Law Firm Matter Management Best Practices

attorney using legal matter management software
In this digital age, the right technology can revolutionize how legal matters are handled, making the choice of legal matter management software a critical decision.

Law firm matter management is not just a convenience; it’s a necessity. For legal professionals, managing cases, documents, and deadlines with precision can mean the difference between success and setbacks. The right technology can revolutionize how firm operations are handled, making the choice of legal matter management software a critical decision.

What Is a Legal Matter Management System?

A legal matter management software (LMMS) is a specialized digital solution designed to assist law firms, legal departments, and individual practitioners in efficiently organizing, tracking, and managing various legal cases and matters. This software provides a centralized platform for legal professionals to streamline their workflow, ensuring that critical information, documents, deadlines, tasks, and communications related to each case are easily accessible and well-organized.

Key features of legal matter management software typically include case file organization, document management, deadline and task tracking, communication tools, reporting and analytics and compliance management.

By automating and centralizing these crucial aspects of legal case management, the software helps legal professionals enhance productivity, improve collaboration among team members, ensure compliance with legal regulations, and reduce the risk of errors or oversights. This ultimately leads to more effective legal representation and better outcomes for clients.

What Law Firm Challenges Does Legal Matter Management Help Address?

Lack of Standardized Processes:

  • Opening New Matters: Without standardized processes, onboarding new clients can be a chaotic process, leading to potential mistakes and delays.
  • Managing Ongoing Cases: Inconsistent case management practices can result in confusion, misplaced documents, and difficulty in tracking the progress of each case.
  • Reporting: Highlighting the need for comprehensive and standardized reports for clientele and internal reviews. Without standardized reporting, law firms may struggle to provide clients with clear and comprehensive updates on their cases. Internal reviews can also be time-consuming and lack uniformity. 

Inefficiencies in External Coordination:

  • Managing Outside Counsel: Coordinating with external legal teams, such as outside counsel or specialists, can be challenging without a centralized system for communication and document sharing.
  • Communication Bottlenecks: Relying on disjointed communication methods, such as emails, phone calls, and physical mail, can lead to delays in case progression and potential miscommunication.
  • Collaboration Challenges: Fragmented tools and platforms can hinder effective collaboration among team members working on the same case.

The Biggest Benefits of Law Firm Matter Management Software

Consistent and Standardized Matter Intake:

  • Client Onboarding: The software provides predefined workflows and templates for client onboarding, ensuring that each new matter is approached consistently. This reduces the likelihood of missed steps or errors in the onboarding process.
  • Conflict Checks: Can swiftly conduct conflict-of-interest checks, reducing the risk of taking on problematic cases and ensuring ethical standards are maintained.

Centralized Information Repository:

  • Unified Case Files: Stores all information related to a particular legal matter in one location, making it easier for lawyers to pull up case histories, client communications, and associated documentation.
  • Advanced Search and Retrieval: The software’s advanced search functionalities mean lawyers spend less time looking for specific documents or emails.
Key features of legal matter management software typically include case file organization, document management, deadline and task tracking, communication tools, and more.

Efficient Time Tracking & Billing:

  • Accurate Timekeeping: Facilitates capturing every billable minute by allowing lawyers to log their time on tasks with precision.
  • Integrated Billing Systems: Streamlines the invoicing process by auto-populating billable hours into invoice templates, reducing administrative overhead and potential human errors.

Optimized Workflow Management:

  • Task Automation: Routine tasks such as case reminders, follow-ups, or document submissions can be automated, freeing up valuable lawyer time.
  • Progress Tracking: Provides visual aids and dashboards to track matter progress, ensuring no deadlines are missed and helping prioritize tasks.

Enhanced Client Communication:

  • Secure Client Portals: Offers secure, dedicated communication channels for clients to share information, get updates, or make payments —keeping them in the loop and increasing client satisfaction.
  • Client texting: Communicate with clients, leads and matter-related contacts quickly and efficiently via text message.

Risk Management and Compliance:

  • Document Version Control: Tracks edits, comments, and versions of legal documents, ensuring all team members are working on the most up-to-date version.
  • Compliance Monitoring: Automates the tracking of statutory deadlines and compliance-related tasks, minimizing risks of oversights or lapses.

Improved Collaboration and Team Efficiency:

  • Shared Calendars and Scheduling: Centralized calendar systems make it easier to coordinate appointments, court dates, and internal meetings.
  • Real-time Collaboration: Allows multiple team members to collaborate on a document or case in real-time, reducing redundancy and facilitating brainstorming.

How to Pick the Perfect Legal Matter Management Software

Flexible workflows:

Flexible to align with the firm’s existing workflows, rather than enforcing a generic process. The software should accommodate, for instance, the way a firm typically progresses a matter from intake to closure.

Futureproofing: 

As the firm grows, it will take on more matters and potentially expand into new areas of law, your software should be able to adapt, adding new modules or features as required.

Integrations: 

The best legal matter management systems should easily integrate with current systems, whether it’s the firm’s email client, accounting software, or document storage solutions. This reduces the learning curve and disruption during the transition.

Audit trails: 

For accountability, the system should log all changes made to any matter or document, indicating who made the change and when. This can be crucial in resolving any disputes or misunderstandings.

Transparent pricing: 

While some software might have an attractive upfront cost, it’s essential to look at hidden fees, whether they come in the form of additional licenses, training fees, necessary third-party integrations, or charges for premium features.

Flexible licensing:

Opt for software providers that offer flexible licensing options. This ensures that as the firm hires more staff, they can be easily added to the system without excessive costs or complications.

CARET Legal: Robust Law Firm Matter Management

Law firm matter management software, such as CARET Legal, allows you to track all of your cases from start to finish in one centralized location. Manage matter-related contacts, documents, time entries, expenses, tasks, events, notes, intake forms and more within a single view, enhancing efficiency and keeping you, and your firm, more organized. With legal matter management, it’s easy to keep track of task progress, share documents with members of your team, and review scheduled matter-related events.


CARET Legal offers the flexibility and adaptability required to grow alongside your firm as it takes on more matters, employees and potentially expands into new areas of law, securing its value for years to come. Schedule a demo today.

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