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Managing Contacts in Your Legal Case Management Program

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Person Signing in Documentation PaperIn business, contacts mean the world. And this maxim especially applies to the business of practicing law. How you manage your contacts, from intake through the ongoing communication that’s vital to your practice, can make the difference between success and failure. Consequently, managing contacts isn’t just a throwaway application in your legal case management system — it’s an incredibly important element, and must be accomplished efficiently, effectively and seamlessly.

The Ideal Contact Management Process

Your first meaningful contact is your new client intake. However, prior to intake, the successful law firm has established contact in a number of ways – through referrals, marketing, branding, newsletters, blogs, and so on. Let’s explore the intake process:

Intake
It is mandatory that the intake process be simple, a process that’s so automatic and flawless that you never have to think about it.  After the initial intake and you have created a contact, additional contacts must be memorialized. Ideally, all additional contacts regarding a case should appear once the user clicks on the Contacts tab. Then all you have to do is double-click on a contact’s name for easy access. Trial Works — a leading case management software program – identifies all matters that are pertinent to each contact with simple checkboxes. Contacts tab should also be available in all the corresponding mobile devices.

Categorizing Contact Records

Contacts ought to be classified according to the various roles an individual contact might have in different cases. For example, in Trial Works, when the user creates new contact record, the contact that he or she selects becomes the Global contact for that particular record.

This simply means that this is the contact’s main identification. It answers the simple question: “Who is this?”

An Inside Look at Contacts Set up
Trial Works provides an easy set up for the effective use of contacts. Contact Types are used to categorize contact records. You can set up new types of contacts or change existing ones. Creating additional types of categories can assist users with organizing contact records.  Users select the Settings Tab. Under the Contact Libraries group, click on the Contact types button. The Contact Type form then appears.

To add a new contact type, use the scroll bar to the right of the window to navigate to a new record or click on the asterisk button on the navigation toolbar and type the contact type. If the contact is to be displayed on the Meds tab, click the Meds checkbox. If you need to change an existing contact type, navigate to the record and edit contact type.

Importing Contacts using Outlook
Importing Contacts using Outlook is a simple 3-step process in TrialWorks:

  1. Create a case in TrialWorks to be used for contacts.
  2. Click on File, Add-Ins, Import Outlook Contacts. The program verifies that you are in the case into which you want to import the contacts.
  3. Click yes, and the contacts are imported into the current case.