The Value of Custom Apps

To Find the Perfect Fit, Law Firms Should Consider Custom Apps

By Douglas Geller


In the legal industry, there are well made off-the-shelf software products. These come with a lot of features and, for many firms, they’re good value for the money. But the reality is, not all mass-produced items satisfy everyone perfectly. In the world of legal software, sometimes firms need custom applications and tools.
When we talk about custom apps for legal, they aren’t all big projects that take months to develop and cost a fortune. Often, a custom app can be a practical, simple solution that fills a void or provides features that are missing from the underlying system, with an affordable price tag.


Here is a quick example. Recently we came across a law firm using a popular document management system, which worked fine for a lot of tasks, but the partners and associates discovered the product wasn’t able to organize certain types of documents. The firm hired our company, GDSI, to help fill that void. We built a custom app to cost-effectively solve a problem that was causing recurring headaches for the firm. There was no need to replace the DMS; rather, we needed to extend it in order to bring different types of documents to light.


Similar to buying a home, you realize there are missing features that you just can’t live without. Maybe a bathroom needs to be added, a pool needs to be installed, or even a new roof. GDSI spends a great deal of time developing on top of existing off-the-shelf products for legal. Add-ins can be as simple as a button to print a report or as complex as a workflow system incorporating different products.


Every law firm is different with different challenges and different needs. Some may have a particular method of filing emails, for example, while others require users to organize matter management in a specific way. Perhaps their core software solution doesn’t serve those specific needs, or different apps the firm uses do not communicate with each other – a very common problem for law firms. In such situations, transitioning to a custom app can make a huge difference. It’s also a lot faster than waiting for the core software provider to release a new version, which still might not solve your problem. Linking products together in order to exchange information is the No. 1 request we get monthly for add-ins.


A custom software developer that understands how law firms operate and has a great deal of experience writing apps for the legal industry helps you get the best results from your technology. An experienced development partner can:

• Build custom apps from scratch to solve a challenge.
• Build a platform to be used for future apps.
• Enhance existing off-the-shelf and custom-built apps to add features and functions the firm may need.
• Synchronize different apps so that they can communicate and work together.
• Migrate from one solution to another.

If existing systems come up short in areas important to your firm, let’s talk about whether a custom application makes sense. We can help you find the perfect fit for how you want to work, from design through development and beyond.



GDSI has been delivering custom software solutions to law firms, legal software companies, and professional services firms for over 25 years. We are a software design studio delivering creative solutions to the business challenges inherent in legal operations. Our frequent, relevant communications ensure clients are always informed. From research and analysis to design and implementation, our judicious approach drives sustainable results. We’re about details done right. For more insights on custom software development, follow me on LinkedIn or email me at