Importing Matters and Contacts - Overview

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

Use the steps and guidelines outlined below as you begin the importing process.

1.) The first step is to export your data from whatever system(s) you currently use to manage contacts. In order to import data to Lawmatics, you must have the data in a .csv spreadsheet format. 

The vast majority of 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). These should be separated onto two different spreadsheets, one for Contacts and one for Matters.

If you have any questions on what constitutes a contact vs. a matter, please take a look at this article 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 headers 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 for that type of record.

Above you will also see an option for Custom Fields, this allows you to create custom fields via import. Learn more about that here.

As you click on both Matters and Contacts (highlighted above) will notice that there are more fields allowed for matters (highlighted on the right above), since case related fields such as practice area, case title, etc. are included for matters but not for contacts.

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 download the templates provided above and paste your data into each column accordingly. You may find that simpler than changing the headings on your current export.

Importing Custom Field Data

In addition to using the standard field headings provided, 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.

Click here to learn about including custom fields on an import

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 already created in Lawmatics.

If you do not match the data on your spreadsheet (for the fields listed below) to their existing values in Lawmatics, then a new value will be created for each field.

Here are a few key note on this:

  • 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 determine 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?
  • Have you deactivated all automations in your account? This is important to make sure nothing triggers accidentally on a past client or lead.
  • IMPORTANT LAST STEP: Is the file saved as the following file type: CSV UTF-8 (Comma Delimited) (File extension should be .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 labelled ‘Import Data’. If you are importing both matters and contacts, they will be imported separately. 

You will want to do contacts first, so select that as the type, and then select your CSV file. Once you’ve done so, select the Run Import button shown in the screenshot below.

Above you will see the checkbox option to Update Existing Records, learn about that here.

You will also see the red warning message shown above if you have any active automations. We strongly suggest deactivating ALL automations before importing. After your import has finished processing (this may take a while), then you can go reactivate your automations and select the Future Matches Only option when appropriate.

While your contact import is processing you can begin importing your matters spreadsheet. Click the ‘Import Data’ button at the bottom once again, choose Matter 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 or if there were any errors with your import.

Once the imports are fully done processing (they will show a status of Succeeded on the Import page) then you can reactivate your automations.