Contacts vs. Matters
In Lawmatics you’ll see many references to both contacts and matters. You may be wondering, what is the difference between these two and when should I use each one. Here is your answer.
Contacts in Lawmatics are referring to a person, whereas Matters are referring to a case. Every Matter will have at least one corresponding Contact, but not every Contact will necessarily have a Matter. Contacts who would not have a corresponding matter would be referral sources, other attorneys, friends & family, etc. These people are still important to have in the CRM, but they are not necessarily clients or prospective clients, and therefore, they would not have a matter.
In Lawmatics you may occasionally see an option for "Clients". You will not use this option for creating any of your contacts, leads, clients, etc. Rather, you will always create either a contact or a matter for these.
The image below is what you will see when you are adding a new matter from the shortcut menu found in the top right corner. Selecting the blue button for Add New Contact will bring up fields for you to enter the person’s first name, last name, email, phone, etc. The blue Add New Company button will allow you to create a company matter, rather than a matter for an individual contact. Lastly, clicking on the Search Contacts or Companies box at the bottom will show a drop down list of all your existing contacts & companies in Lawmatics for you to select from.
If the same contact approaches your firm with separate matters, you will only need to create the contact once, and then you can link that contact to more than one matter.
You will also notice as you are creating objects such as forms, documents, and emails in Lawmatics, you will have the option to select a type (Contact or Matter). If the form, doc, etc. is case related, for example an intake form, retainer agreement, consultation confirmation email, etc, then the type should be Matter.
If you are creating marketing content that could be used for any contact, not just matters, then the type should be Contact.
Remember, if you see Client as option, you should not use this. You will always want to select either Contact or Matter.
When you are using the search bar (magnifying glass in the top right) to locate a contact or a matter, you will see an icon next to each search result. The icon with three people represents the matter, and the icon with a card represents the contact. In the image below, you’ll see the first result is the matter, showing the linked contact’s name in bold, and the title of the case in parentheses. The second result is the contact.
If you’re looking for anything related to the case, like the activity timeline, notes, tasks, appointments, etc, then you will select the Matter from these search results.
When you hover over the CRM tab in the top left of Lawmatics, you’ll see options for both Matters and Contacts. When you select Matters, there are some useful Saved Filtered Views on the left. These filtered views break up your matters by the 3 statuses PNC, Hired, and Lost.
When you hover on the CRM tab and select Contact, you will notice a column titled Type.
You can create custom Contact Types to label your non-matter contacts appropriately, for example you might have types for Referral Source, Colleague, etc. These contact types can be created by going to settings -> contact settings.
Once you’ve created your custom contact types, you can assign them to contacts by opening up the contact, and clicking the edit pencil under their name, as shown in the image below. In this example, the custom contact type is Attorney.
Remember that each matter will have one contact assigned as the primary contact on that matter. You can also have additional contacts attached to that matter as related contacts.
If your firm often works with matters that have more than one contact, such as a married couple, you may prefer one contact or the other to be listed as the primary name on the matter in your CRM. You can now easily change the main contact on a matter from within the platform.
Simply click the arrow icon highlighted in the image below, and then select from existing contacts in your CRM.
Once you select a different contact, the name on the matter (Thomas Jefferson in the example above) will change to the newly selected contact.
The same goes for company matters, click the arrow and then select from any companies in your CRM. This new feature helps you keep your CRM organized and accurate so that you can always find your matters with ease.
What is the difference between contacts and companies?
Contacts represent an individual person. Companies represent a business entity. As a bare minimum, contacts require at least a First Name to be created in Lawmatics, whereas companies will require a Company Name. Once you have created a company, individual companies can be linked as company contacts. Learn more about companies here.
Can I view contacts on my pipeline?
No, the pipeline only shows matters. If anyone is going through your intake pipeline or any other various case management pipelines you might have created, they should be a matter rather than a contact.
How can I tell if I am looking at a contact or a matter?
When you are viewing a matter profile, you will see a case title across the top, along with fields for case description, practice area, and source info. You will also see which stage of the pipeline this matter is currently in. For contacts, you will not see any of that information. You will see a row of information at the very top of the page letting you know how many matters and PNCs exist for this contact. If you see "0" for both, then this contact does not have any matters.