Litify Blog

The Evolution of Enterprise Legal Management Systems

by: Tom Mavis

December 10, 2021

1980’s and 1990’s

Those of us who have been around long enough may recall one of the case management systems from the green-screen Wang days (late 80’s to early 90s). Remember CompInfo? Back then it seemed like every corporate legal department in America used it. In fact, if you didn’t choose CompInfo you might have to explain why.

The market started to change with the advent of Windows95, and a collection of products emerged: ProLaw, TeamConnect, eCounsel, DataCert, LawManager and Serengeti to name a few. During the early stages of Windows-based systems the buying decision often depended on what the product was written in — Delphi, .Net. and PowerBuilder were among the contenders. As the products and market matured, the collective focus shifted to a product’s configurability.  Products that met requirements through configuration vs customization often won the day. With this new perspective, the terms “platform” and “toolkit’ became mainstream.


Several companies ran with this idea and rebranded their products or created their own platforms. We won’t call out names here – as many remain in the market today, but a quick review of websites of the primary case management vendors will show who has embraced a platform model. In contrast, instead of enhancing legacy software or creating bespoke platforms, in 2016 the principals at Litify used their collective knowledge as legal technology veterans to build a new ELM system on an established platform, Salesforce.


The case for Litify has never been stronger as the market embraces the platform model. In fact, there’s a bit of irony in that the more legacy vendors emphasize the importance of their respective platforms, the more they introduce comparisons with a platform like Salesforce. Assuming Litify includes the expected functionality of an enterprise legal management system (hint, the Salesforce legal department runs on Litify), following the logic above, the next factor to consider is the strength of its underlying platform. Examples include workflow and reporting tools, the system’s flexibility, upgrade options and Outlook integration. At this juncture, the comparisons between Litify and legacy case management systems are simply unfair. The market addressed by legacy legal vendors is limited to organizations with attorneys and their support staff. In contrast, Salesforce caters to the worldwide business community — with more than 150,000 customers, $17B in sales and one of the largest user communities on earth. 

If you are not familiar with Salesforce, check out the Salesforce AppExchange which includes thousands of applications, like Litify, built on their platform. Do a Google search for “Create an ad-hoc report”,enter the name of a legacy case management system, and note the number of substantive hits. After, do the same search and replace the name of the system with Salesforce. The difference speaks for itself. While you’re there take a look at all the instructional videos and free training available (especially Trailhead – a library of free guided hands-on tutorials). This is part of the reason why we say, 

Welcome to the modern era of legal technology!

The evolution of traditional case and matter management tools has brought the industry to a place where it appreciates the value, benefit, and longevity of the platform framework. Most seem to accept that buying a platform-based, highly-configurable solution is better than investing in a customized application. Litify embraces this model and offers a comprehensive ELM system, built on one of the most powerful platforms available. This approach brings the legal community in line with the rest of the business world, which is something everyone, especially end-users, system administrators, and customers of any legal department will benefit from for years to come. We invite you to experience Litify for yourself to see how the next generation of technology is transforming legal software.

About the author

Tom Mavis is Vice President of Business Development at Litify. Tom was the co-founder of LegalStratus, an Enterprise Legal Management system that is now the basis of Litify’s corporate and government solutions. Prior to working at Litify, Tom worked with traditional matter management vendors in various roles including managing sales teams, implementing systems and as a product developer. In another life, Tom practiced law at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson in New York.

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