The world has gone digital in every way, from consumer experiences to — yes — even legal processes. Yet, according to Gartner, only 19% of in-house legal teams are well-positioned to support digital efforts.
Still passing paper documents or relying on email to stay organized? Modern legal teams across industries are using matter management software for greater efficiency, organizational intelligence and future-proof operations going forward.
Modernizing Your Legal Team Operations
In the legal industry, digital transformation refers to the digitization of nearly every aspect of the legal experience, including service delivery, processes, workflow and team collaboration. A successful digital transformation requires improvements in three major areas:
A huge part of legal team modernization is bringing paper-based data and legacy systems into the future. This single task alone is a major move toward higher efficiency and productivity. No more filing cabinets; no rooting around for records; no lost or forgotten data.
Enter legal matter management software, a centralized platform for recording, monitoring and analyzing all your matter data, including everything from contact information and case notes to appointments and email. When everything is kept in one central location, it’s not only easier to visualize and comprehend, but it provides easier access to the information your team needs when they need it.
As a digital, automated tool, legal management software can help you:
- Reduce human error. Digitization takes paper forms and handwritten notes out of the equation, using automation to create workflows without manual intervention.
- Organize and track client data. Matter management software keeps all of the data you collect in one place, making it easier to visualize, search, retrieve and take action.
- Increase accessibility. Whether your workforce is centralized, globally dispersed, remote or still sheltering in place, case management software allows your team to access the documents they need from the office, the coffee shop or home.
- Analyze matters. Modern legal software allows legal teams to take their data a step further, analyzing trends and visualizing how their processes are performing.
- Keep data secure. Secure data through appropriate permissions and file-sharing, as well as regular backups to protect against power outages, crashes and breaches.
- Invite collaboration. Changes and updates are saved in real-time so documents are always current and accurate.
- Increase productivity. By automating legal operations with workflows and providing digital reminders of pending tasks, legal software ensures deadlines are met, work is completed and reports are generated without wasting time manually.
But remember, implementing new tech for the sake of making changes never works. The matter management software you choose must be tailored to your team’s specific needs. This may mean increasing user training or integrating with other business systems.
Employee Adoption and Collaboration
Internal team buy-in is critical for a new legal software system to succeed. Of course, it can initially be challenging for people to pivot to new software and processes. But when they have an easy-to-use interface that makes their job easier, they are more likely to fully adopt it once implemented.
A centralized system also invites more communication and collaboration without the back-and-forth hassle of countless emails, phone calls or interrupting desk drive-bys. While too many documents can create versioning issues, legal matter management software keeps everyone current with a single place for users to get the matter details they need, collaborate with other team members and keep organizational knowledge accessible — all in real-time.
Departmental Needs and Engagement
How will your internal teams and your organization overall be affected by your digitization? If a new technology works well, but employees barely use it, it will gather dust, wasting both time and money. And if a new process increases automation but doesn’t help those that your team serves, satisfaction and loyalty will dwindle.
Consider how digital legal matter management will help you better serve your departmental needs. This might include:
- Faster response times
- Clearer, more organized communications
- More accurate documentation and reporting
Don’t forget that when your team is more efficient, you also have a greater capacity to take on more complex issues and/or accept more work. That’s a win for both your team and the company.
“The ability to track the status of a file is wonderful. The improvement in our response time to our clients has been amazing.”
The Benefits of Going Digital
Although the human side of legal matter management can never be replaced, digital transformation through matter management software can significantly improve the delivery of legal services in innovative ways. Whether for a corporate legal department, university or government entity, teams that adopt legal software gain a number of benefits, including:
- Higher productivity and workflow. Legal software makes document creation, access and management a breeze, allowing your team to work smarter — not harder. When your team can easily create, share and collaborate over legal data (from anywhere in real-time), it frees them up to focus more on high-priority tasks, strategy or serving clients.
- Centralized data management. It’s so much easier to get work done when everything you need is in one place (as opposed to hunting each element down across paper documents, disparate systems and email inboxes). Plus, you can create your team’s preferred folder structure and easily search for any asset you’ve used or attached to another file.
- Increased employee collaboration. This is one of the areas where you’ll notice a big change in your team’s operations and workflow. No more drive-by interruptions in the office or endless email strings. Matter management software allows users to share files (without duplicating them), attach important memos and collaborate within the system. With embedded communications, users can receive notifications, alerts and comments from teammates when a file is edited/updated.
- Versatility of use. Our matter management software was built with legal teams in mind, but also employs business features that every professional can enjoy. That means it can be used for more than legal functions, including HR issues, diversity matters, ethical and internal affairs concerns, FOIA requests, general business projects, workflows and documents, leading to even higher ROI. For instance, even though the entire team here at Legal Files isn’t a legal department, we’re able to use the software to manage all non-accounting business functions for the company.
Transform for a Brighter (More Efficient) Future
Right now, only 56% of legal teams are harnessing innovative technologies, which probably has something to do with the fact that 29% say they’re prepared for rapid tech adoption. When you wait to transform, you not only keep employees from doing their best, most productive work, but jeopardize future business and the ability to succeed.
But legal teams — from university counsel to government offices to in-house counsel — who invest in digital matter management arm themselves with a way to keep up with increasing demand and expectations. Whether you’re trying to work more efficiently, keep internal communications centralized or achieve organizational intelligence, legal matter management software is the utility player your team can’t afford to continue without.
Legal Files is more than a software vendor. We offer case and matter management tools that solve your deepest pain points, giving you back time, money and peace of mind. With extensive customization capabilities, robust features and access to expert support staff, Legal Files is the preferred choice of top corporations, law firms, government entities and more organizations around the globe. Contact us today to start the conversation!