7 Hidden Benefits of Modern Matter Management Software
What is Matter Management Software?
Matter management software is a tool to manage the process in which a matter and its entire matter information such as the type of case, the attorney on the case, legal documents, calendar, budgets, expenses, bills are managed and tracked by the law firm throughout the matter lifecycle.
Why legal matter management software becomes 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.
Personal injury firms have now recognized that managing these matter management processes cannot be controlled and tracked manually.
PI firms not only need automation and control over the matter during the entire lifecycle of the case, but they also need a centralized source. A centralized source to manage the routine process of recording intake, creating matters, managing workflow, collaborating with colleagues, plaintiffs, and consultant and, most importantly, tracking and measuring the key performance indicators.
We will explore how modern matter management solutions can help you manage cases.
Before we dive into benefits, let’s first take a look at challenges during the matter management process and why PI firms need to adopt a more sophisticated and modern technology from the traditional approach.
Five Common challenges in Matter Management
We’ve identified five areas in matter management software challenges that are silently sapping law firm margins.
1. Scattered case and client information
- The inability of systems/firms to share information with the entire team in 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 decentralized storage of data also introduces the unnecessary risk of losing client information.
2. Barriers to collaboration
- When people/teams work sequentially, it leads to a waste of time, delay, and inefficiency resulting in firms unable to do their best for their cases and clients.
- Disparate matter 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 and give inputs to documents in real-time, then the entire practice becomes sequential and wastes time and effort.
3. Risk of missing critical deadlines.
- Using multiple legal calendars throughout the firm leads to chaos 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 at 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 is transferred to case management software manually. This process results in duplication of work, waste of time, money, resources, and leads to employee 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 processes efficiently, law firms are making educated guesses on fees, pipeline, and expenses.
- Senior Partner/Partner needs systems and processes for better planning and optimum resource utilization.
- Boosting operational efficiency enables the firm to offer both competitive advantage and optimized operational efficiency.
7 Hidden Benefits of Modern Matter Management Software
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 seven benefits of a Legal Case Management System that should help your Law firm build, manage, and grow its practice.
1. Seamless 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 modern legal technology.
Because modern software gives you ‘pre-defined templates’ to ensure you gather/document all the information, accurately quantify and categorize matter 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 is helping the customer in question, they’ll have the same actionable information instantly available.
As a result, both plaintiff and employees save much time.
2. Improve your client service
Your time is valuable, but so are your customers. 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 an 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. 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 take care of the details.
4. Achieve 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 documents 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. Insightful Analytical Data and Reporting
Miscalculated data should not be the reason you cannot succeed; with matter management software, this 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 data-driven decisions to reap the rewards in happy customers and higher profits.
6. Get more cases/revenue
Getting new cases is never easy; it needs marketing expertise and dollars. As attorneys, we all understand the value of every opportunity.
You spend your hard-earned marketing dollars to get leads, and at times you get a quality legal case which you can’t take. There could be many reasons, wrong practice area, not your core strength, 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. Boost your law firm’s profits
Running a personal injury law firm presents many business challenges, especially for a small firm 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 implemented correctly, it can dramatically improve your practice and 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, are 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 take advantage of modern practice management systems, you need a combination of both — personal injury practice-focused, and a unified cloud platform to turn your law firm into a 21st-century law firm.
Another positive side of having such a robust technology is that you have all the information and matter data in one place. You get a holistic view of your practice and insights out of one single source to help you make informed decisions.