Six Features of the Best Matter Management Software

Matter management software puts critical matter, financial and performance data at the fingertips of corporate counsel and legal operations. But what features should a corporate legal department prioritize to gain the best return on investment? In the first blog post on this series, we explored essential legal spend management technology features for enterprise legal management. Now, we follow up with an exploration of the critical components of matter management.

According to Deloitte’s 2020 Legal Operations Survey, 74% of the corporate legal professionals surveyed felt they did not have clear or accurate metrics on work performed internally or externally. Additionally, 71% said that manual tasks take up a “significant amount” of their teams’ time.

Yet, technology – specifically matter management software – is designed to address challenges such as these.

Catherine Moynihan, associate vice president of legal management services with the Association of Corporate Counsel, told Legaltech News that GCs have seen growing interest from corporate leadership for technology investments. As she explains:

“While budget restraints have constrained the implementation of technology, I think we’re now approaching a tipping point where it’s budget challenges that will help make the case to make that short-term investment because the ROI is there.”

Fortunately, there are advanced enterprise legal management (ELM) solutions available, including matter management tools specifically designed to address issues such as the ones mentioned above.

What to Look For in Matter Management Software

From a high-level perspective, corporate legal departments need data that can show how their internal or external resources are leveraged. This is where matter management technology comes in. With this technology, corporate legal departments gain visibility into an overall matter portfolio and real-time data and dashboards to monitor and track all matters throughout their lifecycle. Legal team members should have immediate access to critical matter metrics, including performance data, through simple information collection, management and workflow.

Here are six features you should look for in a matter management solution:

  1. Custom Intake and Matter Forms

Most businesses require some custom forms for matter management, including custom intake and data forms for multiple matter types such as litigation, employment, intellectual property and claims.

  1. Flexible Workflow

Organization is mandatory, especially when dealing with matters that can substantially impact a business. Corporate legal professionals need configurable workflows relative to the matter type, dollar amount or specific business rules. No-code workflow and business process automation platforms powering ELM, matter management and legal spend management tools enable legal professionals of all technical proficiencies to create, automate and edit necessary workflows easily. To learn more about a platform approach, view this CLOC presentation by Colgate-Palmolive and Baker & McKenzie.

  1. Data Management and Robust Search

One of the necessary conveniences of matter management is that you can easily find the data you need at all times. A solution with full-text search capabilities for all information—including documents, transaction details, emails and notes – makes that happen. This benefit is further enhanced by searching capabilities that put critical matter information, including tasks, documents and notes, in front of you in a click.

  1. Outlook Integration

Those who proclaimed the death of email need to retract their statements. In 2020, more than 306 billion emails were sent and received. Email remains a critical component of communications and information exchange for businesses and many companies use Microsoft Outlook. If Outlook isn’t syncing with a matter management solution, a corporate legal team will ultimately face more manual processes and the potential for inaccurate or missing data.

  1. Email Notifications

To easily share information with corporate legal team members involved with matters, matter management technology should provide automated notifications that replace manual processes. This includes matter-unique emails within the system that keep team members up-to-date on matters.

  1. Reporting and Analytics

As mentioned above, metrics and analytics help legal professionals better understand their matters’ statuses, finances and performance. A matter management solution should have the ability to create dashboards to manage matters by type, location or geography as an essential part of reporting and analytics.

For more enterprise legal management and matter management inspiration, we invite you to check out the following resources:

  • Learn more about InvoiceAI, an AI-enabled legal invoice review offering for enterprise legal management.
  • Access this webinar replay for “Legal Operations Reporting Done Right,” where the global healthcare company Viatris (formerly Mylan) discusses its approach to identifying and collecting the right data and creating reports that are meaningful to different audiences across the organization.
  • Hear how McDonald’s formulated a cohesive, long-term strategy to achieve the right balance of people, process and technology here.

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