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There’s no doubt that one of the greatest challenges legal departments face is the need to constantly navigate through a never-ending labyrinth of legal requests, inquiries and matters. These requests arrive from all corners of the organization, through channels like email, Slack, Teams and more. It’s a whirlwind of information and demands that often leaves legal teams with unmanageable volumes of request, inefficiencies with coordination and communication, and little visibility to communicate legal workload and impact.
In-house legal departments are entrusted with the crucial task of safeguarding their organizations’ interests. Whether it’s addressing contract reviews, compliance matters and a host of other legal inquiries, in-house lawyers often find themselves overwhelmed, struggling to efficiently prioritize and address the deluge of incoming legal requests.
This is where the transformative power of legal ticketing systems comes into play. Legal ticketing in legal tech solutions has emerged as a game-changer, providing a structured, streamlined approach to channeling and organizing legal requests and reducing bottlenecks that can stifle the productivity, performance and perception of in-house legal teams.
The Problems In-House Legal Teams Face with Legal Requests
The current state of service request management for legal teams includes urgent, high-volume activities that require a significant amount of time managing the intake and triage of requests versus resolving the requests. Legal requests are not effectively allocated based on lawyer capacity, expertise and matter type, leading to wasted time from unfocused resources, handling non-legal requests and doubling up of work. Communication and collaboration inefficiencies also exist between the lawyer, business employees and legal support staff given the lack of a centralized tracking system. And most importantly, there is no visibility for legal into the volume, status, cycle time and type of requests, making it impossible to measure and communicate legal workload & impact and plan for resource allocation.
- Volume & Diversity of Requests: In-house legal teams often face a high volume of diverse legal requests, ranging from contract reviews and compliance issues to employment matters. The sheer variety and quantity of requests can make it challenging to prioritize and address each one promptly. In many teams now, requests are manually triaged and assigned one by one on a spreadsheet by a legal support staff.
- Lack of Centralized Intake Process: Without a standardized process for legal request intake, requests may come in through various channels, such as emails, phone calls or in-person conversations. This lack of a centralized intake process can lead to miscommunication, delays and difficulties in tracking and managing requests.
- Tracking & Accountability: Without a dedicated system for tracking the status of legal requests, it can be challenging to hold individuals or teams accountable for their assigned tasks. Lack of visibility into the progress of legal matters may result in delays and missed deadlines.
- Communication Gaps: Communication breakdowns can occur when legal teams and other departments aren't on the same page. Incomplete or unclear information in legal requests can lead to misunderstandings, potentially affecting the quality of legal advice and solutions provided.
- Data Security & Compliance: In handling legal requests, ensuring data security and compliance with relevant regulations is paramount. In-house legal teams need to navigate these concerns while still maintaining an efficient workflow, which can be a delicate balance.
- Limited Resources: In some cases, in-house legal teams may face resource constraints, including a shortage of personnel or budget limitations. This can impact their ability to handle a large volume of legal requests effectively.
What Exactly is a Legal Ticketing System & How Does it Work?
A legal ticketing system functions much like a personal assistant to the legal team. At its core, a legal ticketing system is a centralized platform within intake and matter management software, designed to capture, track and manage legal requests and tasks. Think of it as a virtual ticketing booth for legal matters, where each request or task is assigned a unique ticket for easy identification and monitoring. These systems allow legal teams to triage and manage the fulfillment of their legal services requests. Here are some key components of how a legal ticketing system works:
- Request Intake: When a business user raises a new legal request, the legal ticketing system serves as a starting point. Business users can submit their requests through the system, providing essential details such as the nature of the request, urgency and other relevant information to the request.
- Ticket Assignment: Each legal request is assigned a dedicated ticket that serves as a type of digital passport that tracks the entire lifecycle of the matter or request. Assigning, or triaging, the tickets ensure accountability, as it is clear who is responsible for handling each task. Checkbox’s legal ticketing system, for example, uses AI email triage to receive requests directly to their email inbox, further streamlining the process of assigning legal requests.
- Status Tracking: Legal professionals can easily monitor the status of each ticket in real-time. From initial request to resolution, the system provides a transparent overview of the entire legal workflow. This feature is particularly beneficial for department leaders, such as general counsel, overseeing multiple matters simultaneously. This feature is also relevant within data-driven organizations, where there is a top-down pressure for legal to report on their service performance to the rest of the business. Particularly in sales-centric organizations, where turn-around time of sales-related agreements are critical, legal can often be perceived as a blocker. With status tracking, legal can provide guidance as to where blockers in the business might be located.
- Collaboration & Communication: Legal ticketing systems foster collaboration among team members. Comments, updates and additional information related to a specific ticket can be shared within the system. This centralized communication ensures that everyone involved is on the same page, reducing the risk of miscommunication.
- Dashboards & Reporting: With legal ticketing systems, legal leaders can gain visibility into the volume, status, cycle time and type of requests to gain visibility over workload, identify opportunities for resource allocation, and to communicate legal team impact.
Benefits of a Legal Ticketing System
A legal ticketing system offers numerous benefits to in-house legal teams, enhancing their ability to manage legal requests efficiently and streamline their overall workflow. Here are some key advantages:
- Efficiency Boost: By streamlining the request intake process and providing a clear structure for task management, legal ticketing systems significantly enhance overall efficiency. Legal professionals can prioritize tasks, allocate resources effectively and meet deadlines with greater ease.
