Legal Matter Management for the Government and Public Sector
By Matt Ryan, Legal Files Software Senior Consultant
Managing what matters in public sector legal departments
Every legal professional faces the pressure of having to do more with less, but nowhere is this more apparent than in the public sector or government legal departments. These attorneys serve a broad range of needs for their country, state, city or municipality. Because such legal departments rely on public funds, they must effectively serve their constituents. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is to stay organized, which is made possible through the right legal matter management software.
Because government legal departments handle unique issues and have special reporting requirements, they need a software system that is flexible enough to handle more than matter management. It also needs to handle unique reporting requirements. Some departments need to track the amount of hours spent on projects, while others need to report on the number of attendees at seminars and events. A basic, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) matter management system isn’t designed to meet these reporting needs.
What’s a public sector legal department to do?
There are many options, but only one of them is the right fit. The first option is to select a COTS solution that meets some, but not all of the department’s needs. The second is to have the agency’s IT department build a customized matter management solution, which is almost always more expensive and time-consuming than it initially seems. The third is to jerry-rig an informal system for matter management that consists of Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, emails and paper notes and files. The final option is to partner with Legal Files Software for a moldable solution that provides everything the department needs–and nothing it doesn’t.
Moving to Legal Files Software
What if a government legal department has a matter management system that isn’t Legal Files Software and is ready to make the switch?
Our team is always excited to welcome new government and public sector customers. We have been working with such agencies for decades. We understand government legal work, and we can provide the tools to help these professionals operate efficiently. Legal Files Software isn’t here to change the practice of law, but to make it more organized and effective.
Whether a government legal department moves from an existing matter management system that is ineffective or from having no software system at all, we strive to make the transition as smooth as possible. We want to help it work more efficiently and collaboratively to improve organization and reporting.
The Office of Legal Services within the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection was using an outdated system that couldn’t handle its reporting and time tracking needs. After speaking to us, the department learned that it could implement one, customizable solution to meet all of its matter management, reporting and time tracking requirements.
Our team worked with the department through the transition to build a system that met its unique needs. After its completion, we provided comprehensive training to help the attorneys and staff make the most of the tool. The department reports that Legal Files Software improved its reporting ability, allowing it to provide the big picture and work more effectively as a team.
The Law Department of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago decided to invest in an electronic matter management system to handle its increasing workload and limited resources. Describing the kind of law it practices as “all over the place,” the department wanted a single, centralized location for matter information and a historical knowledge database. After we configured the software and trained the department members on it, they discovered that the system offered these benefits and much more.
Some of the additional benefits included the ability to automate routine processes, quickly respond to internal and external requests, have up-to-date information for everyone in the department, operate effectively as a team and consistently meet deadlines. Legal Files Software tools like Workflow Wizards, Team Calendars, and electronic file sharing made all of this possible.
Not just any tool will do
When a government legal department starts thinking about adopting a new matter management software, its employees are often overwhelmed by the number of options. But not all of these solutions are a good fit. Government legal departments are unique, so a system that is specifically designed for a law firm won’t provide the right fit. Instead, they need a flexible and moldable solution for matter management.
Legal Files Software offers a highly customizable COTS matter management software. Public sector legal departments have broad and varied needs that they need to meet while working with limited resources. To help government customers get everything they need while staying under budget, Legal Files Software offers the flexibility of custom-built software for the price of a COTS solution.
When a government legal department purchases Legal Files Software, they are buying more than just a matter management and reporting system. They are purchasing the knowledge and support of industry professionals who have decades of experience with government legal work and implementing matter management systems. We provide implementation services, training, support and anything else needed to successfully transition to and use Legal Files Software.
Our team realizes public sector legal departments have many similarities, but we also know that each one has unique needs and challenges. From the first meeting, we work with the customer to identify these needs so that we can tailor Legal Files Software to address them. Our customers’ success is our success, so we work together to help each public sector legal department transition to and successfully use Legal Files Software.