Every law firm has its unique system for managing its clients and getting the work done. Each process is highly individualized as attorneys follow their specific workflows. In this type of environment, miscommunication, frustration, and inefficiency often reign. Legal associates and staff constantly have to scrabble to understand each other’s processes and cater to their needs. This can lead to a delay in the outcome, an increase in pending cases, and client mismanagement. This eventually leads to customer dissatisfaction and further affects the overall firm revenue.
According to a study conducted by Law Technology Today, 42% of the time, law firms take an average of 3+ days to respond to a message from a potential new client.
Problems like manual contract management, team management, manual litigation processes, and so on hinder client experience. But what if there was a better and efficient way for everyone at law firms to communicate, work, and access up-to-date legal information? Sounds too good to be true? This is exactly where legal matter management comes into the picture.
Legal matter management includes managing all activities surrounding the corporate legal practice. It involves all the tasks that are an integral part of your department’s day-to-day legal operations. So, if you want to meet the pressures of a legal firm to provide responsiveness and accuracy your clients deserve and demand, a legal matter management system is a must-have. In the present article, we are going to discuss everything about the legal matter management system.
Right from the definition to the common legal firm challenges to how legal matter management helps in overcoming these challenges, we are going to cover it all. Further, we’ll discuss legal matter management software and its must-have features. Let’s begin with understanding the challenges first.
Current Challenges Faced by Legal Firms
If your firm lacks consistency and competency, delivering according to client expectations becomes next to impossible. When you consider the benefits afforded to both attorneys and clients regarding speed, consistency, collaboration, and outcomes, concerns over minor growing pains quickly fall to the wayside.
According to a study conducted by Hobson & Company on the ROI provided by legal matter management software, it was found that major challenges faced by the legal industries revolve around the following two aspects:
- Lack of standardization
- Inefficient systems for client management
Now let’s take a closer look at these challenges:
1. Scattered Case and Client Information
One of the most prominent challenges for legal firms is data management. Manual systems of data keeping and accessing are usually inefficient and not secure. It is also not effective when you need to share the information with the entire team or organization in real-time.
Client information stored in spreadsheets and managed across attorney emails can be a pitfall when it comes to client management. Besides, there is always a possibility of losing client information due to the decentralized and manual data storage processes. Data location is also challenging as the staff has to sort through all these spreadsheets manually. Staff attorneys have to spend a great deal of time searching for data and figuring out inconsistencies manually. Reconciling the data gaps is crucial for law firms to compile them to frame reports and analytics.
This interrupts entire timelines, workflows and hinders the firm from providing clear client updates about cases, managing documents, and other events. It makes the task of managing legal matter portfolios cumbersome for attorneys.
2. Lack of Standardized Processes
Lack of standardized processes may create negative ripple effects throughout the legal matter lifecycle. It can hinder almost everything from opening new matters to managing existing ones.
A former legal chief data officer Brian McGovern says:
“While it’s very important to establish where you want to be and why from a technology standpoint, it’s also important that you make changes to the management side of the process. That way you can set the standards for what you’re doing and where you’re moving as a company.”
Transparency in legal operations is a must for firms to operate efficiently. Without a standardized process in place, they cannot have clarity and visibility into their legal operations. The consequences? Mismanaged documentation, inefficient processes, lack of predictability, missed deadlines, and client mismanagement, among other things.
3. Collaboration Barriers
Another major challenge for legal firms is the collaboration between teams and departments. Communication delay is a significant obstacle to collaboration. Once you streamline it, you can effectively improve collaboration.
Having a well-defined system in place where the process requests trigger notifications is important. These notifications can put the task workflow in motion, and parties can act immediately on a specific task. The major “win” here is assisting all team members, attorneys, and clients effectively while meeting all the deadlines and avoiding unnecessary communication delays.
Lastly, workflows help enforce and govern a matter through various steps in a pre-defined order. It also makes tracking cases based on various categories and subcategories easy. Customized notifications, when entrenched into matter management systems, are also a solid practice to improve collaboration.
4. Manual Processes
When you manage clients and cases through manual means, it can lead to unfortunate and often expensive consequences for the company. For example, imagine the ruckus while working with and managing outside counsel matters via back-and-forth phone and emails. It decreases the productivity of in-house legal teams and increases the number of billable hours by outside counsel.
For legal firms with a large number of cases and teams, the manual process is highly inefficient. Whenever law firms have to spend more time communicating with their corporate clients, the timekeeper’s billings inevitably increase while the speed of processing a matter decreases.