- Transparency & Accountability: The transparency offered by legal ticketing systems promotes accountability within the team. Everyone knows who is responsible for each task, reducing the chances of tasks falling through the cracks.
- Data-Driven Decision-Making: Legal ticketing systems generate valuable data and analytics. By analyzing trends and performance metrics, in-house legal teams can make informed decisions, identify areas for improvement and optimize their workflow over time.
- Adaptability & Scalability: As legal teams evolve and take on new challenges, legal ticketing systems can adapt and scale accordingly. Whether managing a small number of routine tasks or handling a large influx of complex matters, the system remains a reliable tool for maintaining order.
Ticketing System vs. Legal Ticketing System
“We don’t want to become a ticketing system like IT.”
The primary difference between a general ticketing system and a legal ticketing system lies in their specific application and customization to meet the unique needs of legal teams. Let's explore these differences:
General Ticketing System:
- A general ticketing system is a versatile tool used across various industries and departments.
- It's not tailored specifically for legal processes but can be adapted to different workflows, such as IT support, customer service, or project management.
Diverse Use Cases:
- General ticketing systems handle a wide range of tasks, from technical issue resolution to customer inquiries and task tracking.
- These systems are designed to be flexible and customizable to suit the needs of different teams within an organization.
- The workflow in a general ticketing system is typically generic and may require customization to align with specific business processes.
- It may lack legal-specific features or terminology needed for managing legal matters effectively.
Legal Ticketing System:
Tailored for Legal Workflows:
- A legal ticketing system is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of in-house legal teams and law firms.
- It includes features and functionalities relevant to legal processes, such as matter management, contract reviews, compliance issues and other legal requests.
- Legal ticketing systems often incorporate legal terminology and workflows, making it easier for legal professionals to navigate and use the system effectively.
- The system may have specific fields and categories relevant to legal matters, ensuring accurate tracking and management.
Compliance and Security Focus:
- Recognizing the sensitivity of legal information, legal ticketing systems may place a higher emphasis on compliance and security measures.
- These systems are designed to align with legal industry standards and regulations to protect confidential information.
Integration with Legal Tools:
- Legal ticketing systems may integrate seamlessly with other legal software and tools, such as document management systems or e-discovery platforms.
- This integration ensures a cohesive and efficient workflow within the legal department.
Specialized Reporting and Analytics:
- Legal ticketing systems often provide reporting and analytics features tailored to legal metrics and key performance indicators.
- This allows legal teams to gain insights into their performance and make informed decisions based on legal-specific data.
Efficiency in Legal Request Handling:
- Legal ticketing systems streamline legal request intake, tracking and management, allowing for more efficient handling of legal matters.
- The system helps address the specific challenges faced by legal teams, such as diverse legal requests, compliance concerns, and the need for clear accountability.
Relationship with the Business:
- As legal, we value our relationships with the business. However, introducing a legal ticketing system is not the same as implementing an IT ticketing system. If anything, the experience should strengthen the relationship and thus, it’s the nuances in how a legal ticketing system manages request intake, communication and resolution. The relationship is in the service, not in getting to the service.
While both general ticketing systems and legal ticketing systems share the fundamental concept of managing tasks through a ticket-based system, the latter is specialized to meet the unique requirements of legal workflows. Legal ticketing systems offer a tailored solution that incorporates legal terminology, compliance measures and features specifically designed to enhance the efficiency of legal teams in managing their workload and legal matters.
Overcoming Objections to a Legal Ticketing System
“Changing the behavior of how the business engages with legal is going to be too difficult.”
Just like implementing any improvement, change management is inevitable. The key is to highlight the benefits of this change to the business, not legal. Yes, the business may want to just pick up the phone to legal. But the more nonurgent, standardized work that goes through a ticketing system, the more time legal can actually spend on requests that demand urgency and attention. Positioning, storytelling and empathy is everything!
“We already have intake [insert existing technology.]”
Intake and even some workflow automation is included functionality for many existing technologies. However, despite the same label, it is limited to only that technology and type of use-cases. A legal ticketing system is more universal and distinct. It sits in front of your existing technology stack and integrates in. This ensures full coverage of all types of requests coming into the legal department as well as providing the full picture on request data.
“We don’t have the confidence or resources to design and implement this.”
There are some pretty incredible consultancies in the market that live and breathe workflow design and implementation best practices. You don’t have to go at it alone. Speak with us and we can make some introductions.
Want to find out more about Checkbox's Legal Ticketing System?
Checkbox is the leading legal ticketing system allowing in-house teams to easily capture and manage requests from the business, gain visibility and control over all matters, and automate their manual work. Combining the power of legal intake, matter management and workflow automation, Checkbox is the leading legal service hub loved by legal and the business for our ease of use, features, and support, companies like Allianz, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, BMW and Xero transform their legal services with Checkbox.
Communicate legal’s impact, enable better ways of working with the business, and be agile in adapting to the ever-changing needs of the company.
To explore what is possible for your organization given your unique challenges, requirements and use cases, book a personalized demo with us today. To see an on-demand demo of our legal intake and workflow platform, visit here.