You and your fellow TL NewsWire subscribers have done it again. You've chosen the winners of the TL NewsWire Top 10 and Top 25 Products of 2014 Awards.
Here's how you did it. We reported on nearly 200 new products in TL NewsWire this year. When you clicked to visit a product's website and learn more you also voted for that product. These clicks are more meaningful than if we subjectively chose the winners. Besides, who better to judge what's hot and what's not than lawyers and law firm administrators like you?
You'll notice several themes as you read through the winning products — document automation, document management, integrations (especially with Microsoft Office), and litigation management.
Without further ado …
WINNERS OF THE TL NEWSWIRE TOP 10 PRODUCTS OF 2014 AWARD
1. pdfDocs 4.1
The PDF format paved the way for the paperless law office, electronic filing, and the iPad as briefcase. So it's fitting that DocsCorp's pdfDocs 4.1 finds itself in first place. Designed specifically for law firms, pdfDocs 4.1 handles all the basics while also providing advanced tools such as Organizer Project and Binder Project for assembling closing books, deal books, and ebriefs.
It's not every year that new software for document management hits the scene, which explains the high level of interest in MetaJure. Unlike traditional document management systems, MetaJure eschews manually-created document profiles in favor of automatic indexing and Google-like search technology.
In theory, clients pay you to focus on the facts and legal issues, not to organize their case file. Designed for litigation, Primafact keeps all case-related documents and email in a virtual binder. Integration with scanners and built-in optical character recognition (OCR) enables you to add everything that arrives on paper and make it searchable.
Microsoft Word remains a fixture for legal writing, but Outlook has made inroads as clients often prefer an email message to a formal memo. Lexis for Microsoft Office works within both, enabling you to download all cited cases and other materials. It also checks your quotations and citations.
Most lawsuits don't have a big budget. At a cost of just $99 per year, Digital WarRoom Express enables you to cull, review, and produce up to 50 GB of email and other electronic data across your cases (it handles up to 500 document formats). The Defensibility Log watches your back while you work.
Lawyers have long relied on the Deal Proof technology within Drafting Assistant - Transactional for proofreading their Word and WordPerfect documents. The new version integrates with Practical Law's Standard Documents and Clause Library to help you jump-start your drafting.
Ntrepid's Timestream builds a timeline for your case as you add events and associated details (documents, issues, location, people, etc.). When it's time to discuss settlement or go to trial, you can use Timestream to give your presentation.
The cloud is here to stay, but the jury has yet to return a verdict on private versus public cloud. Last year, Connected Data ranked first in the TL NewsWire Top Products Awards with Transporter, its initial private cloud product. Transporter Genesis is like Transporter on steroids, providing Dropbox-like functionality for up to 150 people.
Every law firm needs a mobile-friendly website so it's no surprise that MyCase Websites is in the top 10. Now just $500, marquee features include a content management system, and responsive design so that your website automatically adjusts to all screen sizes.
"Integration" has truly come of age this year. NetDocuments ndOffice essentially places the NetDocuments cloud document management system within Microsoft Office. This means you can open documents from and save documents to NetDocuments without leaving Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
WINNERS OF THE TL NEWSWIRE TOP 25 PRODUCTS OF 2014 AWARD
Congratulations to the next 15 hottest products of 2014 ranked in order by most clicks!
11. Synergy Matters
Synergy Matters combines practice management with document management and automatic time capture. Accordingly, it automatically tracks the time you spend working on your PC. Its cost recovery technology tracks copies, faxes, prints, and scans so you can cover your costs or at least bill for the time you spend at these devices.
12. Actionstep 14.7
Actionstep helped pioneer automated workflows within practice management software. The new Activity Log complements these workflows via a Facebook-style feed that keeps everyone apprised of what's happening across your firm. The new Scratch Pad captures your strokes of brilliance.
Why let programming stand between you and document assembly? Nagarsoft's PhraseExpander Professional stores text such as clauses in groups. Using Quick Find, you then insert the material you need to build a document. PhraseExpander Professional integrates with Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.
14. Pathagoras 2014
Like the contestants on Iron Chef, lawyers can create any number of documents from the same core ingredients. Pathagoras keeps your text snippets organized in Collections. Environments further increase your speed by hiding irrelevant Collections. Pathagoras works inside Microsoft Word. It doesn't require any programming.
Most desktop scanners top out at 30 pages per minute. Canon's imageFORMULA DR-M160II doubles that speed without doubling the footprint (it measures 9.09 x 11.02 x 9.76 inches). The Kofax VRS Elite software included with the scanner removes hole punches, crops and straightens documents, notifies you about hardware problems, and even handles blueprints and other documents with a colored background.
16. TrialPad 4.0
Thanks to TrialPad 4.0 (and TranscriptPad 2.0), Lit Software cemented its reputation as the leading pure play developer of legal iPad apps. The new version of TrialPad has a search box on every screen for quickly pulling up any exhibit. The search results contain thumbnail document previews.
17. Surface Pro 3
The Surface Pro 3 has a higher resolution screen than the MacBook Air, which Microsoft has targeted in its advertising campaign. You can add a detachable keyboard and powered stylus. A touch-friendly version of Office remains MIA, but it runs any existing software compatible with Windows 8.
18. Legal Publish
Blogs have gone from curiosity to mainstream to underpowered relic. Legal Publish offers a suite of tools such as role-based privileges, customizable workflows, and a media library for creating more sophisticated online publications. Legal Publish also contains tools for creating proposals, and integrates with email services, social media platforms, customer relationship management apps, and Google Analytics.
Too many lawyers use Macs nowadays for providers of document management systems to ignore. Worldox for Mac is a client for the popular Worldox GX3 document management system. Worldox for Mac integrates with Apple Mail and Microsoft Outlook so that you can save client-related email and attachments to Worldox GX3.
The legal industry remains a stronghold for WordPerfect. Corel responded this year by including Perfect Authority with the Legal Edition for the creation of tables of authorities. Perfect Authority supports Bluebook, California Style Manual, Florida Rule 9.800, and Louisiana Public Domain formats.
Lawyers often forget their role as gumshoe. PeopleMap on WestlawNext enables you to unearth gems from blogs, chat rooms, and social networks, as well as photos and business data. Unlike other public records services, PeopleMap shows you non-obvious connections that may lead you to hidden assets. Google Maps integration literally puts these assets on the map.
22. Equil Smartpen 2
Atlantis. El Dorado. Smartpens. When a legend has such appeal, it's hard to give up on it. Ludia's Equil Smartpen 2 works on paper, stores what you write without the need for any other device, transfers your notes to your Windows PC, Mac, iPad, or Android device, and converts your handwriting to editable text.
You'd like to stand up for telephone calls, but you can't bear to part with your mahogany desk. Varidesk Pro Plus transforms any desk into a standup desk by adding up to 17.625 vertical inches. The two levels house your monitor and/or a laptop, and your mouse and keyboard respectively.
CosmoLex takes a finance-centric approach to practice management. Its conflicts checking and trust accounting tools enable you to efficiently intake new clients. A cloud application that stores data only in domestic datacenters, CosmoLex also offers billing, calendars, cost recovery, task management, and time tracking.
The latest version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking tears down some of the remaining barriers to speech recognition. You no longer need to train the software or buy a pricy microphone. In a reversal of roles, Dragon NaturallySpeaking can read what you write back to you.
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