While attorneys who are accustomed to working with physical files typically find themselves handling an expandable folder that contains several manila folders which house the documents pertaining to correspondence, memorandums and other information that is vital to a case, those who choose to use Matter-Centric Collaboration design will find that their files may be managed more efficiently, and will be readily available to each individual who works on a case. Simply put, MCC allows those working on a case to interact with documents in the same way that they would with the more recognizable, physical files.
Matter Centric Collaboration provides attorneys and their administrative staff with an electronic Workspace that behaves similarly to the expandable folder that is so often used in firms that prefer to work with physical documents. The Workspace contains electronic matter files, which serve as the manila folders that are used to further organize physical documents into sub-files; this is where using MCC design becomes particularly useful: Instead of simply containing the documents that generally begin as physical items, lawyers may now organize electronic documents and pieces of communication more easily. Additionally, users will be able to avoid the step that requires filling out a profile form for each document in favor of simply saving it to a file location. From here, metadata will be copied to the document profile. This simplified process allows firms to collect and maintain a larger quantity and higher quality of metadata.
Enhanced Capabilities Over Traditional Files
Although traditional file and folder systems have served their purpose well, those who implement the use of the electronic matter file will find that it far exceeds the capabilities of a physical system. The Workspace created for firms that use a WorkSite Web product may also contain notes, tasks, discussion threads, events and connectors, which allow users to add other relevant information to the matter file, including billable hours, CRM and matter management. The Workspace profile that contains the client matter metadata links with other systems to create a cohesive, accessible file that can accessed by any team member who is working on the case.
Subscriptions to Relevant Matters
Because of the volume of active matters that most firms have on any given day, creating a Workspace for each matter makes the MCC design even more usable. Attorneys may subscribe to specific matters that are relevant to the tasks on which they are currently working; furthermore, users may “Favorite” significant matters in the same way that internet users can bookmark websites that they visit regularly.
While the typical document management system requires users to complete multiple steps to retrieve the information that they are looking for, iManage Work makes it possible to open a document and save changes through the folder system. Users may also choose a matter from their personalized matter work list, and any changes made to the document may be saved using the same security and metadata that is already applied to every item in the folder.
Key Benefits of MCC
The key benefits for the firm and its employees in moving to MCC are as follows:
- Effective email management – attorneys now can effectively move matter-related email out of their inbox into the a matter’s correspondence folder
- Improved metadata quality and quantity – since users can inherit metadata for a document when they select a folder, the accuracy and quantity of metadata is increased, making it possible to track metadata beyond client, matter, and class.
- The ability to browse matter content – since documents are placed in folders, it is easier to browse the contents of a folder instead of always having to search the entire repository.
- Improved searching – search is improved through the ability to search within a Workspace or folder and searching is also improved through enhanced metadata quantity and quality.
- Effective consumption of matter-related information from other enterprise systems. The context of a matter allows you to effectively tie into CRM, Time and Billing and third party content providers.