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In the ever-evolving landscape of legal affairs, in-house legal teams find themselves at the intersection of legal expertise and operational efficiency. Legal professionals find themselves with an increasing array of legal matters, each demanding dedicated advice and careful attention to detail. Matter management systems stand as indispensable tools that offer a comprehensive solution to capture, service and report across all work within the in-house legal department. From contract management to litigation support, these systems empower legal teams to handle a diverse array of legal matters with precision, efficiency and ease. They facilitate intake, matter tracking, document management and task delegation all while providing automated data capture for insightful analytics. In this blog, we will explore the top 7 use cases for matter management and how it transforms the way legal professionals proceed with their most important day-to-day operations.
1. Legal FAQ & Helpdesk
The utilization of matter management software consists of much more than matter tracking and document management; it often involves catering tomate an array of legal inquiries and support functions that help organizations maintain their compliance. One of the primary use cases lies in providing a legal FAQ & helpdesk for business employees, addressing various concerns such as travel requests, gifts and entertainment policies, anti-bribery and corruption guidelines, privacy policies, security protocols, and employee rights and benefits.
Matter management systems provide a centralized repository where legal professionals can systematically categorize and address legal queries. When integrated together with a legal front door, employees can access this resource to easily submit requests and find answers to their frequently asked questions, ensuring consistent adherence to company policies and allowing the legal team to address routine queries at scale. For instance, employees seeking information regarding travel requisites can easily navigate via email, Slack, Teams and more, to locate the relevant guidelines through a knowledge base, or leverage a conversational AI chatbot to receive instant and personalized help for their queries.
By introducing a systemized legal FAQ and helpdesk through a matter management system, this not only accelerates response times but also fosters a proactive approach to common legal inquiries, empowering legal departments to stay ahead of potential challenges of risk and legal uncertainties, and enhance overall operational efficiency. Additionally, in-house legal teams can spend less time on routine queries and more time on special projects and complex matters.
2. Contract Management
Contract management stands as one of the more sought-after use cases for matter management systems, encompassing the handling and oversight of various contracts vital to the organization's operations. From non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to sales contracts, procurement agreements, master service agreements, statements of work, and outside counsel management letters, the spectrum of contracts is diverse and extensive.
Matter management systems designed for contract management offer a centralized platform to efficiently store, organize and track agreements. By bringing together all matters, documents, approvals, and conversations, matter management systems serve as a single source of truth for lawyers to efficiently search and retrieve information, whilst enabling visibility and collaboration within the broader team.
Matter management systems enable in-house legal teams to categorize contracts based on type, status, business unit, due date or any other defining criteria, facilitating easy retrieval and management. For example, by using custom filters, boards or reports, legal departments can easily access contracts such as non-disclosure agreements or sales agreements, track their deadlines and proactively manage their obligations, ensuring that the organization stays protected and compliant.
These systems together with workflow automation, also streamline the contract lifecycle, allowing legal professionals to oversee the negotiation, drafting and execution of various contracts throughout the organization. With comprehensive tracking mechanisms in place, teams can monitor key milestones, obligations and other key deliverables outlined in service agreements and statements of work, minimizing risks and maximizing operational efficiency.
By centralizing contract management processes, matter management systems empower in-house legal departments to improve their practices around contract lifecycle management. These systems not only streamline contract-related workflows but also provide invaluable insights into contract performance and obligations, enabling proactive decision-making and strategic planning within the organization.
3. Conflicts Checks
The identification and mitigation of potential conflicts of interest stand as paramount concerns given legal’s fundamental role in mitigating risks, preserving stakeholder trust, and upholding corporate integrity and compliance. Matter management systems serve as a centralized database including information on past or present legal matters, parties involved and key legal considerations.
In-house legal teams can systematically review and analyze historical cases in the matter management system’s repository, making it easy to identify any potential conflicts that might arise. This proactive approach is crucial for ensuring compliance with ethical and legal standards while safeguarding the organization's reputation and integrity. Not only that, matter management systems streamline the conflict check process by significantly reducing the time required for manual searches across historical company records.
By integrating robust conflict check capabilities, matter management systems serve as indispensable tools for in-house legal departments. They not only enhance operational efficiency by expediting conflict assessments but also bolster the department's ability to uphold ethical standards and maintain the trust of internal and external stakeholders.
