Importing Matters and Contacts - Including Custom Field Imports

Importing Matters/Contacts

Now that you’re using Lawmatics, you’ll want to import your matters and contacts so that you have a complete database. This will be beneficial for keeping in touch with referral sources, sending marketing content, and turning your old book of business into new business.

1.) The first step is to export your data from whatever system(s) you currently use to manage contacts. The vast majority of these programs should have an export function. If you have any trouble locating how to export from your current program, we encourage you to reach out to a support rep for the specific program you are using. 

Once you’ve ran this export, you’ll have all of your data in a spreadsheet. This should include important fields for each person like first name, last name, phone, email, etc. When importing into Lawmatics, it is important to separate your contacts (referral sources, other attorneys, friends & family, etc) from your matters (clients, prospects, and lost leads). 

If you have any questions on what constitutes a contact vs. a matter, please take a look at our help article titled Contacts vs. Matters before continuing. Please note that you most likely will not import anyone as a 'Client', you'll want to import your clients as matters with a Hired status. Keep reading for more information on this.

2.) The next step is to match the column headings on your spreadsheet to the headers that are allowed for importing into Lawmatics. These field headers can be viewed by going to settings -> import, and then selecting either Contact or Matter to see the allowed fields.

You will notice that there are more fields allowed for matters, since case related fields such as practice area, case title, etc. are included.

To help simplify this process of matching the column headings, we’ve provided a template for both matters and contacts. Please click below to open each template:

Matters: Click Here

Contacts: Click Here

Feel free to copy and paste your data into the appropriate template if you find that simpler than changing the headings on your export.

Importing Custom Field Data

You can also import data to any of your custom fields in Lawmatics. This requires you to already have the field created in Lawmatics, the import will not create new fields.

To import to custom fields, you will need to uphold the following naming convention for custom fields:

field name(field type)

The field type will be either matter, contact, or practice_area. You also need to format the data properly. So if you're importing a date field, the data will need to be a date. If you're importing to a true/false field, the data will need to be either 'true' or 'false'.

For example, if you have the following custom fields in Lawmatics:

On your import spreadsheet, those fields would look like this:

Since all three of these fields are Matter fields, they are labelled as such on the spreadsheet.

**Please note that the field names are case sensitive! You will need to match the field name on your spreadsheet exactly as it exists in Lawmatics.

You'll see that since County was a picklist field, the spreadsheet uses allowed values from that picklist. Since Marriage date is a date field, the spreadsheet has dates for that field. And lastly, since Case closed is a true/false field, those are the values used.

If you are doing a contact import, you can only use contact custom fields. On matter imports, you can import to contact, matter, or practice area custom fields.

For more guidelines on importing other field types, make sure you read the Custom Field Notes found on the import page of Lawmatics.

3.) Once you have the correct headings on your spreadsheet for any of the fields you wish to include in the import, you’ll want to sort through some of the data to make sure fields like 'practice area' and 'stage' match what you have in Lawmatics.

Here are a few key notes:

  • You will want to match the following fields to their values in Lawmatics. In parentheses you will find the location of each of these items in Lawmatics, so that you can view their values and match them on your spreadsheet.
  • Contact Type (settings -> contact settings)
  • Owned By (settings -> invite team)
  • Stage (settings -> stage settings)
  • Practice Area (settings -> practice areas)
  • Source (settings -> marketing settings, the source will be the main heading)
  • Campaign (settings -> marketing settings, the campaign is found under a source)
  • If they do not match the existing values, a new value will be created. This can be useful, or it may be undesirable. 
  • For example, you may have created a practice area in Lawmatics called ‘Bankruptcy - Ch. 7’. If you import a matter with the practice area labeled as ‘BK - Chapter 7’, it will create a new practice area rather than assigning it to the existing. This would be undesirable, because you would have duplicate practice areas.
  • To give an example of when this can be useful, if you have practice areas on your spreadsheet that you did not take the time to create in Lawmatics, the import will create them for you. The same is true for any of the fields listed above.

It is also important to note that not all of the fields you see in the templates (or on the import page in settings) are required. The only required field is First Name, the rest are up to you whether you want to include them or not.

Another important field that you should pay attention to is the status. This field only applies to matter imports, not contact imports, and it will tell Lawmatics whether each matter is a PNC, Hired client, or Lost lead. The only allowed values in this column are: PNC, Hired, and Lost. It is important to match one of these three options for all matters in order import them with the correct status.

4.) You are almost ready to import your data. Before importing, make sure you have checked all of the following:

  • Are contacts and matters separated onto two different spreadsheets?
  • Are all column headings labeled properly?
  • Have you made sure there are no extra column headings that do not match the allowed columns? Remember that matters have more allowed fields than contacts.
  • Are any custom fields that you are importing already created in Lawmatics?
  • Do you have custom fields labelled correctly as per the required naming convention?
  • Are you only using 'matter' or 'practice area' type custom fields on matter imports?
  • Do all entries have a first name?
  • Do all practice areas and stages match what is existing in Lawmatics?
  • If not, are you happy with the new ones that will be created?
  • Do all contact types match what is existing in Lawmatics?
  • If not, are you happy with the new ones that will be created?
  • Do all marketing sources and campaigns match what is existing in Lawmatics?
  • If not, are you happy with the new ones that will be created?
  • IMPORTANT LAST STEP: Is the file saved as the following file type: CSV UTF-8 (Comma Delimited) (.csv)

5.) Once you have checked all of the boxes above, you are ready to import!

In Lawmatics, navigate to settings -> import. At the bottom, you will see a button for ‘Import Data’. If you are importing both matters and contacts, they will be imported separately. You will want to do matters first, so select that as the type, and then select your CSV file. Once you’ve done so, the Run Import button that is greyed out in the screenshot below will turn green, and you can select it.

Then, while that import is processing, you will click the ‘Import Data’ button at the bottom once again, choose Contact as the type, select your contact spreadsheet, and click Run Import.

6.) Finally, you will need to be patient as your files import. Depending on the size, it may take some time. You will receive an email notifying you when the import is complete.