3 February 2021

5 Ways Matter Management & No-code Automation Are Better Together

Insights Resources

Lawyers want to focus on what they do best: provide excellent advice and service to their clients and add value. Discover 5 ways the combination of matter management and no-code automation can help in-house legal teams achieve this.    

There are two trends of significance emerging from the past 12 months. Firstly, in-house legal teams and their legal operations colleagues are actively seeking and needing to adopt technology and are more discerning than ever before. Secondly, in-house legal teams are looking for a maximum of one or two core pieces of infrastructure to support their legal function, ideally an end-to-end platform that supports multiple purposes.

The expansion of matter management to include no-code automation is one way that a few legal technology providers have responded to help legal teams do even more with their limited resources. In this article we shine the light on why matter management and no-code automation are the perfect marriage and the benefits that this can bring to in-house legal departments.

What is matter management?

Matter management refers to the entire lifecycle of a legal matter, from issue identification and instructing the legal team, followed by triage, work allocation, then managing the process through to completion. Matter management traditionally incorporates work that is completed internally by the legal team as well as work that is briefed externally to law firms.

Whilst the management of a matter can be done manually, it is becoming best practice for in-house legal teams to use a consistent and structured process for receiving, managing and monitoring legal matters with the use of purpose-built software to assist.

Some of the criticisms of matter management software is that these systems can have limitations around what can be changed, configured or customised and are over-reliant on individual lawyers maintaining records. When lawyers get busy, the task of adding and updating data can get overlooked.

What is no-code automation?

No-code automation has been around for the best part of a decade and in recent years has been embraced by law firms and large corporate legal teams for solving specific problems in areas such as document automation, sales contracting processes and building out matter intake workflows. With minimal developer or IT involvement, users or operations personnel can build applications with complex logic and processes that are well-suited to the legal space.

Some of the criticisms of no-code automation is that building applications is time-consuming, requires specialist training and experience, and solutions may be viewed in silos rather than integrated into business process.

Matter management and no-code automation better together

Here are 5 ideas and examples of how matter management and automation be used together in a single system to deliver benefits to in-house legal teams.

1. Automate the receipt and triage of purposeful, complete and informative instructions

Client-centric intake forms can be designed for each and every work-type so the legal team receives exactly what they need to get started, including the ability to attach documentation. Oriented for optimal customer experience, every field and requirement can be customised including unique industry or organisation-specific jargon or protocol. With no-code automation every variable can also have a unique trigger and action, so workflow, triage, and individual notifications can be streamlined, customised and managed. This also removes the manual process of lawyers adding new matters and inputting data, whilst building in consistency, quality assurance and compliance measures.

2. Matter intake to trigger automatic document generation

With no-code automation applied to matter intake, each field selection and form completion can trigger a unique action, which can also include automated document generation. Ideal for high volume, routine documents, this can be relevant for use as self-service or to create efficiencies for the legal team. Automation can also extend this application to generate not just documents but also emails, text messages or other business communication.

3. Apply standard task templates, activities and communications for quality assurance and risk reduction

Take matter management to the next level by building-in experience and knowledge by mapping out and automating the steps, activities or tasks usually required for successful completion of legal matters. This can be a checklist or template of tasks allocated internally and / or externally, which ensures best practice is followed and reduces the risk of something being overlooked or falling through the cracks. Further, automated communications using industry or organisation standards improves service delivery and can ensure compliance and minimise risk.

4. Build applications (apps) that solve specific legal business problems

In addition to managing the whole life-cycle of legal matters, a matter management solution that combines intelligent automation can also be deployed for deep, complex, problem-focused applications. These could include complex privacy processes, navigating regulatory reporting and compliance requirements, or even case management protocols. Developing solutions to assist with these types of repeatable and time-consuming problems can save a significant amount of time across an organisation.  In the past, many organisations may not have had the luxury of using a bespoke intelligent automation software solution in the legal function, so having this type of tool available within their own incumbent matter management suite is very compelling and can dramatically improve the overall return on investment (ROI).

5. Easily adapt to fit adjacent business functions

Traditionally, legal matter management software packages are somewhat restricted to the legal function due to the specific processes and data field / language protocols. Just as IT ticketing software rarely operate well for legal, software made for legal is unlikely to be a functional fit for IT, HR or even procurement. Until now, perhaps. With the use of intelligent automation, a matter management solution can be deployed in numerous adjacent business functions, again expanding the return on investment. Examples include project management, HR, procurement, risk, governance and compliance teams. Legal teams that have struggled to gain traction in obtaining their own system, may find this new style of enterprise-wide capability and compatibility easier to get the required attention.

There are so many possibilities when intelligent no-code automation is combined with modern matter management, and these 5 are just the tip of the iceberg!

If you are interested in seeing how matter management and intelligent automation is combined in a single platform please get in touch with Lawcadia.

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