Most of the jobs today produce data in significant quantities on a daily basis, and use that very same data in making business decisions. Practicing law is no exception. In order to provide the best legal services, lawyers heavily rely on the information they have about the matter, closely observing the facts, circumstances and evidence they have available. The problem arises when there’s too many data sources to keep track of, when different subjects are in possession of necessary resources, and strict legal deadlines aren’t making things easier as well. In cases like this, defining and organizing your processes, resources and work in general can be the differentiator between you and your competition. Some surveys show that, on average, people lose about an hour daily due to disorganization.1
An hour lost daily, significantly affects both productivity and receivables. Since this is an obvious problem, an organization technique should be proposed in order to overcome it, and make sure that lawyers’ time is optimally used, and they’re focused on what matters the most – helping clients through doing actual work. There are numerous proposals on how to best organize your files or manage your time. Our idea here is to present benefits you can attain in applying matter-centric approach to your work.
Since matters represent the heart of your work, it makes sense organizing things around them. What this means is that in a matter-centric approach, all documents are associated with a matter and stored in the same place. This reduces the time needed to find a specific document you need and eliminates confusion that might come up about where the document is located, who has it, or how to get to it. It also helps against piling up all of the documents in the same place, and by doing so, making it harder to access them or maintain them organized. With time passing, piled up mountains of documents do not get easier to deal with. On the contrary, storing documents in a way like this won’t scale good at all, and matter-centric approach here wins by far.
Organizing your resources and workflows in a way of matter-centricity is not only easy to setup, but it feels as a natural thing to do. It provides strict guidelines of how things should be done, but not due to imposing burdensome processes. On the contrary, logical way of arranging and grouping things by matter comes instinctively. As a result, users of a system like this can promptly adapt to it, and benefit from easily managing their cases and knowing their way around them.
Practicing law is a team sport. No matter how good a lawyer is, there’s probably a team of administrators, analysts, paralegals, consultants and experts working closely together with him. Even solo law practitioners collaborate with others frequently, with the only difference being their collaborators are located outside of their own law practice firm. In a situation like this, where collaboration is crucial for success, and it’s happening all around, from start to finish, matter-centric organization helps making it straightforward. Communication channels in a matter-centric system are exclusively dedicated to a single matter, making it accessible for all participants to ensure the alignment in their respective work. In this modern era, with all the technology available, accessing resources remotely and communicating from any place in the world became a standard. There are numerous systems that allow for this, and in these situations of remote access and document sharing, matter-centric approach offers ease to navigate, efficiency in communication, and provides up-to-date resources at all times.
In a mater-centric system, there’s an opportunity for introducing business intelligence to help all the decision makers come up with the right choices. When data is centered around matters, they can easily be compared by a number of attributes, such as type of law, length of the case, number of lawyers working on it, revenue collected etc. Some of the primary ways to apply business intelligence would be to find out which matter types are the most profitable, or in which of them the law firm had most success (win rate at court). It would also produce useful insights into firm’s clients and their behavior. Business intelligence features can provide a prediction of costs a client might face for a certain matter type of a certain size, a foresight of law firm’s receivables, or as a calculation of the profits in the upcoming period of time. Another benefit would be tracking employee performance through it, and making sure that extra effort and great performances of certain lawyers are visible and rewarded.
By now, we’re hoping you got interested in this topic and you’re contemplating about all the possibilities and benefits of switching over to matter-centric organization. To hear more about the value you might gain by doing this, and seeing this concept in practice, feel free to contact us and book a demo of our solution. At Matter365, we have brought together a team of like minded experts from active attorneys, software developers, and distribution leaders to make technology simple for law firms like yours. We’re looking forward to meeting you and work together on empowering you to perform better through the ease of collaboration, accessibility and security in all of your workflows.