Due to pressure on internal IT staff, corporate legal departments typically put little focus on legal operations management from an IT perspective. Through no fault of their own, most in-house counsel simply do not know what sophisticated matter management platforms can offer in efficiency, service delivery and cost savings.
When talking with in-house legal departments, we have found that many have a collection of disparate systems, each handling a different aspect of a matter. These departments have separate tools for document management, document assembly and calendaring, and they count these cobbled-together systems as matter management. True matter management, on the other hand, takes a comprehensive, holistic approach to legal matter management. Having a single view of a matter through a centralized matter management system allows you to view every aspect of a matter in a single place – you can do everything from matter intake to preparing documents to viewing contacts on one platform, eliminating the risk and inefficiencies that result from constantly switching between different software and applications.
Starting from the moment you first open a new matter, you can integrate external sources of information directly into your system. Cloud-based matter management greatly expedites the intake process for the in-house lawyer, because it provides the ability to rapidly and automatically collect background information, like who the employee is, what the dispute involves and the potential dollar impact to the organization, in order to qualify a matter. Cloud tools incorporate forms and education on legal concerns that can help avoid legal matters, both of which streamline and expedite the intake process. Once the matter is qualified, a matter management platform allows you to assign teams based on skill and workload, route assignments to the right people, manage tasks, create action plans, institute best practices and review integrated reporting and dashboards – all automatically. Accomplishing all these things in any sort of organized or integrated fashion is an uphill battle when you’re using a collection of disparate systems.
The streamlined approach of a comprehensive matter management system leaves more time to focus on innovation and legal work. Next week, we’ll blog about the benefits of PaaS-Based legal case management. You can read our articles on the topic now if you don’t want to wait: Why Corporate Legal Departments Want Cloud-Based Matter Management. Why Law Firms Want Could-Based Matter Management.