It’s time to digitally transform matter instruction

Two women work together at the office and look at a computer screen

Building on existing Microsoft 365 investments, in-house legal teams can streamline matter instruction processes.

During a recent webinar, the general counsel of a major U.K. bank revealed that, after months of working from home, he had no intention of resuming his 2-hour commute to the center of London. Like so many other professionals, he had decided that traveling to and from the office wasted valuable time that he could use more productively.

The remote-work trend seems here to stay at many companies, across industries. To adapt to this new normal, corporate legal teams must reevaluate their operations and modernize their processes to accommodate dispersed teams.

Take the age-old issue of matter instruction. Pre-pandemic, business and corporate legal professionals typically shared information in person. Business users could seek the expertise of their favorite lawyer in the office, and legal professionals could provide a more personalized touch to these often spontaneous, informal interactions. However, initiating and providing these kinds of ad hoc interactions is more cumbersome when people are working from home — especially if those professionals don’t have the right communication, collaboration, and management tools to support them.

With financial pressures across many sectors only adding to the urgency, many legal team leaders are seeking to rein in costs, drive new efficiencies, and clearly demonstrate the value they provide with facts and figures — leaving them no choice but to find new ways to deliver more with less. If legal teams want to efficiently allocate and resource work, as well as measure progress and productivity, they should first consider process digitalization.

Making Microsoft 365 the means of change

Matter instruction is an obvious place to start with process digitalization, as it offers multiple opportunities for quick wins. Studies suggest that as much as 20% of a corporate legal team’s time is spent on administrative work surrounding the instruction, triage, and allocation of new legal instructions from the business — and that doesn’t even include the time spent delivering frequent ad hoc matter updates expected by the business.

Microsoft 365, the mainstream, cloud-based productivity and collaboration platform, has gained new prominence in legal operations in recent months. The platform helps teams streamline, track, and manage matter lifecycle across a range of activity, including matter instruction. Using Microsoft 365, teams can easily capture the full requirements needed to process routine legal requests — including straightforward contract work, NDAs, and simple advisory requirements — and bring these activities in line with administrative processes throughout the business. For instance, a legal team can use structured self-service digital forms to prompt internal clients to provide certain information upfront — saving lawyers valuable time that would otherwise be spent capturing missing details.

Documenting and demonstrating the value of legal services

Despite the admittedly technical-sounding terminology, digitalizing matter instruction and creating self-service processes won’t replace or diminish the value of personal relationships developed within the business. Legal teams will still work closely with their colleagues to ensure they’re meeting their organizations’ unique needs; they’ll just doing so in a more efficient way, in which they can record each interaction with the business. This makes it easier to demonstrate the true value the legal department provides to the business.

To helps corporate legal departments along their digital journeys, to accelerate the adoption of cloud technologies. In-house legal teams can combine the power of Microsoft and OnePlace Collaboration & Content to formalize matter instruction processes, sharpen matter lifecycle management, transform business engagement, improve document and email management, and deliver powerful matter analytics.

We’ve also introduced a solution for in-house legal teams: Intapp Documents for Corporate Legal. This solution provides a rich overlay of in-house legal matter lifecycle and document management capabilities, syncing with the systems and processes that legal professionals use every day, including The system is designed to overcome common capability gaps within Microsoft 365, and maps to the specific tasks legal operations professionals perform each day.

Learn more about how Intapp Documents for Corporate Legal can help transform your corporate legal operations.

Written by:

Leigh Smith

Practice Group Leader, OnePlace Collaboration & Content

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