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Column No. 33, November 1997
Finding Free Software On The Internet
By Robert J. Ambrogi
Need a new time-and-billing system or document-assembly program? Before heading to your local computer store, visit some of the legal-software vendors who have set up shop on the Internet.
You may be surprised to find just the software you need, available to be downloaded to your computer at no cost. At a minimum, you are likely to find a free trial version, allowing you to try before you buy.
legal.online went looking for free legal software on the Internet. We limited our search to programs specific to the legal market, skipping over the many general-interest programs that could be useful in a law office.
The freebies we found fell into four categories:
AltaPoint, http://www.altapoint.com, law office management software for Windows 95, offers a trial version that is limited to 10 clients and 10 matters.
Amicus Attorney Pro, http://www.amicus.ca, includes a calendar, tickler, case manager, time entry, contact manager, telephone manager and more. Download a trial version for either Windows or Macintosh.
Appeals Unlimited Software, http://www.appealsunlimited.com/ausoft.htm, offers a trial version of "QuickBill," a general purpose legal billing program.
CaseLode, http://www.basicsystems.com/legal, is law office management software that includes time and billing, accounting, and more. A DOS trial version is available.
ESI-Law, http://www.esilaw.com, is legal accounting and time management software. Download a demo for either Windows 95 or DOS.
Gryphon, http://www.poseidon.com, legal case and practice management software for Windows, provides a working trial version.
Integra, http://www.pris.bc.ca/pope/Intwel.htm, is law office management software for Windows 95 and Macintosh. Download a demonstration of the Macintosh version.
Integra Computing, http://members.aol.com/integracmp/index.htm, offers "shareware" trials of several Windows products: "Chronilist," a scheduler; "Client Tracks," a client management system; "Billpower," a time and billing and bookkeeping system; "Integra Office," an all-in-one scheduling, time keeping, billing, and bookkeeping program; and "Signout," a network-based office sign-out board.
LawPartner Sr., http://www.microfirm.com, is case management, time and billing, and calendar software for Windows. Download a fully functioning, 30-day evaluation version.
Oneware Law Office, http://www.oneware.com, is software for time and billing and case management. Its Web site promises a trial download, but the link leads to an "under construction" notice.
ProLaw, http://www.prolaw.com, is case management, billing and accounting software. Download either a demonstration or a fully functioning evaluation copy, but to run the evaluation copy, you must first telephone a sales representative for a password.
Puritas Springs Software, http://www.puritas-springs.com, publishes various programs for law office management and bookkeeping, as well as several specific to Ohio. Trial versions of most are available.
Software Technology Inc., http://www.stilegal.com, is home of "Case Master III" case management software and "TABS III" time-and-billing software. Download trial versions of both, for either Windows or DOS.
Tek-Law, http://idt.net/~taltek19. Download an evaluation copy of this case management and time and billing program for Windows.
Time Matters for Windows, http://www.timematters.com, is an office calendar, tickler, and contact, case and document manager for PCs and networks. Download a demonstration program.
CaseMate, http://www.casemate.com, caseload management software, is available for downloading in a 30-day trial copy.
Law Manager 96, http://www.lmi.com, offers an evaluation copy of its case management system for Windows.
Personal Injury Case Assistant, http://www.lancesoftware.com, case-management software for personal-injury lawyers, provides a fully functional, 30-day evaluation version for Windows 3.1, Windows 95, or OS/2. Also available is the Windows 95 utility, Did You Find Me?, which promises to help reunite you with your laptop if it is lost or stolen by displaying your personal information whenever it is started.
Pins & Needles, http://www.needpins.com, is a 16-bit case management program that will run on either Windows 3.x or Windows 95. A trial version can be downloaded.
Trial De Novo, http://www.denovosys.com, is software for litigation case management. Demonstration versions can be downloaded for either Windows or Macintosh.
TrialMaker, http://www.tiac.net/users/trial, is trial preparation software. Evaluation versions can be downloaded for either Windows 95 or Macintosh.
TrialWorks, http://www.trialworks.com, is case management software. Download the trial version, which requires both Windows 95 and Microsoft Office.
Time and Billing
Bill Your Time Easily, http://www.silverstate.com, is time and billing software. Download a 30-day evaluation copy.
CompuTrac Dimension, http://www.ctinc.com/Dimension/index.html. Download a non-functioning, Lotus Screen-Cam demonstration of this time-keeping software for small to mid-sized firms.
RTG Bills, http://www.rtgsoftware.com, is a Windows-based time-and-billing software for solos and small firms. A demo version is available for download
TimeSlice, http://www.mauisoftware.com, is an inexpensive time tracker for Windows and Macintosh. Download a fully functioning test version, then pay for it if you like it. Cost ranges from $25 to $49 depending on the version.
Timeslips, http://www.timeslips.com, offers a trial version of Timeslips Deluxe version 8.0 and a working model of TimeSheet Professional version 5.0, as well as various upgrades and patches to other Timeslips products.
Exact Court Forms, http://www.legalsoftware.com, sells software that helps in preparing court forms for Cook County, Ill. Download either a demonstration program or a working, 30-day trial version.