CRMJetty’s portal addresses all the problems mentioned above and helps legal firms collaborate on cases efficiently. Lawyers can collaborate on one case and share different documents simply. It helps companies reduce manual tasks by helping them automate their workflows and documentation process. It helps you standardize a preset workflow and manage all the scattered client information. More than anything, it caters to your specific customization needs and integrates with third-party platforms easily.
Consult our experts to know more.
How Legal Matter Management Software Helps
Investing in modern 21st-century matter management software is a must for any law firm that wants to improve productivity, efficiency, profitability, and client service.
A matter management software is a foundational element of effective legal matter management. It drives immediate value and ROI for an organization. Hobson and company observed in a study that companies with good matter management solutions saw 7-10x times ROI. Some ROI gained is simply through more efficient and effective management of outside counsel.
Legal Matter Management Software: A Quick Intro
Legal matter management software is a tool used to manage the entire matter information such as the type of case, the attorney on the case, legal documents, calendar, budgets, expenses, bills.
A legal matter management software offers multiple features that help reduce capital expenditure, boost productivity, and assist your clients so that you’ll never have to worry about losing revenue.
Additionally, implementing a matter management solution provides the following key benefits:
I. Digitized Information Management
The more you know about your clients, the better you will be able to provide a robust service that pays off. It is also important for legal firms to identify, document, and record every interaction with their clients.
For this purpose, it is important to move beyond sticky notes and disorganized filing cabinets. A modern legal matter management system comes to your rescue. A good matter management system allows you to store a huge amount of client data and any critical information regarding them. It gives you ‘pre-defined templates’ to ensure that you gather all the information and are effectively able to quantify in a digitized manner. You can securely make this data available across departments. As a result, both plaintiffs and employees can save time.
II. Centralized Matter Management
Law firms need to share, store, save and manage huge chunks of confidential information. A matter management system helps you get seamless sync between your database and portal.
A synchronized solution makes sure that all the members of your organization can have secure access to the information. It also ensures that you do not need to use multiple tools, which may compromise your workflow, waste time, and eventually lead to information loss. You can do all the information-related tasks from a single unified portal interface.
III. Client Service
Your customers are more important than anything else. Therefore, you need to resolve issues as soon as possible. With a matter management system in place, your paralegal agents can quickly assist the customers within minutes of their issue registration.
They can quickly retrieve all available activity concerning the intake or matter and information that might assist them in finding a solution. Once you have all the past information and history on hand, you’ll be able to locate a solution immediately. You no longer need to worry about client calls to get an update about their case, nor will you have to chase them for critical information. Your clients will be able to track the progress of the case and contribute wherever necessary.
IV. Automate Everyday Tasks
There are hundreds of smaller tasks that must be completed for everything to function properly. Some forms need to be filled out, legal documents that need to be sent, issues that need to be addressed, priority feedback work that needs to be looked at, etc. These vital chores, if conducted manually, can become time-consuming.
A good matter management software helps you take the burden of repetitive tasks off your employees’ shoulders, thanks to automation. Automating everyday tasks will help your staff focus more on closing the matter and resolving the customer pain points. At the same time, automated case management modules take care of the details and workflows.
V. Achieve Greater Efficiency
The features mentioned above, like automation, digitization, unified solutions, and so on, contribute to achieving greater overall efficiency. Automatically stored communication allows you to view emails, calendars, and phone call details in one secure and accessible place.
Your attorney should be able to create, edit, co-author documents alongside their staff. If you add that to the ability for multiple teams to access the same information, it skyrockets the amount of achievable progress.
Along with that, every staff member can tag to get the right information to the right individual. With this newfound ease, the team can seamlessly work together to improve the bottom line.
VI. Faster and Secure Record Search
Legal matter management software can help you bifurcate your records into various categories and subcategories. This categorization enables faster record search. With legal matter management software, you can also keep the client information at your fingertips and access it securely at any time from anywhere.
You can also provide a virtual platform for clients to view and access case documents, fillings, calendars, and so on. Matter management software ensures the collection of all essential data accurately and securely. It also ensures that the data access and transfer happen securely and that the information loss does not happen.
Most legal firms have security concerns over their data, which is why we offer both on-premise and cloud installations. Our legal matter management software follows the newest security trends. It is integrated with the latest automation features and provides an extensive platform to manage your large-scale data. We can also help you with custom maintenance and service packages.
