CosmoLex Review: A Lawyer’s Case Management Test Drive

Updated November 2016

CosmoLex is cloud-based practice management software designed to help lawyers keep track of their cases and their accounting with its all-in-one platform approach to case and practice management.

Today we’re taking a deep dive into the software to help you get a sense of its strengths and weaknesses and figure out whether it’s worth giving a shot.

November 2016 CosmoLex Review Update: CosmoLex has been adding a lot of new features (like email integration) so we have a complete update of this review article.

Related: The Best Practice Management Software


CosmoLex is practice management software for law firms with one big advantage over its competitors. And that’s integrated accounting. But, that warrants an entire discussion itself, so we’ll come back to that.

CosmoLex has most of the features you’d expect from case management software – it keeps track of your clients, matters, calendars, emails, documents, timekeeping, and billing.

The interface for timekeeping and billing is very easy to use. Very intuitive. Without any sort of formal introduction I quickly figured out how to set billing rates, add time entries, and create invoices.

One thing I appreciate a lot about CosmoLex is that new screens and dashboards load very quickly. Not really a make-or-break feature, but, personally, I sometimes get antsy with some apps that take awhile to load because I just want to get a task completed and off my mind. And creating time entries isn’t usually a fun activity. So, even if it saved me a few seconds in total in a given session, it was nice to see.

The learning curve is quick for figuring out how to create a new matter, calendar item, or invoice.

None of the typical features are particularly groundbreaking in their approach. Everyone in practice management keeps track of matters, calendars, and contacts. There are only so many ways to display and track that data. But if you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, why do it?

That being said, let’s move on to CosmoLex’s game-changing advantage.

CosmoLex also has a very strong unique feature that no other practice management software has. And that’s built-in accounting software.

Built-In Accounting

Generally with case and matter management apps, they rely on integrations with third-party accounting software.

Their billing data gets exported to Quickbooks and you do the rest there. The reason behind this is that accounting software is a beast in itself and takes a lot of time and resources to get right. For example, if you’re using something like MyCase, Clio, or Rocket Matter and you want to keep track of your bookkeeping, you can’t do it in their software. You can, however, integrate any billing you do on their platforms with Quickbooks (and Xero in Clio’s case).

One drawback of this reliance on third-party integration though is that none of the platforms seem to do it seamlessly. I have heard concerns from users of many other practice management software applications about their Quickbooks integrations.

If keeping track of your bookkeeping and matters simultaneously through two different pieces of software is a chore for your firm, CosmoLex might be the solution for you.

It took me awhile to realize the power of having your practice management and accounting software all-in-one because I have been used to syncing my data between practice management and accounting software. This old method hasn’t been perfect, and there are some headaches that come with it.

But, bookkeeping, overall, is terrible.

Now, getting accounting right isn’t easy. There’s a lot to Quickbooks and Xero.

There’s also a lot to cloud-based practice management software.

So, I was initially skeptical at how CosmoLex could tackle both practice management and accounting. After hearing about it (but before demoing it), I assumed they would have a half-decent attempt at both. But, after putting it through its paces, I’m happy to see that my initial assumption was wrong.

Using CosmoLex, it took awhile to get used to creating accounting entries on the platform. It took some time to learn how everything worked, in part because I was used to Xero, and Quickbooks before that. But, there is huge value in having your operating and trust accounting properly taken care of. Especially given that trust accounting errors are a huge ethical concern for lawyers.

As a licensed attorney, I recognize the ethical pitfalls of trust accounting. Issues with trust accounts are some of the top offenders for lawyer ethics violations.

So, if CosmoLex could help avoid these problems, it would reduce my anxiety a bit.

How does Accounting with CosmoLex Work?

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As you work on client matters, you can bill for your time (just like any other practice management software) for clients. As you practice, you are creating entries that will be later reconciled. When a client pays for services or adds money to a retainer, you enter in the entries. Bank feeds can be imported and then automatically reconciled against your entries in CosmoLex.

That’s right.

By just importing your bank statement, CosmoLex can automatically reconcile transactions that match up.

Pretty cool stuff. And a timesaver for whoever does your bookkeeping.

Overall, the promise of having accounting integrated with practice management is a huge help, ethics shield, and time saver for the unlucky soul at the law firm who has to deal with the books.

To really add to the accounting powerhouse, CosmoLex has an integration with LawPay, so that you can receive online payments for your timekeeping from the CosmoLex app, and automatically reconcile the payment with your trust accounting.

Money Finder

Many lawyers I know are not the best at billing and collecting their invoices. The focus is always on the work and less on the administrative. Moreover, in the current legal industry landscape, getting paid for your work has become more difficult than in the past. So, it’s a bit unsurprising to learn that realization rates in 2015 were 83%, down from 93% ten years prior.

The CosmoLex dashboard features a unique section called “Money Finder” to help you ensure you are billing all of your billable work.

