This is the best case management program on the market for a personal injury practice.
I love the ease of use of the program. I love the case wizard which allows my staff to quickly set up a new matter in the program. I love the customization of the program to make it work for my particular practice and my jurisdiction. I love the document management capability of the program and the extension merge codes that make template generation and the preparation of form documents smooth and seamless. The report capabilities are tremendous to bring up the information to review all stages of a matter. The custom user defined fields allow the firm to be able to capture any particular piece of information that we feel is vital to the management of our cases for our clients. i am tried numerous case management programs for my firm over the last 25 years. There is none in my opinion that comes close to Smart Advocate.
None as of the time of this writing. i have not encountered any problems with the software that would cause me to comment on it at this time.
I have found SA to be more robust and user friendly as compared to our prior CMS (Needles). Moreover, the staff at SmartAdvocate has been an amazing resource for helping us to integrate into the new system, and where we ask, help us to create numerous functionalities that allow SmartAdvocate to function in a way that works best for our specific firm. I can't imagine a better group to work with and I have found SmartAdvocate to be robust and superior to anything I have used before. I also spent a tremendous amount of time with demos on other CMS systems and believed (and still believe) SmartAdvocate is the best of the bunch.
* Dashboards and overall reporting functionality.
* Bar coding for documents.
* Integrations that allow for texting, faxing, etc. directly out of SmartAdvocate.
* The summary page for each case allows you to quickly see all highlights of a case with a quick glance.
Like any new system, there is a learning curve which created some challenged, but once you have figured things out (and the SA team did help with plenty of support for my office), the system greatly surpasses Needles.
We had been using Saga for Windows for 10+ years and have now switched to SmartAdvocate.
We decided to make the switch from Saga to SmartAdvocate because no other legal software could offer what we wanted from a new case management system.
The main reasons we decided on SmartAdvocate are as follows:
(1) no other case management software package was designed by, and specifically for personal injury lawyers.
(2) the data conversion from Saga to SmartAdvocate was seamless.
(3) all of our custom Saga document templates were converted and now work even better in SmartAdvocate.
(4) the medical records module makes obtaining records simple and verifiable.
(5) all mail, records, photos, documents, etc., are scanned directly into each case in SmartAdvocate using a simple bar code system which is helping us move closer to becoming a paperless office.
(6) the report generation module is completely customizable and can be set up to automatically generate reports and automatically emailed to the user as directed.
There are many other things we like about SmartAdvocate that are not available from any other legal software . Specifically, since SmartAdvocate operates in a browser, like Google Chrome, you can open up multiple cases at the same time by merely opening a new window. No other product allows you to do that. So if you can navigate a website, you can navigate SmartAdvocate - it is that easy to use. Everyone in our office was able to quickly learn how to use SmartAdvocate after a single day of training.
Also, SmartAdvocate has what they call "dashboards," which will change the way you manage your cases. Request a demo and they can show you all the great features.
It is very user friendly and give a lot of options. The reports are great for keeping track of cases and their statuses. Note section is really awesome because we can pretty much note anything that is important for the case.
We are really happy with this program! We have not have any huge issues with anything. It is easy to learn.
the documents and ease of finding anything i need on a case the fact that the most important things for me are generally on the first screen
that you cant put commas in the numbers, other then that there isn't much i dont like i have used many programs iand by far this is the best on e
Tons of features, simple setup, great support. When we have questions they are always answered swiftly and professionally.
Easy to get off track, resulting in a lot of manual entry-make sure you have a process in place for your attorneys and paralegals to ensure that everyone is putting data in the system consistently.
case management of arbitrations
assists with arbitration and personal injury departments /
used and understood by all employees /
does not assist enough; limited capacities
salespeople made promises that they could not keep
overpriced for its value
We are surprised by this review and have reached out to Mr. Costella. As I wrote to Mr. Costella:
"Your comments that the system "does not assist enough" and has "limited capacities" frankly caught me by surprise. We pride ourselves on the fact that SmartAdvocate is the most comprehensive and full featured case management software system on the market.
There seems to be a disconnect here, one that we want to resolve. We want you to be satisfied and get everything you should out of the system."
We hope to get a more detailed understanding of criticism and see how we can help them to get more out of the many features and capabilities contained in the system.
It is pretty much a fully customizable system, with a little bit of know-how and creativity you can do just about anything with it.
It is a tad complex and can be intimidating for new users. The reporting features are also a little bit bulky and complicated. They could be simplified
Reduces the number of staff needed to run my practice. And also makes the staff if have more productive.
All the monitoring and reports you could want built in without exporting to a spreadsheet. Extremely efficient which increases productivity.
Learning a new case management system and migrating data is never easy, but the process was easier than expected. While not necessarily a con, there are so many features, we haven't even started using some of them.
Notes, medical portion/record request, some of the forms, ease of use to locate and update contact information, how each aspect is predicated upon another of the program.
To create the forms, using the merge codes and having the margins/tab sets line up exactly where you want them to is frustrating if it is not a full left margin.
Figuring out how to modify information in some of the screens if there is not an edit option on that screen.
Our office has been using Smart Advocate since October 2013 with great success. The program was implemented and merged our prior legal software into Smart Advocate following 2 days of onsite training. Since the implementation, we have not needed to access our previous program, which has saved time and hassle of having to search multiple programs for closed files. Onsite training was quick and informative, resulting in very little "adjustment" or transition for our staff. Technical and customer support at Smart Advocate is amazing! Always helpful and quick to respond to any questions or concerns. I would definitely recommend Smart Advocate to any law firm.
This program is amazing it has taken my law firm to another level. The support is outstanding as well. Their dashboards and reports are unique nothing like I have ever seen before. Also they will customize virtually any feature. They are very passionate about updating and improving their software with new releases. Most law firm software is stale and when they do offer a release it is minimal. I highly recommend this software.
Excellent quick case details review.
Needs some improvement s in document creation. Impressive capabilities to integrate with other legal software products.