Want to know more? Talk to our experts today!
VII. Analytical Data and Reporting
With a single source of information in place, legal firms can ensure a complete and accurate database, which can later house comprehensive analytics to identify trends and proactively mitigate risk.
It also mitigates the risks of miscalculation in data as the entire analytical system is digitized and automated. Paralegal agents can upgrade, store and save data for future analysis. It also enables them to review workflows, reduce data volumes, and quickly access enhanced insights into matter issues, facts, and trends. Through a matter management system, you can store the information in one, leading to improved data analysis.
Firms can also personalize the dashboard views to locate information needed based on various aspects quickly. With better reporting data, you can make actionable and data-driven decisions to reap the rewards with happy customers and higher profits.
VIII. Easy Integrations and Personalization
It is important to select a legal matter management software that integrates easily with third-party software and tools. It must seamlessly configure with your existing system and workflows.
Matter management software personalization is as essential as any other feature. It must provide customization features where you can design your portal and make it complementary to your website. You must be able to brand the portal with your logo and color scheme. Choose a matter management software that enables you to customize your design templates, layouts, and components through simple drag and drop features.
IX. Boost Profitability
According to a survey, legal teams can manage matter workloads and costs, saving 1.5% per year in external legal spending by centralizing matter data. This enables them to increase their visibility into matters.
It is vital to make effective use of available resources. Hence, technology, when implemented correctly, can dramatically improve your practice and make it profitable.
An ideal matter management software helps you get and manage new cases. Matter management software should help you give referrals, get referrals, and strengthen and expand your business with partner firms. All these aspects collectively lead to generating wider opportunities and boost your profitability. But what is in an ideal matter management software? Let’s take a look at it.
How to Select the Perfect Legal Matter Management Software?
So now that you know the importance of legal matter management software, the next thing would be to figure out how to select a perfect matter management software. What are the must-have features of legal matter management software? Here’s a list for you:
- Data Management Features: A centralized database is a must-have. A legal matter management software must include client details, accounting, document handling, time tracking, billing, and other advanced features.
- Synchronized Solution: It must have seamless sync between your database and portal. You must be able to share, store and save huge chunks of confidential data through a synchronized legal services portal solution.
- Client Management Features: It must let you add and manage clients and keep their information hands-on. It must be rich with advanced search features for specific client-related information.
- Case Management Features: You must be able to consolidate your data and collaborate better. Case management features include matter management applications, relevant case matter filing systems, seamless workflows, database research, file attachment, third-party integrations, and so on.
- Analytics: Upgrading, storing, and saving data for future analysis is important. You must be able to review workflows, reduce data volumes, and quickly access enhanced insights into matter issues, facts, and trends.
- Integrations and Customization: Your legal matter management software must seamlessly configure third-party integrations with your existing systems. With various customization features, you can design your portal and make it identical to your website and improve your brand identity.
- 360-degree Entity Management: You must be able to exercise complete control over entities (client, matter, tasks, data, etc.) in your CRM and portal.
- Role-based Access and Permissions: Enhance security and manage operations better with the right permission and defined access privileges. Choose a portal that lets you create different user groups and roles and access different entities based on their assigned roles.
- Coordinate Communication & Document Retrieval: Choose a legal matter management portal that lets you search and access particular information whenever you want.
- Secure Access: Keep the client information at your fingertips and access it securely at any time, from anywhere. You can also provide a virtual platform for clients to view and access case documents, fillings, calendars, and so on.
Legal Services Digital Transformation: Work with Experts
Most legal firms lack technological aspects of client management and digitization. It is important to mitigate the technological gap and help legal firms reach an optimum business.
Our legal matter management software helps law firms consolidate their offerings and level-up their matter management workflow. It helps address legal and compliance issues, streamline all work processes, centralize the documentation process, reduce costs, and empower legal teams to excel at every level. Our legal matter management software provides ready access to the information, tools, and resources your firm needs to be proactive – enabling you to deliver on, and exceed, clients’ expectations.
We are a custom law tech development company that caters to all your needs. We aim to assist firms in capturing more growth opportunities through efficient legal matter management. Our goal is to provide a robust, multi-featured, synchronized legal matter management software solution that provides a platform to increase operational efficiency. We can help law firms increase their profitability by focusing on customer acquisition and services. Connect with our experts to digitize your legal services for better outreach.
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