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Matter Management Software Should Offer Cost Control Plus
Based on a survey by GC Metrics LLC
Fall 2012 marks the second issue of Matter Management Software Insights, a survey conducted by GC Metrics LLC. The survey combines staffing and spending data concerning the use of matter management software by U.S. and Canadian law departments. There are many systems available, all of them tailored exclusively for the use of in-house departments. It is estimated that more than 2,500 law departments have licensed a matter management package.
Detecting billing violations is an important function of all systems, but not necessarily the most valuable. According to one system provider, sustainable value comes from using the information that systems yield to select the right firms for specific types of work, to look for trends in spending and to determine what work could be brought in-house.
Another way to reduce spending is to use matter management systems in order to zero in on which departments within a company generate disproportional amounts of legal work so they can be educated on alternative ways of dealing with those issues. The systems referenced in the article provide functions that track where legal matters are generated and the costs that are associated with client groups.
Generally speaking, systems had been in use by departments for five to seven years at the time of the survey. That is longer than the average tenure of a general counsel, and enough time for significant turnover of all personnel. Thus, training and consulting services become key for continued value.