6 Reasons to Prioritize Matter Management for In-house

June 11, 2024

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In-house legal teams should prioritize matter management as their strategic compass to navigating the complexities of legal work. Beyond organization, it's the conduit to unlock a new world of operational efficiencies, fuel collaboration, and elevate decision-making. Effectively managing legal matters isn't just about compliance; it's a proactive stance towards legal service delivery and business impact. Prioritizing matter management empowers in-house teams to not only weather the challenges of an ever-changing corporate landscape, but the ability to contrust a legal narrative that resonates throughout the entire company. It's more than just managing legal work; it's sculpting the impact of legal within an organization.

What is matter management for legal?

Matter management for in-house legal, is the process of tracking and handling all legal matters within an organization and plays a pivotal role in ensuring that legal operations run smoothly. Matter management software provides a centralized platform for tracking all legal matters, ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks. In-house legal teams can gain a comprehensive view of all ongoing and past matters, streamline workflows, enhance collaboration, and ultimately, deliver more value to the business.

Why use matter management software?

In-house legal teams are the backbone of corporate governance and risk management, handling a myriad of tasks from contract negotiations to compliance monitoring. However, the complexity and volume of these tasks can often overwhelm even the most experienced teams. This is where matter management software comes into play, offering a robust solution to streamline operations and enhance efficiency. Matter management software bolsters the efficiency of the legal department by providing a unified platform that enhances productivity, transparency and compliance.

Doing what matters: What are the top 6 reasons to prioritize matter management?

1. Cost and Time Savings

In today's fast-paced legal environment, matter management has emerged as a critical strategy for legal teams looking to enhance their efficiency and profitability. The top reason to prioritize matter management is its unparalleled ability to streamline processes, thereby delivering significant cost and time savings. Effective matter management systems provide a centralized platform where all matter-related information is stored, tracked, and accessed. This reduces the time spent on administrative tasks, minimizes errors, and ensures that everyone is on the same page. By automating routine processes such as intake and triage, document management, approvals and compliance, legal teams can redirect their focus towards higher-value activities in furthering business value and growth. Moreover, with detailed reporting and analytics, matter management systems offer insights into resource allocation and matter progress, enabling legal teams to identify bottlenecks and optimize their workflows. This leads to faster matter resolution and reduces operational costs associated with prolonged litigation or project delays. In essence, prioritizing matter management is not just about adopting new technology; it’s about transforming the way legal work is done. By harnessing the power of streamlined workflows and data-driven insights, legal teams can achieve greater efficiency, reduce overheads, and ultimately deliver better outcomes for the business.

2. Improved Business Experience and Satisfaction

Effective matter management is essential for transforming the overall business experience and satisfaction. It goes beyond managing legal matters; it’s about orchestrating a seamless experience that is tailored to fit the specific needs of the business through a well-organized and responsive legal team. This type of transformation is powered by leveraging cutting-edge matter management systems that seek to improve the relationship between legal and the business.  

A key facet of this transformation is the ability of matter management to ensure swift and accurate handling of legal issues. The systematic organization of documents, workflows and tasks provided by matter management systems ensures that legal professionals can navigate matters with precision and speed. This operational agility is instrumental in addressing concerns promptly and accurately, fostering a sense of reliability and trust for the legal department.  

In this instance, matter management becomes a cornerstone in delivering a seamless and satisfactory legal experience for all stakeholders. Streamlined processes mean that legal matters progress seamlessly, reducing friction points and bottlenecks. Improved communication channels, facilitated by matter management systems, ensure that business users are kept informed at every stage of the legal process. This transparent and communicative approach builds trust and enhances the overall satisfaction of stakeholders involved.  

It is more than just an operational tool; matter management is a catalyst for reshaping the narrative of legal services within an organization. It positions the legal department as not just a support function but a strategic partner in enhancing the overall business experience, shifting legal’s perceived reputation from a bottleneck to a reliable partner to the business.

3. Compliance  

The regulatory landscape is dynamic and intricate, making compliance a constant hurdle that in-house teams must navigate. Prioritizing matter management is not just a matter of efficiency; it's a strategic imperative to ensure that legal processes in an organization align with ever-changing regulatory requirements.

At its core, matter management acts as a compass for legal teams, guiding them through the maze of endless regulations and compliance mandates. These systems provide a structured framework for legal professionals to organize, track and manage legal matters in a way that aligns with the intricate rules and regulations that govern their respective industries. This strategic alignment significantly reduces the risk of legal complications, penalties and reputational damage that may arise from a non-compliant legal department.

Matter management systems are equipped with robust tools that empower legal teams to track and manage compliance mandates effectively. From deadline tracking to documentation management, these systems ensure that every aspect of legal operations is in harmony with regulatory requirements.