A major responsibility of the in-house legal department is to ensure that their organizations follow various laws, regulations and industry standards. Maintaining compliance is foundational to the role of the legal department, and as such, requires a tool that offers a robust compliance management framework. By serving as a centralized hub to conduct reviews and provide timely approvals, matter management systems address various critical aspects of compliance including marketing material review, data privacy regulations, trademark and patent applications, dispute resolution, GDPR checklist and regulations and whistleblower submissions.
For example, marketing material review helps lawyers who often oversee and approve promotional content to ensure it aligns with legal guidelines and avoids any potential regulatory pitfalls. Together with workflow automation, matter management systems streamline this process by providing a structured framework for reviewing, editing and approving marketing materials, maintaining compliance while facilitating efficient marketing initiatives.
Moreover, these systems are useful when it comes to managing data privacy compliance, enabling legal departments to track and update policies, manage data access requests and ensure ongoing adherence to evolving data protection regulations such as GDPR or CCPA. The centralized repository within matter management systems assists in organizing and updating compliance-related documentation, reducing the risk of non-compliance.
5. Litigation Support
Within in-house legal departments, matter management systems are valuable for providing effective litigation support in the organization of vast volumes of case information and streamlining the litigation process.
Matter management systems serve as a centralized repository for storing and organizing case-related documents that include important company sensitive materials such as briefs, discovery materials and more. Because matter management systems can act as centralized repository, legal professionals can easily access and retrieve critical information, making analyzing important documents easier for lawyers.
These systems aid in evidence gathering by providing structured workflows and checklists for collecting, organizing and upholding evidence. In-house legal departments can systematically track the collection and authentication of evidence, ensuring its admissibility and relevance in potential legal proceedings. Matter management systems can help in-house legal professionals stay updated on relevant legal developments and precedents that could impact ongoing or future litigation.
Matter management systems act as indispensable tools for in-house legal departments, offering a comprehensive suite of functionalities tailored to streamline litigation support. By centralizing case-related information, facilitating evidence management and aiding with legal research, these systems significantly contribute to the effective management and success of litigation efforts within the organization.
6. Corporate Matters
For corporate matters like mergers and acquisitions (M&A), matter management systems can provide a structured framework in managing the complex processes involved in due diligence, negotiations and documentation. They facilitate the organization and tracking of documents and key milestones associated with M&A transactions, enabling seamless collaboration between legal teams and other stakeholders.
Corporate governance is another critical area where these systems excel in managing corporate matters. They assist in-house legal departments in maintaining and updating corporate records, managing board meetings and maintaining regulatory requirements. This includes storing corporate documents in an organized way that lets them be easily accessed and referenced. They also serve as a hub for contract management, allowing legal teams to efficiently draft, review, approve and track contracts throughout their lifecycle. This includes managing contract templates, tracking key deadlines and facilitating contract negotiations to ensure compliance and mitigate risks.
Matter Management platforms also provide a centralized and collaborative workspace where all relevant parties can access, share, and collaborate on critical documents and information related to corporate matters. By facilitating real-time collaboration, legal professionals can work concurrently on the same documents, share insights, and exchange feedback without the constraints of traditional communication channels. Moreover, these collaborative features extend beyond internal teams to include external partners and service providers such as external legal counsel, financial advisors and regulatory experts to promote efficient communication and information sharing. Timely updates, feedback loops, and collaborative decision-making contribute to faster resolution of issues, better-informed strategies, and ultimately, an agile and responsive approach to handling corporate matters.
Matter management systems are an indispensable tool for in-house legal teams when handling intricate corporate matters. By providing structured workflows, centralized document repositories and framework for corporate matters, these systems streamline operations, enhance compliance and redefine how legal professionals work together for complex corporate affairs.
Matter management systems serve as the bedrock of excellence within in-house legal departments, elevating operations across pivotal realms from establishing legal FAQs or helpdesk to managing corporate matters. Yet, the intricate tapestry of corporate matters demands more than just standardized solutions. This is where matter management and workflow platforms such as Checkbox become key. Checkbox doesn’t just offer answers; it crafts bespoke workflow solutions that are meticulously tailored to the unique challenges and frameworks of your organization’s challenges and requirements. These tailored solutions signify more than just a change; they herald a seismic shift towards not only heightened efficiency and precision in legal operations, but a way for legal to scale its strategic value to the business
Eager to learn more about what Checkbox can offer? Schedule a call with one of our technology consultants today and see what a potential solution can look like for your team.
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