The Money Finder feature points out all of your completed billable tasks and events that have not yet been invoiced to a client.

This one is a really clever feature that I had not seen before elsewhere.

Free Trial: Click here for a free trial of CosmoLex. Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think.

Other Features

Accounting may be the star, but it’s not the only feature CosmoLex has.

Client Portal

Lawyers need to be more paranoid about maintaining client confidentiality.

Email gets hacked all the time.

And bar associations note that you must take “reasonable measures” to ensure client confidentiality. In 2016, just having a decent password isn’t enough anymore.

Related: Couple Sues Lawyer After Lawyer’s Email Gets Hacked

To cut down on potentially exposing client information to opportunistic hackers, a client portal can help.

A client portal, like the one CosmoLex has, allows attorneys to securely message, share bills, and share documents with clients. Clients get their own client portal account and can view items that the firm chooses to share with them.

You can choose specifically what documents, bills, and other items to share with the client. Clients can also pay their invoices via credit card.

And, you can allow clients to upload documents that you would rather be sent securely rather than as email attachments.

Document Management

CosmoLex also features basic document management, document storage, and attaching documents to a specific matter.

If that’s all you need for document management, then it’s perfect.

If you need more sophisticated document management features such as OCR or integration with Word, and check-in / check-out, you might want to explore out a complementary legal document management system like LegalWorks.

Timekeeping and Billing

Because CosmoLex is hyper-focused on the accounting aspect, timekeeping and billing gets special attention.

Billing isn’t a time-consuming chore anymore, as CosmoLex features the ability to batch process invoices, past-due notices, and low-retainer reminders for all clients with one click.

Every email, calendar item, and document related to a client is an activity. And each activity is automatically flagged to be marked as billable or not in the Money Finder tool.

Lastly, CosmoLex offers LEDES and UTBMS billing options.


Earlier I pointed out the Money Finder feature that lives on the CosmoLex dashboard. Aside from Money Finder, the dashboard as a whole needs some additional recognition.

The dashboard has two views, one for firm-wide and one for an individual user.

The firm-wide view has a snapshot of where the firm is at, including:

  • Timekeeper utilization rates
  • Billed / unbilled items
  • Account balances
  • Billing summary
  • Top 5 clients

The user dashboard has a personalized snapshot for the same items, as well as pending tasks and upcoming calendar events.

The beauty of the dashboard is it quickly lets you see an overview of the firm’s operational health with the ability to dive further into one particular area if it needs your attention.


Over the last few months, CosmoLex has been gradually adding more third-party integrations with popular software applications that lawyers use every day.

They’ve got a pretty solid amount of app integrations at this point, and cover the most-popular apps used by solos and small firms.

Here’s the current integration list (as of November 2016):

  • Google Calendar
  • Gmail
  • Office 365
  • Outlook
  • Dropbox
  • Box
  • LawPay
  • Casemaker
  • Chrometa


Learning how to use their accounting features was a bit overwhelming, in particular because you have to learn how to use both the practice management and accounting components at the same time. If you have previous experience with Quickbooks or Xero going into the platform, it may take some additional time to get used to since the accounting does not work how you might intuitively expect. But, this is because the software has to work seamlessly with the practice management aspects, so it does makes sense.

Related: Xero Review

CosmoLex has most of the features you’ll be looking for in accounting software. But that being said, it still isn’t as powerful as Quickbooks or Xero in a few respects. For one, with Quickbooks or Xero you can get an automatic feed from your bank so that every day you can get the most recent transactions. You could effectively do a bank reconciliation every day or week if you wanted to. In CosmoLex, each bank statement has to be imported (CosmoLex notes this feature will be added in the next release). However, ultimately you will be the judge of whether this drawback is mitigated by the the ease of combining invoicing and trust accounting compared to having two separate programs.

The trust accounting features are definitely unique. But, if you don’t need trust accounting, this may not be the solution for you.

November 2016 update: In a previous version of the review, I noted that there was a lack of third-party app integrations with CosmoLex. I noted that:

Another drawback worth pointing out is the lack of integrations with third-party apps. While many competitors in the case management software space are rushing to make sure any software a lawyer could possibly use in their practice day-to-day works with theirs, CosmoLex’s integrations are more limited. They are looking to develop integrations, and as they roll out we’ll keep you updated.

Well, now CosmoLex has developed further integrations to put them on-par with the integrations of many of the competitors in the space. Solid progress here.


CosmoLex goes for $59/month per user on a month-to-month subscription. It’s in the average range for practice management software. Given that it also features accounting you basically get two for the price of one. So you can forget your Quickbooks Online or Xero subscription if you’re using CosmoLex. This could effectively make CosmoLex one of the least expensive apps in the space.


CosmoLex brings a full accounting suite to its practice management tools. If accounting is a hassle for your firm, you are worried about ethics and maintaining the right trust account balances, this might be the right tool for you.

If you are interested, you can take a free trial of CosmoLex with no credit card required.

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