Trust is an essential component when it comes to compliance. Prioritizing matter management not only safeguards the organization from legal pitfalls but also reinforces trust with stakeholders. Whether it's business users, shareholders or regulatory bodies, a well-managed and compliant legal department instills confidence. Matter management systems play a pivotal role in creating this confidence by providing transparency into compliance efforts and showcasing a proactive approach to meeting regulatory standards.

Prioritizing matter management is a proactive strategy that any business must take to ensure that they remain compliant with the ever-increasing demands of regulations. Beyond just avoiding legal troubles, it allows businesses to make a commitment to upholding the highest standards of ethical and legal conduct by mitigating risks and reinforcing trust with stakeholders. This is what positions the legal department as a reliable guardian of compliance in a regulatory landscape that is always changing.

4. Visibility and Reporting

Matter management systems offer unparalleled visibility into legal operations, providing decision-makers with an invaluable tool for real-time understanding and strategic planning. Through their comprehensive reporting functionalities, these systems offer unparalleled visibility into ongoing cases, resource allocation and overall performance, serving as a catalyst for informed decision-making.

Through a user-friendly interface, legal leaders can gain a holistic view of ongoing cases, enabling them to monitor progress, identify potential bottlenecks and proactively address emerging challenges. These insights transcend mere data points; they become a powerful tool for strategic planning, allowing legal departments to align their initiatives with broader organizational goals.

Comprehensive reporting functionalities empower legal leaders to track case progress meticulously. From understanding the status of individual matters to identifying patterns and trends across various legal matters or requests, matter management systems transform data into actionable insights. This granular visibility not only aids in day-to-day decision-making but also informs long-term strategic initiatives that the legal department might take on to help scale and grow the business.  

Resource allocation is another critical aspect where matter management systems shine. Legal leaders can track how resources are distributed across various matters, ensuring optimal utilization. This data-driven approach to resource management enhances efficiency and ensures that legal teams are deployed where they are needed most.

Matter management systems transcend their traditional role of record-keeping. They are dynamic tools for legal leaders that provide the insights needed to make informed decisions that drive organizational success. This enhanced visibility isn't just a convenience; it's a strategic imperative in a landscape where adaptability and agility are synonymous with effective leadership and innovative legal practices.

5. Data-Driven Decision Making

Data is often referred to as the new oil in an era where figures and numbers reign supreme. Implementing an effective matter management solution serves as a strategic initiative for legal teams aiming to harness the power of data-driven decision-making. Matter management systems provide legal professionals with the tools to extract valuable insights that empower legal teams to make informed and strategic decisions that elevate the entire legal department.  

Resource utilization is an important factor where matter management systems shine. These systems provide a comprehensive view of how resources are allocated and utilized across different legal matters. Armed with this data, legal professionals can optimize resource allocation, ensuring that manpower, time and other assets are deployed efficiently to achieve the best possible outcomes. This not only enhances operational efficiency but also contributes to cost-effectiveness within the legal department.

Another area where matter management can be used to extract valuable data is by looking at trends. Monitoring and observing trends that have led to successful outcomes or potential challenges can help legal professionals adjust their strategies to best fit the department's needs. By staying up to date on trends, the legal department can stay ahead of any regulatory changes and the ever-changing demands from the business.  

Matter management systems serve as the foundational technology for cultivating a culture of evidence-based decision-making within the legal realm. The integration of data-driven insights into daily operations transforms legal processes from reactive to proactive, positioning the legal department as an innovator in their organizations. Information is power, and prioritizing matter management is a pivotal step towards not only enhancing legal strategies but also future proofing the legal department.

6. Expected Business Growth

As the business grows, with an increase in revenue, employees, products, locations, etc., the volume of legal support will increase correspondingly as there is expected to be an expansion in the complexity of legal issues and compliance requirements. To manage this anticipated influx of needed support from the business, legal teams should look to implementing a matter management system to effectively manage their growing workloads despite flattening headcount and resources.    

Matter management systems help legal departments prepare for the future. This tool is instrumental in positioning the legal team as an integral part of the organization's success story, contributing to business growth and serving as a strategic partner rather than a reactive support function.

How to get started with implementing matter management software for your legal team

Embracing matter management software is a strategic imperative for modern legal teams. Getting started with implementing matter management software entails identifying your specific legal needs and prioritizing system features that are aligned with your overall goals. At the end of the day, implementing matter management is not just beneficial to the legal department, but to the overall business.  

To learn more about the steps to take in implementing matter management software for your legal team, book a call with one of our technology consultants who can walk you through what that looks like for your unique needs.

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