FastDraft, http://www.fastdraft.com, is document assembly software. You cannot download it, but the Web site tells how to get a DOS demonstration version on disk.
HotDocs, http://www.capsoft.com, a popular document assembly program, offers a 30-day evaluation copy.
Nolo Press, http://www.nolo.com/downloads/downloads.html, sells self-help books and software, but even lawyers may be interested in trying out some of its programs for creating trusts, wills and patent applications. Download working versions of the software to try without obligation.
ProCura, http://www.gdatasys.com, document management software for lawyers, is offered in a fully functional, 30-day evaluation version for Windows.
ProText, http://www.protext.com, is transcript reduction and indexing software for Windows and DOS. Download a fully functioning trial version. If you like it, pay for it.
T/A-Law, http://www.talaw.com, transcript analysis and summary software for Windows, offers an evaluation version in which some features are disabled.
WinView, http://www.procat.com, is a "real-time transcription" browser, used to preview testimony as it is being given. Its developer, ProCAT, describes it as being useful for lawyers, paralegals, judges and "physically challenged" people. Download a 30-day evaluation version for Windows 3.1.
Easy Soft, http://www.easysoft-usa.com, offers trial versions of two Windows-based products, "Easy-HUD RESPA" and "Collection Manager." The RESPA demo is fully functioning, but prints "Demo" on the HUD form.
Reesa, http://www.reesa.com, a real-estate closing system for Windows, is designed around an on-screen HUD-1 statement. Download a 30-day evaluation version which is fully functioning except that it prohibits you from creating more than two closing files at a time.
Revest Power Lease, http://www.revestusa.com, is software to assist in negotiating commercial real estate leases. Download a simulation that shows you how the program would work in a multi-million dollar lease negotiation.
Bankruptcy, Esq., http://www.mmacorp.com, a bankruptcy case manager and forms generator for Windows, offers a fully functioning trial copy.
Bankruptcy Plus, http://www.cornerstone-computer.com, for Windows 3.1 and 95, creates forms, petitions and other documents. According to the Web site, the trial copy is fully functioning; there is no indication whether it times out.
Best Case Bankruptcy, http://www.bestcase.com, has several products to help attorneys prepare forms for debtors' filings under Chapters 7, 11, 12 and 13. Download evaluation versions for either Windows or DOS. The evaluation version places the words "Evaluation Version" over the forms you print.
Cowles Legal Systems, http://www.cowleslegal.com, offers trial versions of a variety of products related to trusts and estates.
Zane & Associates, http://www.zanenet.com, develops fiduciary accounting software for trusts and estates professionals. Demonstrations of various products are available.
ConflictSearch, http://www.tremco.com, is conflict-checking software for Windows. You can download a trial version, but to run it, you will need one of these database programs: Oracle Workgroup Server 7.x, Oracle Enterprise Server 7.x, Microsoft SQL Server 6.x, or Microsoft Access.
Corporate Focus, http://www.twostep.com, assists corporate lawyers by tracking corporate and stockholder information, automatically printing stock certificates, generating consents of stockholders and directors, and tracking filings in a tickler. Download a trial version for Windows 95.
Immigrant Pro, http://www.immigrantsoftware.com, is a case manager and forms generator for immigration lawyers. The Web site offers a trial version, but at press time, the download function was not working. Instead, it offered a demo disk by mail.
Legal bookmarks, http://www.abacuslaw.com/download. Abacus Law does not offer downloads of its legal calendaring and case-management software, but it does give away a bookmark file of legal sites on the Internet that you can add to Netscape Navigator.
Lexis-Nexis, http://www.lexis-nexis.com:80/lncc/custserv/software.html, makes current versions of its research software available from its Web site. You must be a current Lexis-Nexis subscriber to download software.
MeltingPoint, http://www.meltingpoint.com, is software designed to assist lawyers in using the Internet to conduct legal research. From the Web site, you can download a 60-day evaluation copy.
Rule Tools, http://users.aol.com/bigsoftwr/index.html, contains the full text of the federal rules of procedure and evidence, including appellate and Supreme Court rules. The Web site allows you to download a 45-day evaluation version.
WebSeeker Legal Research Edition, http://www.ffg.com/seeker/lre.htm, is software designed to facilitate the use of Internet search engines in legal research. The Web site does not indicate whether the download it offers is an evaluation or full-working copy.
Dataflight Software, http://www.dataflight.com, publishes the Concordance litigation management software. It offers free Windows wallpaper featuring the companys "winged data" logo.
Jury Profiler Solution, http://www.hy-teksolutions.com/jps/jps_ds.htm, is software to assist lawyers in selecting the most favorable jury. The evaluation version is limited to eight juror profiles.
PGP encryption software is available free to members of Counsel Connect, http://www.counsel.com. Go to the "Member Help Desk" and follow the instructions for downloading the latest version for either Windows or Macintosh.
Robert J. Ambrogi, a lawyer in Rockport, Mass., is editor of legal.online, a monthly newsletter about the Internet (http://www.legalonline.com). He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (978) 546-7898.