Over the last two weeks, we’ve used our blog to set the stage for corporate legal departments to better understand matter-centric, cloud-based matter management. Today, we’re going to address a specific process – matter intake — that can immediately benefit from an automated legal matter management system. The intake process at many corporate legal departments today goes something like this: an attorney gets an email from an employee saying, “Hey, I’ve got a problem.”
The next thing the attorney must do is figure out who that person is, what their phone number is, call them back, ask for all the right information, go back and forth until they get enough information to understand what the issue is, prioritize it based on all the other workload within the in-house counsel team, assign it to someone, and then track it to completion.
One of the key features organizations using an exceptional matter management tool find extremely valuable is the ability to automate matter intake. Matter intake needs vary by type of corporation and type of legal issues their legal departments manage. Some need only a very simple intake form that employees have access to via their intranet sites. Others need a full-blown legal website and support community that pushes out legal and employment information to the employees and also takes inbound legal issues.
Imagine your employees are out in the field, where their daily work happens. In the case of a large insurance company, close to 20,000 employees can access a matter intake form while in the field. For a large ride-sharing organization, their employees can access an intake form using their mobile phone. The form is pre-populated with their contact information, saving them time on every new matter. Using a pick list on the form, the employee can let the legal department know what type of legal issue the matter involves. They can use another pick list to inform the legal team what the relative risk might be. They even can attach photos to be used as evidence, if needed.
When the case is entered by an employee in the field, a task is automatically populated by the system for an attorney to review and approve. This step will create a new legal matter. A good solution will offer the ability to auto-generate legal documents. If there are specific types of matters that require specific documents, they can be automatically generated by the system. Tasks and appointments related to a specific type of matter can also be auto-generated.
Finally, assignment rules allow you, based on data provided on the matter intake form, to automatically assign that matter to a specific team or individual, so the right work is being routed to the team or individual with the best skills to effectively handle the matter. Matter intake is one of the ways AdvoLogix provides immediate and real improvements to legal department processes.