[teknoids] Amicus Attorney vs. Time Matters vs. ?

Andy Adkins Adkins at law.ufl.edu
Tue Apr 25 16:37:29 EDT 2006


Here's my 3 ½ cents worth.
I've worked as a consultant to the legal profession for about 16 years; only recently have I taken on a dual role as the Director of Technology here at the law school. Most of my consulting gigs still focus on computerized case management systems and I have plenty of clients who use these two systems (as well as a plethora of others).
 
Amicus Attorney & TimeMatters are THE 2 most popular case management systems for small firms. There are also several law schools that are using it in their clinics.  Both should work equally well, depending upon the specific requirements of the clinic.
 
Both provide the basic CMS functions: Contact database, Case database, Diary/Notes (for both contacts and cases), Calendaring (including integration with OutLook) with ticklers, Document Generation (including integration with Word, WP, Hot Docs), and reporting. 
 
In a nutshell, Amicus Attorney is easier on the eyes (it uses a day timer look) and if your users are not that computer savvy, will probably find it easier to use. TimeMatters takes a more database look. But IMO, is more "powerful" than Amicus, does more, and is more customizable.
 
Without getting too specific, Amicus Attorney allows some customization on the data input screens, the tickler (part of the rules-based calendar), the documents (boilerplate templates), and reports. However, TimeMatters has more customizable features, allowing you to customize more of the screens (for example, Criminal Clinic will have different data input screens than Family Law Clinic). 
 
The biggest problem with either of these systems within a law school is maintenance and support. Who within the law school will install, integrate and maintain the system? Keep in mind that faculty and clinic staff will remain the same, but the students will change every semester/year; someone will need to do the training on the system for the new users. Software maintenance usually includes software updates/patches, but may also include some customization. 
 
Now, having said all that...
Amicus Attorney is still owned and maintained by Gavel & Gown, a Canadian company, the original developer. 
TimeMatters was recently purchased by Lexis-Nexis. So TimeMatters has gone from a small company into the large corporate environment; everything changes when you move to this environment, including support, training, maintenance, etc. 
 
Don't know if I've helped or made things worse, but if I was looking at these for my law school, I'd focus on what the end user wants first, then how the law school would support it second. If the law school wants to install this type of system, then it needs to make sure there is support available for it at the IT level. Either one will work. 
 
Andy
 
 
 
Andrew Z. Adkins III
Director, Legal Technology Institute
Associate Director, Technology Services
University of Florida Levin College of Law
P.O. Box 117644 | Gainesville, FL 32611-7644
(v) 352-273-0765 | (f) 352-392-3005
adkins at law.ufl.edu | www.law.ufl.edu/lti

>>> rlarmon at law.usc.edu 4/24/2006 6:08:43 PM >>>

Dear Teknoids,

Has anyone used both?  Any preferences?  Any other product that does the
same thing but better?

We will be evaluating Amicus 7 just out, but our faculty have heard some
good things about Time Matters.  Any feedback would be very helpful.  

Thanks!

Rob
 
---------------------------------------
Robert Larmon
Assistant Director for Network Services
USC Law School
213-740-2571
rlarmon at law.usc.edu
---------------------------------------



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