Legal Matter Management Software
The journey of a legal matter/case starts and ends with a ‘case’ or ‘matter’. Everything that you talk about, discuss, prepare, fight, win, lose etc. is all about the matter/case. Thus a matter/case is at the core of Personal Injury practice.
And the process of managing these matters/cases is called Matter Management, it is the process in which a matter and its entire matter information such as the type of case, attorney on the case, budgets, expenses, bills are managed and tracked by the law firm throughout the matter lifecycle. Sounds simple right?
Then why legal matter management software become so crucial in the last couple of decades. Over the years the way law firms handle cases/matters have changed. Especially in the personal injury practice faced with challenges of managing thousands of cases every year and every case comes with ten and thousands of case records like documents, events, notes, tasks, contacts, etc. from both internal and external sources. Now personal injury firms recognized that managing these matter management processes cannot be controlled and tracked manually.
They not only need automation and control over the matter during the entire lifecycle of the case but also need a unified source to manage the routine process of recording intake, creating matters, managing workflow, collaborate with colleagues, plaintiffs, and consultant and most importantly tracking and measuring the key performance indicators.
We will explore how legal technology can help you manage the cases. Still, lets first take a look at challenges that are motivating personal injury lawyers to adopt a more sophisticated and modern technology from the traditional approach.
Common challenges in Matter Management
We’ve identified five areas in matter management software challenges that are silently sapping law firm margins.
1. De-centralized case and client information
- The inability for systems/firms to be able to share information with the entire team real-time.
- Client information that is stored and managed across attorney email or spreadsheets is a pitfall in client service.
- It prevents the firm from providing clear client updates about cases, documents, timelines, and, events.
- The de-centralized storage of data also introduces the unnecessary risk of losing client information.
2. Barriers to collaboration
- Doing work sequentially leads to waste of time, delay, inability for people to contribute their best to cases.
- Disparate data sources prevent shared understanding and create barriers to collaboration.
- By definition, silos separate data and slow process. For example, discovery requests locked inside a spreadsheet maintained by a paralegal on a local hard drive is a good illustration.
- The rest of the team cannot access the matter information and therefore, cannot gain a shared understanding as to the timing and steps that move a case into the pre-trial phase.
- PI practice is all about teamwork. If people can’t edit, give inputs to documents real-time then entire practice becomes sequential and wastes time and effort.
3. Risk of missing critical deadlines.
- Decentralization of legal calendars leads to disorganization and grows the risk of missing critical deadlines.
- Modern legal technology enables a law firm to build process templates that keep projects on track and never miss a deadline or court dates
- For example, a plaintiff firm can create a workflow process for high-volume cases to meet deadlines with insurance adjusters
- If each one follows their own system for reminders, then your firm is on the mercy of individual efficiency and discipline
4. Relying on manual processes
- Sorting through a list of folders and files to ensure the firm is sending the most current legal document is a waste of time
- How can one determine that all the reports, legal documents have been collected in the intake stage e.g., hospital bills, medical certificates, police reports. With paper and manual processes, how does one ensure that all the information is captured correctly every time.
- This style of ad-hoc activity persists and results in a high volume of emails, phone calls, and team meetings to check and double-check on files, tasks, and deadlines.
- Once the firm decided to take the case, intake information being transferred to case management software manually. This process results in a waste of time, money, resources, and employee’s frustration.
- Searching for that all important case file, document or even reference becomes a herculean task.
5. Continuous improvement in operational efficiency
- In the absence of a mechanism to manage both casework and process efficiently, law firms are making educated guesses on fees and expenses.
- Senior Partner / Partner need systems and processes to understand better how to best budget and staff cases.
- Boosting Ops Efficiency enables the firm to offer both competitive advantage and continuously improve operational efficiency.
How Can a Next-Gen Matter Management software help?
Collecting and organizing actionable client information is a full-time job, and one that isn’t very forgiving of mistakes. As such, investing in a modern, 21st century Matter Management Software is a must for any Law Firm that wants to improve productivity, efficiency, profitability, and client service to the next level.
Here are six things that Legal Case Management System should help your Law firm find success.
