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Use your software as its intended to be used

Posted by Gene Turner on 23-Oct-2022 19:00:18

Guidelines written in search bar on virtual screen

I often talk to in-house lawyers who are unhappy with a technology solution they're using and are looking for a replacement.

When digging deeper, it often appears that they are not using it as intended to be used and are overlooking core features, which is a large part of the issue. Without using it properly, I think it's unfair to make judgements about how good it is, and hard to tell what you need in an alternative. 

I know that our friend Matt Farrington at Juno Legal encounters this frequently in relation to Outlook, which he regularly trains legal teams on.

Another example is a matter management system, which ideally has an Outlook add-in installed so that matters can be created and updated instantly as emails are received and sent.

Without the add-in, you need to separately login to the matter management system through a browser, and it's a case of "out of sight, out of mind". If only some people are logging in and using the system, and it doesn't contain all emails and documents, the system's value drops significantly as you can't rely on it as a single source of truth and have to check other systems too.

A legal team I talked to recently has been frustrated with their current matter management system and is interested in other options. However, they haven't installed the Outlook add-in. Sometimes these things require additional help from the IT team, which isn't always readily available, and that seems to be the case here.

I think that most matter management solutions or email solutions will also rely on an Outlook add-in to work best, so swapping solutions without addressing that issue probably won't fix things.

My recommendation is that they try and get that Outlook integration installed, do some more training with the team, so they know how to use it and the benefits of all of them adopting it, and then try getting the most out of it. If that still doesn't work, at least they'll have a good idea of what any alternative solution will need for it to work better.

Ultimately it may still be the case that this particular solution isn't the right one for this team, but like all technology, you can't know that until you've used it as it was meant to be used.

Topics: Document Automation, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Document Assembly, Law Firm Management, Digital Signatures, Legal Automation, Email Management, Legal Operations, Contract Management

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