In LegalWorks, every matter you create is a virtual file cabinet that can store three types of content:
To see your firm’s matters (or to create a new one), click Matters on the main navigation at the top of LegalWorks. This will bring you to the Matters List. Here you can click tha title (name) of any matter, or click New Matter to create a new one.
The Matters List is your firm’s list of Matters in LegalWorks. From here you can open a new matter or see a list of matters via one of the Views including Open Matters, All Matters, My Matters and Closed Matters.
Each View in LegalWorks is a predefined list filter to help you find what you’re looking for quickly. For example, My Matters will show you only matter where you are among the Assigned Staff, and Open Matters will show only matters that are open (not closed). Click any view to apply that view to the list of matters.
Searching for a Matter
You can find a particular matter by entering all or part of a matter name in the matter search box, labeled Find an Item. You can search for any name within the name of the matter. For instance, performing a search for the word “Estate” would yield a matter named “Parker Estate Planning”, along with any other matters with the word “Estate” in the title of the matter.
Filtering & Sorting
You can click on any of the column headings to filter or sort by certain criteria. For example you can click the Client column, then check the box next to one or more particular clients to show only matters for that client. Or you can click the Assigned Staff column, then check the box next to a particular employee to only see matters that that specific employee is working on. Or you can click the Date Opened column, then click Ascending to sort matters by the date they were opened. Note that by default LegalWorks will sort matters in descending chronological order: newest on top.
Closing a Matter
When you consider a matter completed or closed, you can close it in LegalWorks by simply entering a date into the Date Closed field. You can later re-open the matter at any time by removing the Closed date. Note that closing a matter does not alter the matter itself or the content within, it simply keeps the matter from appearing in the Open Matters view.
Typically you will edit a matter by opening the matter and editing it individually. If, however, you need to bulk-edit many matters you can click the Spreadsheet Edit button. This will put the Matter List in a spreadsheet-like mode where you can modify any of the fields that show in list view without having to individually open each matter.
Opening and Editing Matters
To open an existing matter simply click its Title (name). This will open the Matter Screen (below)
Here you can click Edit Matter to modify any of the fields in the General Info section of the Matter Screen, or interact with the three content tabs: Documents, Email and Notes.
General Info (Matter Fields)
LW Matter ID. The LegalWorks-issued ID for this matter. LegalWorks will assign a Matter ID to every matter you create, and increment each new matter by one. LegalWorks uses this matter ID to identify the matter (whether the LW Matter ID is useful to you or not). You may adopt this Matter ID as your firm’s official matter ID, or you may define your own Customer Matter ID (below).
Custom Matter ID. You may optionally give each matter your own, user-defined matter IT (in addition to the LegalWorks-issued, LW Matter ID). You may have already developed your own internal matter numbering system, in which case you may enter that matter ID here. Or, if you use separate Practice Management or Case Management software that issues its own matter ID for each matter, you may enter that matter ID here, to keep ID’s consistent between systems.
Client. The Client for this Matter. You can optionally create and assign a Client to this matter to keep matters for specific clients grouped together. Client is a column that you can filter and sort in the Matter List. (For more information on Clients, see:Working with Clients.)
Matter Type. The type of matter. You may optionally define matter types (or use the LegalWorks default matter types) to assign to Matters. Matter types allow you to group, filter and sort matters by type in the Matter List.
Date Opened. The date you opened/created the Matter. This defaults to today’s date when creating a new matter (though you may override this and enter any Open Date of your choosing.)
Date Closed. When you consider a matter completed or closed, you can close it in LegalWorks by simply entering a date into the Date Closed field. You can later re-open the matter at any time by removing the Closed date. Note that closing a matter does not alter the matter itself or the content within, it simply keeps the matter from appearing in the Open Matters view.
Office/Branch. You may optionally assign a Matter to a particular Office/Branch. Office/Branch is a column that you can filter and sort in the Matter List.
Assigned Staff. Here you can assign any attorneys or support staff to this matter. Users will see this matter in the My Matters list view as well as on their LegalWorks welcome screen.
On the Documents tab of the Matter Screen you can upload, open and manage documents associated to this matter. For more information on how to work with and manage documents in LegalWorks, see: Working with Documents.
The Email tab of the Matter Screen is where you will see emails you have copied to this matter from the LegalWorks Outlook Add-In. For more information on how to copy emails to a Matter and manage emails once in LegalWorks, see: Working with Email.
The Notes tab of the matter screen is where you can create simple notes for a matter. Examples of what you may want to use a Note for include phone call notes, meeting notes, intake notes, case law notes, or any other information you wish to store for a matter that is not a document or email. To create a note, click New Note, then enter a subject and the note body. Every matter may have an unlimited number of notes.