What is legal
matter management?

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legal matter management

It’s a term that is regularly used within the legal industry. It’s what lawyers and legal operations professionals want to optimise, and it’s the challenge that legal tech vendors are helping to solve. However, it’s scope is so broad that it’s easy to get confused as to what “matter management” is. To help address any uncertainty, we thought that we’d share our thoughts on the subject and set out what we believe matter management means and how technology can play a part. Starting with

the components of a legal matter

Whilst matter management has received more attention with the growth in legal tools aimed at streamlining the process, it’s important to note that matter management is a discipline that has been around much longer than any software tool.

 

As the name suggests, matter management is the process of managing a legal matter (with or without technology). But what does this entail? To explain, it’s easiest to first look at the constituent elements of a legal matter.

 

Matter management simply involves the efficient co-ordination, organization and delivery of all these core components for legal matters.
matter.space
THE MOST ENJOYABLE
MATTER MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE

Micro vs Macro matter management

When people think of matter management, they are usually thinking about it at matter (micro) level, e.g., the management of a single matter. This will normally be the case for participants in particular matters who need visibility over matter activity and have access to matter related documents and know-how. However, legal departments are constantly handling large numbers of ongoing matters that also need to be managed and tracked at a portfolio (macro) level. This will particularly be the case for General Counsel, CLOs and legal operations managers who need visibility, reporting and insight across all legal matters. Therefore, it’s important to remember that matter management also includes matter portfolio management.

The rise of digital matter management

Unsurprisingly, digital matter management (DMM) involves the use of technology to support the management and delivery of legal matters. There are many software tools available that will help improve the discreet elements of a legal matter listed above, from contract assembly and document management systems to spend management and enterprise collaboration applications. Whilst it’s a basic approach, even the use of tools like MS Excel and Dropbox is a form of digital matter management that works for many legal teams.


Currently, there is no shortage of software point solutions to help manage and streamline different components of a legal matter. However, the use of separate tech tools presents its own challenges – for example, integration difficulties, data silos and inefficiency caused by context switching across applications. Legal departments are also under pressure from their organisation’s IT teams to simplify and reduce the tech stack. For these reasons, there is a growing trend away from point solutions for matter management and towards single platforms that aim to optimise the full matter lifecycle in one central system. Therefore, in recent years, legal departments have been increasingly adopting full-suite, cloud platforms such as Matter.Space from BusyLamp.


What is driving the focus on digital matter management?

Optimising matter management has become a key focus for many legal teams in recent years, and they’re turning to technology to support this initiative. It’s part of a rapid digital transformation trend across legal departments that is being driven by a range of different factors, including, but not limited to:

 

  • Move to remote working, which requires greater focus and investment in legal productivity and workflow tools and easy access to know-how, from anywhere and at any time
  • Pressure to be more cost-efficient as a legal function and deliver more value to their organisations
  • Growing global regulation and uncertainty causing increased legal workloads
  • More work being serviced in-house without legal department headcounts increasing significantly
  • Need to improve internal customer engagement as well as vendor selection and management
  • Maturing of legal operations and rise in dedicated legal technology strategies for corporate legal departments
  • Need for legal departments to demonstrate that they are a net contributor to the business

 

All these factors are leading many legal departments to seriously explore the adoption of matter management platforms to alleviate these pressures and help boost the value that they are delivering to their businesses.

how busylamp approaches matter management

BusyLamp legal matter management software – Matter.Space, delivers efficiency, collaboration and strategic reporting benefits in an easy to use tool that provides a single source of truth for all matter information, integrates with Microsoft, and meets the highest data security standards. Matter management tools are at risk of being over-engineered with complex workflows and customisations, which leads to poor adoption of the tool. To ensure user adoption and return on investment for the legal department, the BusyLamp software not only integrates into the existing Microsoft environment and other tools, but is very easy to use with a number of features, such as intelligence full-text search, that make searching for information quick and easy. The out-of-the-box matter management solution uses best practice and common workflows, but can be configured and customised if needed. Regardless, the interface is intuitive with little training required.

 

In addition, to deliver maximum collaboration benefits for the legal department, BusyLamp has focussed on delivering the same experience for law firms using the system as their corporate counterparts; they see the exact same interface. This encourages law firm usage of the tool and the legal department can reach their goals faster.

BusyLamp reporting is equally easy to use, with dashboards relevant to the individual; whether that be the paralegal or the General Counsel. Reports can be scheduled and delivered by email at an interval of choice, or created using the reporting wizard in just a few clicks.