Why does matter management matter?
When documents, spreadsheets, and emails are scattered over a myriad of software solutions and hard drives, it’s impossible to have a workflow that offers cohesion, continuity, and transparency.
While it’s possible to work under these conditions, there’s no real oversight of all the legal work being done, and therefore no opportunity to maximise the time, effort, and resources of your team.
Without visibility over documents and data, the ability to proactively manage any associated risk becomes exponentially more difficult for companies, and the resulting consequences can be both detrimental and irreversible.
One source of truth
Matter management for in-house provides the system of record for all internal and external legal activities – the one source of truth for the legal department. It includes all tasks, from intake and triage, issue tracking, task management, document management, knowledge management, and reporting.
Having a system of record means all related matters, emails, contracts, and documents are connected, enabling the review, storage, management, collaboration and delegation of matters within the legal department and the wider business. All data is captured, with metrics providing valuable insights into the legal team’s work.
The benefits of in-house matter management
When your matters are managed effectively, you’re able to:
- know what each member of your team is working on at any point in time;
- do “more with less” as identifying highly repetitive tasks means they can be automated or delegated, and the time spent on higher-value activities;
- improve communication between the legal department and the wider business, as users are able to self-serve to see the status or progress of a matter;
- track matters, in real-time;
- triage new work requests, ensuring work is prioritised correctly;
- have all details of litigation cases to hand, such as court dates and court submission deadlines.
A matter management solution significantly increases the efficiency of your legal team, freeing up members to use their skills and expertise for more engaging and rewarding work, and therefore better business outcomes overall.
A case in point – litigation
Litigation is process-driven. Regardless of where the matter is being litigated it generally follows the same timeline. When an in-house team has all of its matters set up in a matter management solution, it has all of the contextual data. If the matter proceeds to litigation, sub-folders can be created for the litigation, which can then pre-populate with all of the folders the organisation needs to have – for example correspondence, discovery, pleadings, drafts. Now, all of the contextual data is linked to that litigation matter, using a system of record. Having a platform that provides visibility and contextual data around matters and workflow is essential.
What to look for in a matter management solution
There are two options when it comes to choosing a solution for your in-house legal department – point or platform.
A point solution only solves one issue at a time – for example, matters, contracts, or e-billing. The legal department requires several different software solutions, with each one addressing just one work type.
The benefit of using a platform – a holistic approach – as a legal workspace is that the legal team’s operations have a system that’s an end-to-end solution with a robust foundation – a cloud-based system. The platform connects all the work the team is involved in – matters, contracts, e-billing and more – and offers a full picture of what legal looks like within the organisation. Just imagine working with matters and contracts, together and in the same space, and the benefits that would have!
Managing your matters and creating one system of record is a great place to start. But it’s likely there’ll be other areas of your organisation where solutions are required. By using a platform approach, you’re able to add further modules to work with the matter management, all at once or as required.
Using a matter management solution means your team gains true visibility over its work, improves productivity, and is able to showcase the real value of legal to the wider business, while ultimately creating better outcomes for the business.
To learn more about how a legal workspace approach to matter management can help you gain efficiencies and total oversight of your legal function, allowing you to focus on the work that matters the most and showcase more value to your business, check out this on-demand demo. Or, you can learn more about managing contracts and matters together in the legal workspace as part of the dedicated course within the Legal Tech Fundamentals certification – it’s free and takes no more than seven minutes to complete!
LawVu’s legal workspace is the first truly connected platform for matter, contract and spend management for in-house legal teams.
Lawyers using LawVu work more efficiently, are better connected with the rest of the business, and can focus more on creating better business outcomes for their organization.