1. It Should Improve Information Management
The more you know about your Clients, the better you’ll be able to give them robust legal defense that pays off.
To do this, you need to move beyond the sticky-notes and disorganized filing cabinets, and start utilizing advanced Legal technology that will give you ‘pre-defined templates’ to ensure you gather/document the needed information, accurately quantify and categorize data for easy future reference, and make that data available across departments.
Thanks to Personal Injury Matter Management Software, this all becomes a possibility; it allows you to store a vast number of Client Matters and any critical information regarding them. Access to their files is even more convenient than before due to the cloud, so no matter who it is that is helping the customer in question, they’ll have the same actionable data instantly available. As a result, both client and employees save much time.
2. It should improve your client service
Your time is valuable, but so is your customers’ time. Moreover, should your customers experience issues that need resolution, they’re going to be unhappy unless that issue can be taken care of quickly.
In many cases, your more experienced attorneys, armed with past information and history, will be able to locate a solution within the first few minutes, thanks to an accessible database of potential issues. And, should a settlement not be readily apparent, then bringing in other representatives, or even crowdsourcing for answers through collaboration and coordination. With Matter Management software, Client support should become a walk in the park. You no longer need to worry about clients calls to get update about their case, nor will you have to chase them for critical information. Just like your clients can track their food order online, similarly they can track the progress of the case and contribute wherever needed. Keeping all parties informed and less nervous.
3. It should help Automate Everyday Tasks
Along with the surface details of any matter, there are hundreds of smaller tasks that must be completed for everything to function correctly. Forms need to be filled out; legal documents need to be sent, legal issues need to be addressed—these ancillary chores are a time consuming, yet vital aspect of the matter process.
This means that your staff will be able to focus more on their efforts towards closing matter and resolving customer pain points, while the automated case management modules takes care of the details.
4. It would help if you achieved Greater efficiency and collaboration
Automatically stored communication allows you to view emails, calendar, and phone call details in one easily accessible place, your attorney should be able to create, edit, co-author document alongside their staff. Add that to the ability for multiple teams to access the same information; it skyrockets the amount of achievable progress.
Every staff can now 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.
5. It Should Improve Analytical Data and Reporting
Miscalculated data should not be the reason you cannot succeed; with matter management software, this is no longer will be a worry.
Personalize your dashboard views to quickly locate information needed, such as usage information, KPIs, and performance reports to reach untapped opportunities. With better reporting data, you can make actionable and practical decisions to reap the rewards in customer loyalty and long-run profitability.
6. It should help you get more case/revenue
Getting new cases is never easy; it needs marketing expertise and dollars. As attorneys, we’ve all been there. You are approached with a quality legal case (Where you spent marketing dollars to get that lead) you can’t take; whether it’s the wrong practice area, out of your jurisdiction, you’re too swamped already – whatever the reason, it hurts to turn it down. However, without a known referral or another attorney to assist, you thought you had no other choice. On the other hand, you may be looking to get more quality cases. In both the scenario,
7. It should improve your profitability
Running a personal injury law firm presents many business challenges, especially a small one with limited resources. However, the vital key to profitable practice is making effective use of available resources. E.g., time management, because time is the scarcest resource. Another example is technology; it can be challenging, confusing with so many options available. However, when it implemented carefully, it can dramatically improve your practice make it profitable.
Gone are the days of Setting up networks, configuring individual PCs, upgrading software, adding specialized servers, security, and providing remote access combined to create sophisticated systems that were hard to maintain.
Moreover, hiring more staff to support growing PC use: network engineers, desktop specialists, and trainers, among others. Legacy case management software, technologically challenged compared to the cloud; they also cost more…requiring significant investments in both equipment and human resources.
To overcome the above challenges and reap the benefits of next-gen matter management system you need a combination of both — personal injury practice focused (meaning software specially designed and developed for personal injury practice), and unified cloud platform to turn your law firm into 21st-century law firm. Another positive side of having such robust technology is that you have all the information and data in one place and you can get a holistic view of your practice and insights out of one single source to help you make informed decisions.
Here are the functions you can find inside the CloudLex solution: