Software Applications for Enterprise Legal Management
Legal professionals have many administrative tasks to manage such as e-billing, spend management, service requests, and scheduling. Handling these processes manually not only takes up valuable time, but also increases the chance of human error.
Enterprise legal management solutions automate many of these legal department operations to help corporate counsel and in-house counsel streamline their daily operations. These tools minimize the effort and time required to manage legal workflows and provide insights to improve the overall productivity of legal teams.
There are a wide range of enterprise legal management solutions on the market, and choosing the one that best meets your needs and budget is important. To help you with decision-making, we’ve created this buyers guide that includes all the information you'll need to make the right choice.
Here’s what we'll cover:
What is enterprise legal management software?
Enterprise legal management (ELM software) allows corporate legal departments or enterprise law firms to centralize all legal records in one system and effectively manage the end-to-end legal case lifecycle.
These solutions are used to manage as well as optimize various legal department operation workflows such as legal matter control, contract lifecycle management, legal e-billing control, e-discovery, risk management, and legal entity management.
Brief matter detail in Brightflag (Source)
Common features of enterprise legal management software
Enterprise legal management software may include some or all of the following capabilities.
||View brief information about your entire matter portfolio in order to make informed and strategic business decisions.
||Track and manage all legal spend to gain a deeper visibility and improve the predictability of legal costs.
||Streamline the document management process by centrally storing files including text, image, audio, and video. The tool offers automatic document versioning, commenting, file permission control, and document organization.
|Legal case management
||Organize the process of case handling and management from beginning to end with a centralized dashboard for tracking email, notes, invoices, payments, contacts, tasks, bills, documents, and time entry.
|Contract lifecycle management
||Manage each stage of the contract lifecycle from initiation to authoring, negotiation, and execution. The tool also helps manage compliance with contract obligations, milestones, and renewals.
||Automatically schedule dates in accordance with court rules relevant to the case, and submit calendar requests to the docketing department.
||Manage billing, receivables, trust accounts, and payroll, and create financial reports. The tool helps you organize, track, and accurately report your financial transactions.
||Create and assign tasks to project members. Track task completion and get automated notifications of due dates and task statuses.
||Create legal documents from automated templates that encompass simple forms and letters to complex legal documents. The software can integrate with programs such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote.
||Communicate with clients via a private online platform. Share files, offer commentary, and update clients on upcoming events and meetings. Allow customers to upload files and access invoices.
What type of buyer are you?
Before you start evaluating software options, you need to determine which buyer category you belong to so that you pick the right software for your specific needs. Most buyers belong to one of the following categories:
- Law firms: These buyers are lawyers with their own legal practice that have in-house administrative work to manage as well as communication with clients. A standard enterprise legal management tool that can help with billing clients, provide easy access to in-progress matters, and organize case documents would be a good fit for such businesses.
- In-house counsel: These buyers include legal department professionals such as corporate counsel. They generally require software to streamline repetitive processes that have previously been manual and paper-based such as time-consuming data gathering and invoice approval workflows. A full-featured enterprise legal management software that allows users to set automated workflows for repetitive manual processes would suit their needs.
Benefits of enterprise legal management software
Listed below are a few key benefits of enterprise legal management software:
- Maximize savings: Enterprise legal management software simplifies legal operations within a department and incorporates rules to enforce billing compliance. These tools also help legal departments gain deeper insight into spending and identify areas to cut costs or streamline budgets.
- Avoid errors: An enterprise legal management software solution can help drive process improvements in legal operations. This tool acts as a single source of contact and documentation for counsel and other legal staff, cutting down on possible errors in data sets and documents housed in disparate systems.
- Accountable operations: The software helps legal departments manage legal matters digitally through a central location, providing visibility into each legal service. By centralizing documents and processes, you can increase accountability within a team. Reporting features can also help with compliance tracking.
Here are a few things that you should take into consideration when choosing enterprise legal management solutions:
- Collaboration needs: It is important to consider whether an enterprise legal management tool allows for collaboration with the right players in your organization. Look for ELM software that has features that encourage collaboration across multiple departments including procurement, administrative staff, IT, and finance representatives.
- Flat pricing: If collaboration is a key factor for your legal entity, opt for an enterprise software solution that offers flat pricing versus per-user pricing. This ensures that your legal organization employees will all have access to the tool without having to pay more every time your organization grows.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) will further optimize legal workflows: AI and automation are the key drivers of digital transformation in legal operations. When combined with enterprise legal management software, machine learning algorithms and natural language processing can assist with reducing manual administrative work, such as data gathering and data entry, invoice approval workflows, and accruals collection. If AI is of interest to your legal firm, look for a tool that has an advanced platform that can accommodate these future tech needs.
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.