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Total Attorneys is an odd bird. From the time you enter their site, until the time you find the tiny gray text link to the practice-management platform, you are bombarded with information on client leads, which we presume is TA’s primary business. (Here is the shortcut to the platform.)
It’s a shame too, because many people will give up without clicking through multiple screens and tiny links. We almost skipped out too, but persevered - and it was worth it.
Much like our previous practice management platform reviews, we used a dinosaur of a netbook to put it through its paces, before assigning an arbitrary score on a scale of 1-10, based solely on our subjective time-limited experiences. Off we go …
It's a freaking dollar - per attorney, per month!
The price tag doesn't mean reduced quality either. TA has the same features as their competitors, though some are less polished and less intuitive. There is trust accounting, client and contact management, conflict and jurisdiction checks, document storage, client portals for sharing documents and appointments securely with the client, calendaring, time tracking, billing, invoice generation, and even customizable template-based messaging.
This is a robust, full-featured client for next to nothing. If we had to guess, we'd say that they are aiming for a freemium-like business model, with the aim that customers will eventually fork over more cash for more features, like the $35/month for payment processing.
The learning curve is a bit slightly high, at least compared to the competitors. We couldn't find training videos, though we did find some promotional materials on TA's YouTube channel. Many features, like setting default billing rates and the attorney's licensed jurisdiction, are buried in hidden settings menus that you won't find until you get a jurisdiction check error or realize that your billing system is defaulting to $300/hour. Everything is fixable with a few clicks, though having a setup wizard for first-time users, or training videos, would make the entire process more user friendly.
We also ran into a number of server and software errors during the initial couple of uses. These disappeared after a while and seem like kinks that will work themselves out as the platform matures.
One final dislike: no email integration. When you email a client from TA's messaging client, it comes from firstname.lastname@example.org, not your email@example.com email address, though the reply to address is yours. This means the client gets an email from a strange origin but replies back to your external email inbox, not to Total Attorney's internal messaging client. It's a clunky workaround to having proper email integration.
The odd email setup and learning curve are substantial minuses, yet we found that this $1 platform performed every task about as well as their significantly more expensive competitors. In some cases, their features are actually better. The dedicated iPad and iPhone app, which we couldn't test (Android addict, here) is another plus. All together, we'd say an 8.5.
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