SimpleLegal’s favorite legal matter management software features
Matter management is one of the top priorities for any in-house legal team, yet only about 53% of teams currently use matter management software.
Matter management keeps your organization running smoothly with tools for gathering, tracking, and reporting for budgets, time tracking, and vendor management. It also helps with knowledge management and empowers your organization to engage internal stakeholders to address issues first and only to engage external counsel when needed.
With the right legal matter management software, you’ll set up your legal team as a strategic partner for the whole business. And you’ll save time and money. We’ve compiled a list of the most important features you need — from foundational to advanced — in order to effectively manage your matters.
Foundational features of legal matter management software
Matter management encompasses a lot of daily responsibilities, like managing document reviews, analyzing data, and logging administrative tasks. Legal matter management tools are built to handle repetitive manual tasks with automated workflows, filters, and templates that take the guesswork and tedium out of your daily routine.
Templates streamline matter creation
Any legal ops team knows that a single project can yield dozens, if not hundreds, of documents.
That’s why you want to choose a legal matter management tool that templatizes your most used documents, whether they’re contracts, invoices, or internal memos.
Some of the benefits of building templates to standardize your document-drafting process include:
- Eliminating the chances for human error typically seen during manual data entry
- Saving your team precious time to focus on other tasks
- Allowing your team to become more agile with document creation
Look for a tool that lets you turn your most-used attributes into drag-and-drop boxes. Then, design your template to your team’s needs.
From there, you can get approval from the appropriate stakeholders, save your template, and share it with your team.
Global search with OCR keeps valuable documents at your fingertips
Imagine you have a spreadsheet with rows and rows of budget information, but you need to find just one line item.
Building a filter can make your search efforts so much more manageable (and easy on your eyes). Plus, search filters can streamline file exploration and reduce the time to find exactly what you need.
The best tools have a robust search function that lets you create custom filters based on your team’s needs. SimpleLegal’s tool uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to automate content processing for both document titles and document content, a.k.a. full-text search.
Audit trails give you visibility into document changes
Any legal team knows that language matters. Something as benign as a comma can have a dramatic effect on how a sentence is interpreted.
That’s why it’s important to keep a log for every single document, invoice, matter, etc., so you know who accessed it and what changes they made. An audit trail feature can make it easy to understand what happened, when it happened, and who made changes.
Automated notifications streamline matter review
As a matter moves through the pipeline, you want to be able to let stakeholders know. Most modern matter management tools have automated notification capabilities, so no one falls out of the loop on important matter updates, news, and document changes.
The best tools let you automate notifications at critical moments. So, you can automatically notify teammates of important status changes to billing or matters without adding another task to your to-do list.
For instance, let’s say an invoice is ready for your review. Your legal matter management tool will notify you, so you don’t need to keep checking on the status. The system also notifies you when a matter has been assigned to you or when you’ve got a legal request that needs your approval.
User permissions keep matters secure
Your data privacy must adhere to local and state laws and client-attorney confidentiality.
To keep your data secure, look for a tool that allows you to set specific permissions for every user in a workplace. This will limit the content each team member has access to while keeping them in the loop on the matters and documents they’re working on.
With SimpleLegal, for example, your systems admin can decide whether a user can see a certain document and also how that user can interact with it.
User permissions can also prevent worker burnout by not overwhelming people with a deluge of matters that aren’t relevant to their work.
Advanced features found in SimpleLegal’s matter management tool
A lot of modern matter management tools have the foundational features covered but fall short when it’s time to go beyond the basics.
At SimpleLegal, we constantly build and refine features that make matter management even easier, like integrations with your favorite third-party apps, native document management, and easy-to-manage user permissions.
These features aren’t just “nice-to-haves;” they’re designed to help future-proof any tool you invest in to carry your organization well into the next decade.
Integrations align your workflows
More than likely, your legal ops team already uses workflow and productivity tools like Slack, Gmail, or LinkedIn Learning. Rather than eliminating these software, look for a tool that integrates with them.
SimpleLegal integrates with most tools, from AP/ERP systems to IP management software—and it keeps your documents secure.
Native document management makes knowledge sharing easy
Native document management is vital to preserving employee knowledge and insight so things don’t slip through the cracks.
SimpleLegal has an embedded Document Management System (DMS) to provide a centralized system of record for all documents. So, even as people leave your company, their hard work doesn’t disappear.
Plus, our DMS makes it easy to filter documents, organize files, and even preview documents without having to download them.
Data visualization gives reporting a boost
Without a legal matter management tool, reporting is a beast of a task.
Legal teams often set aside entire weeks to compile and analyze relevant data points pulled from across dozens of documents. A legal tech tool with reporting functionality lets teams create reports in a matter of clicks instead of days.
At SimpleLegal, we’ve launched Enhanced Reporting to free legal departments from dry, boring, and hard-to-read reports.
Our Enhanced Reporting has powerful data visualization capabilities built in — and we offer a robust library of templates and chart types for you to choose from. That makes it easy to build custom filters, apply the data to our no-code templates, and enjoy beautiful reports customized to your organization’s needs.
Give your team a leg up with legal matter management software
With a new year comes a new opportunity to streamline your legal ops work. Reach out to a SimpleLegal matter management expert to discuss your team’s goals going into 2023.
Or schedule a demo to get started.