Navigating Matter Management Software & Intake and Triage

February 22, 2024

Table of contents

Sign up to our newsletter

Get insightful automation articles, view upcoming webinars and stay up-to-date with Checkbox

Reading time: 

[reading time]

What is Matter Management Software?

Matter management software is a specialized technology solution designed to streamline and organize the complex processes and information related to legal matters within a law firm or legal department. It enables efficient management of various aspects, such as case files, documents, contacts, deadlines, time tracking, and billing. The software centralizes and automates key tasks, facilitating collaboration, document sharing, and tracking of case progress. By providing a unified platform, matter management software enhances productivity, transparency, and compliance while reducing administrative burden and ensuring effective legal matter handling.

What Can Matter Management Software Do?

  • Case and matter management
  • Document management
  • Time and expense tracking
  • Task and deadline management
  • Contract and client management
  • Lightweight workflow automation
  • Collaboration and communication tool
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Calendar management
  • Document automation and assembly
  • Timekeeping and billing rate management
  • Client portal for secure filing sharing and communication
  • Knowledge management and research tool
  • Matter intake and case evaluation
  • Matter prioritization and resource allocation
Legal service request banner

How Matter Management is Commonly Used for In-House Legal Teams

  • Legal operations management: Legal operations management involves optimizing the administrative and operational functions within a legal department. It focuses on enhancing efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and strategic alignment.
  • Cross-department collaboration: Collaboration between legal departments and other business units is essential for effective legal operations.
  • Regulatory compliance: Legal departments are responsible for ensuring compliance with relevant laws, regulations and industry standards.
  • Risk management and claims: Legal departments play a vital role in identifying, assessing and managing legal risks and claims.
  • Source of truth for legal ops: Matter management systems provide analytics information on matters such as their status and number of requests.  

How Matter Management is Commonly Used for Law Firms

Matter management plays a crucial role in the operations of law firms, enabling efficient management of client matters, collaboration among legal professionals, and effective client communication. Here are some common use cases for matter management in law firms:

  • Client management: Law firms use matter management systems to effectively manage their clients' cases and matters. This includes maintaining client contact information, tracking client-related documents and communications and managing client relationships throughout the legal engagement.
  • Billing and time tracking: Matter management platforms facilitate accurate and efficient billing and time tracking processes. Lawyers and legal professionals can record their billable hours, track expenses and generate invoices based on the work performed for each matter. This streamlines the billing process and ensures accurate client invoicing.
  • Matter collaborations: Matter management systems enable collaboration among lawyers, paralegals, and support staff working on the same matter. It provides a centralized platform for sharing documents, assigning tasks and tracking progress. Collaboration features such as discussion forums, document versioning and real-time updates enhance teamwork and streamline communication.
  • Conflict checking: Law firms need to conduct conflict checks to ensure they don't have any conflicts of interest when taking on new clients or matters. Matter management systems help automate conflict checking processes by maintaining a centralized database of client information, parties involved and related matters. This ensures compliance with ethical and professional obligations.

Pros and Cons of Matter Management Software

PROS: Matter management software offers several advantages that can greatly benefit law firms and legal departments. Firstly, it enhances organization and efficiency by centralizing all case-related information in one accessible location. This allows users to easily track and manage documents, contacts, deadlines, and other important details, resulting in improved productivity and reduced chances of errors or missed deadlines. Additionally, matter management software often includes task management and workflow features, enabling streamlined collaboration and coordination among team members, which can enhance communication and overall case handling.

Another significant advantage is the ability to generate reports and legal analytics. Matter management software can provide valuable insights into case metrics, resource allocation, and financial performance, allowing for data-driven decision-making and better resource planning. It also facilitates accurate and transparent billing by automating time tracking and generating invoices based on predefined billing structures.

CONS: However, there are also potential drawbacks to consider. The implementation and adoption of matter management software can be time-consuming and require a learning curve for users, especially if they are accustomed to traditional manual processes. Additionally, the cost of acquiring and maintaining the software, including licensing fees, support, and training, can be a significant investment for smaller firms or departments with limited budgets.

Another factor to consider about matter management systems is that while they include intake, they lack an efficient triage system. As a result, the matter needing to be solved cannot be resolved through self-service or FAQs, requiring legal involvement. Due to a lack of a triage system, all matter intake is usually a standard form that asks generic questions to make a request. The issue, however, is that there are different types of teams focusing on various areas of legal like marketing or procurement. So, when matters are received by lawyers via a matter management system, the information they need to complete the matter might not be captured so there's extra steps for the lawyer now to chase up that information, taking them more time to manually resolve the initial request.  

There might be challenges in integrating the matter management software with existing systems and workflows. Compatibility issues or resistance to change from users can hinder the successful implementation of the software. It is crucial to ensure that the chosen software aligns with the specific needs and practices of the organization to maximize its benefits.

How Matter Management Works with Intake & Triage

Matter management systems provide a system to assess and manage new matters and their details, with some systems being able to perform legal intake and triage for in-house legal teams. MMS can make it easier to store important matter information, saving legal teams time and providing them with a secure platform to access vital documents. This software can also store information and create a repository for intake and triage, retrieving information whenever a business user brings up a matter.  

Although MMS helps with intake and triage that it streamlines collaboration and communication, it lacks an adequate triage system. MMS lacks a triage engine and intake conditional capability to direct requests to the appropriate. Matter management systems do not do efficient intake and triage, as it creates more administrative work to assign the right legal requests to lawyers.

The complexity of matter intake is also limited in matter management as opposed to an intake and triage software. Often with matter management systems, human intervention and expertise is often required to handle unique or exceptional cases where intake and triage software is better suited to resolve a request.  

How Matter Management and Workflow Automation Can Work Together

Matter management systems and legal workflow automation can work together to form a powerful symbiotic relationship to enhance efficiency and productivity for legal teams. Integrating workflow automation and MMS ensures that processes follow predefined sequences through automating routine tasks. As an example, when a new legal matter is added to the system, workflow automation can trigger a series of actions, such as notifying relevant team members, setting deadlines, and assigning tasks based on predefined rules. Additionally, workflow automation tools help fill in the gap of an effective intake and triage system given the bespoke nature of intake channels, request routing rules, lawyer assignment, collaboration and more.

How Checkbox Can Help

While the goal of a matter management system is to ultimately make it easier for legal teams to get their work done and make them more efficient, MMS cannot be implemented on its own.  

Where Checkbox fits in with the legal tech stack is that the platform complements matter management systems by optimizing the steps taken before the matters are filed, serve as an efficient intake & triage system and enable the resolution of requests. Checkbox can integrate with your existing matter management systems to create, update and close matters automatically as well as provide data on the requests to promote centralization of data.

Together with our AI-powered legal front door, legal teams can capture requests from anywhere —Slack, Teams, email, intranet portal & more. Through our AI-powered workflow engine, routing is determined automatically triaged and assigned to the relevant self-service tools, team or lawyer. By facilitating the intake and resolution of work, Checkbox empowers the legal team with the much-needed visibility over request volume, type and status, and more importantly, enabling legal to report on service performance through activating data on cycle times, SLAs and lawyer capacity.

Curious to understand more about how our platform can transform your service delivery and matter management processes? Book a call with one of our legal technology consultants to learn more.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Checkbox Team

Checkbox's team comprises of passionate and creative individuals who prioritize quality work. With a strong focus on learning, we drive impactful innovations in the field of no-code.

Book a Personalized Demo

Discover how workflow automation can benefit your team and organization