As many legal teams know, creating legal matters can be a time-consuming process and a source of constant frustration. If you don’t have legal tech in place to facilitate matter creation, you’re stuck manually inputting data into a document or spreadsheet and depending on sticky notes to remind you to update the correct fields for specific practice areas or legal entities.
Even legal departments with legacy technology solutions suffer from a different set of challenges. Clunky and not designed to meet the needs of modern legal departments, these outdated ELM (Enterprise Legal Management) solutions can require 12-14 fields just to open a matter regardless of practice area – an inefficient process, especially for tracking projects that only require a few fields. Additional issues arise if someone opens a matter and simply forgets to include critical information.
If either of the above scenarios hit too close to home, your legal department needs a modern legal operations platform that offers matter templates. Here are 3 reasons why:
1. Streamline the Matter Creation Process
Matter templates function just as their name suggests. They provide templates for your team to leverage when creating matters. Modern matter management software like SimpleLegal allows you to quickly and easily set up a template using intuitive drag-and-drop functionality. You have the option to create different templates based on practice area, legal entity, or other criteria of your choosing, actively putting controls in place so that every matter is created correctly and aligns with your business processes.
2. Reduce Errors
By streamlining the process to open a matter, relevant information for a particular matter type is always included, reducing errors which result in an accurate database to leverage for future legal reporting and decision-making.
With SimpleLegal’s Matter Management, users that create new matters will have the ability to keep a matter in draft status, allowing them (and others) to input information and review it before they get published. Vendors also can’t charge to matters unless they are published. This way, your legal team is actively putting guardrails in place to ensure matters are created and billed-to correctly.
3. Boost Productivity
Matter templates also boost productivity by minimizing the amount of manual data entry required by the legal team. This means your legal team can shift their focus back to high-impact legal work.
But the productivity benefits aren’t limited to the legal department. Creating matters with a standardized process ensure that they meet finance’s expectations, thus saving finance from having to request additional information that they’d need and allowing for successful integration with their AP or ERP system, further reducing manual work. When legal is able to leverage matter templates to bring more predictability and clarity to the billing process, the relationship between legal and finance is also strengthened.
Evaluate Your Need for Matter Templates
How many matter types do you currently deal with?
Who is responsible for creating these matters and how long does it take?
How does this individual know that the matters they create contain all the necessary and correct information for reporting or for payment?
These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself when evaluating your need for matter templates. To discuss the answers to your questions and to understand the many benefits a matter management solution can provide your legal team, reach out to one of our matter management experts who can help assess your needs, goals, and process optimization opportunities.