Everything You Need to Know About the Management of Legal Matters

One of the most important roles that are placed on legal op teams is project management. And despite the fact that dealing with legal concerns is some of the most crucial work they have to do, it is also some of the most difficult. Learning the ins and outs of handling legal cases takes time and practise since it requires staying on top of continuously shifting pieces, reviewing hundreds of matters to identify ways to improve, and many other aspects of the job.

The ability to master thorough issue management is essential to achieving successful cost control in legal matters. If you have solid case data on your side, you will find more methods to optimise legal expenditure and assess the ROI of in-house and outside counsel. This is in line with the goal of general counsel working for smaller firms to save around 14 percent by the year 2024.

It is highly recommended that you master the fundamentals of legal issue management before moving on to the next step, which is to get familiar with the ways in which a digital tool may make a significant impact on your ability to successfully traverse this complex procedure.

What exactly does it mean to manage legal matters?

Due to the fact that both case management and legal issue management require monitoring the status of legal papers, it is simple to mistake the two processes. However, this is the main objective of case management, which is to ensure that files are arranged in a document-intensive manner inside specific cases. The administration of legal concerns is now far more extensive, and legal operations are responsible for keeping a collection of information on all internal and external matters up to date.

Case management is only one of several components that are included in legal matter management, which also comprises case management itself.

Putting together records for legal matters.

When you record a legal case, you are able to monitor who is working on it and how much the work is costing you. You can also monitor who is billing you for the job. The recording provides you with additional data that you may use to examine the legal work that your organisation does and the costs associated with it.

The following components make up a conventional legal matter record:

  • The name of the lawsuit.
  • The date was set to begin.
  • The particular field of work (s)
  • The budget itself
  • The primary actors engaged, along with their respective contact information
  • Internal legal counsel
  • Legal practises
  • Support personnel
  • Invoice approvers

You also have the option of including particular facts for the various sorts of matters, such as the names of the plaintiffs, defendants, and judges in a legal case, in addition to the matter’s risk level and level of complexity. Be careful to document everything and adhere to the formatting requirements (such as whether a judge’s name should be included with or without the court) to guarantee that everything is clear and consistent.

Establishing and sustaining budgets

Keeping meticulous notes of events makes it much simpler to create a spending plan for next events. When developing a financial plan, it is important to do research on legal analytics such as the amount spent on each practise area and timekeeper. Because of this, there should be no shocks further down the road because your strategy is founded on concrete facts as opposed to informed guesswork.

Implementing strict criteria for how vendors should be billed is another another strategy for avoiding budget overruns. Your workflow and budget will remain on track if you communicate your expectations to the partners in your law firm and hold them accountable for meeting those objectives. It is crucial to get your suppliers on board with submitting invoices and accruals on time so that you may reduce the amount of stress that unexpected charges cause for you and your accounting staff. The same principle applies to incorrectly formatted legal invoices.

Tracking and updating legal concerns

Make sure that topic information is updated appropriately and in a timely way so everyone stays on the same page. It’s also vital for developing useful reports for the GC.

Updating a matter is considerably more than merely changing its status from open to closed. It also involves:

  • Adding and tagging new documents
  • Confirming received invoices and accruals as well as when payments are made
  • Noting changes in deadlines, staffing, or pertinent meetings
  • Adjusting budgets if required
  • Making notes outlining any more important changes

And while it’s primarily up to in-house counsel to interact with suppliers regarding legal responsibilities, you’re responsible for alerting in-house attorneys about forthcoming deadlines.

Reporting on legal topics

Matter reporting entails accumulating objective information about matters to identify accomplishments, trends, and possibilities for matter costs and productivity to be improved moving ahead. These strategic studies are especially crucial for helping the C-suite understand what’s happening on with legal expenditure management, providing them insight into backup decisions that support a healthy bottom line. They’re also vital for monitoring the ROI of outside counsel and enabling courteous, honest conversation on how to increase their effectiveness.

3 ways legal management software overcomes matter management problems

Even if you’re on top of legal problems, you’ll still experience challenges since there are so many aspects at play. Fortunately, the most typical barriers may be handled with the correct legal case management solution. In fact, 79 percent of corporate legal department respondents in CLOC’s 2021 State of the Industry Report utilise one.

Provides an accessible, one source of truth

With only one digital place for matter data, various teams may share information and interact more efficiently. This is especially true in a remote or hybrid work setting, when using both paper and digital data is a logistical headache.

Workday Legal Operations Manager Greg Bennett recognised immediate benefits from centralising data:

When departments outside of law don’t have to search out the case information they need across numerous sources, they may spend less time explaining over emails and calls. This lowers workflow silos and interdepartmental conflict. Legal case management software also speeds things up with particular access levels, so various business units don’t have to search through material that isn’t relevant to them.

Additionally, because matter management solutions may interact with regularly used applications like Tableau and document storage platforms to retrieve data, you’ll also notice fewer errors from duplicate entries.

Reduces manual work

By employing automation and other time-saving tech features, a legal management system frees team members up from burdensome tasks like manual data entry so they can focus on more intelligent work that delivers corporate value. This leads to improved job satisfaction, which is connected to more productivity and better retention. Many legal ops teams are already coping with flat or falling headcounts, so keeping workers motivated is vital to minimise burnout and churn.

Some standard examples of handy digital features that help out busy legal ops members include:

  • Matter templates
  • Matter tags
  • Search filters
  • Full-text search

Another valuable feature in a legal management solution is optical character recognition (OCR) (OCR). This advanced component can search text in image files — like PDFs, JPEGs, and PNGs — making it much easier to find what you’re looking for.

Lastly, automated billing guideline enforcement takes the pressure off legal ops and accounting to track down outside counsel.

Offers real-time insight into matter data

You know the phrase, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”? This applies to legal matter data also. Missing or outdated information hinders your capacity to develop accurate reports and make effective decisions. These problems tend to come up when using spreadsheets or legacy software with limited tracking abilities. It takes time and effort to cross-check the details to make sure they’re right and up to date.

With a legal management solution, though, new data is fed into it and updated in real time. So, you have the knowledge you need to make more proactive modifications to matter processes or budgets and can be sure in the veracity of your matter reporting.

End-to-end legal matter management software also makes it easier to track and sort through granular matter details like matter lifecycle times or spend by practise area. Using a spreadsheet for computations takes time and leaves possibility for errors. Legal software automatically categorises these crucial information for you — and they can all be gathered into a report with a press of a button.

Armed with this degree of data, you can make more smart expenditure management decisions since you have the whole picture of what’s occurring financially with all your affairs. These indicators also have another dual purpose that assists cost control: objectively monitoring vendor performance.

Effective legal case management illustrates the benefit of legal ops

The more you can expedite legal matter handling and thoroughly assess matt

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