Custom Form Type - Matter vs. Contact

When you create a new custom form, you will need to select the type of the form. It is important to select the appropriate type of form you wish to create, since this will determine what type of record is created/updated when the form is submitted.
The three options you will see for the form type are Matter, Client, and Contact.

Before moving forward, it is important to first make sure you understand the differences between contacts and matters in Lawmatics, click here to review.

In addition to determining what type of record will be created, the type of form will also determine what types of fields can be used in the form. Contact forms can only use contact fields, whereas matter forms can use both contact and matter fields. Matter forms also have some additional advanced options that can be used, such as Relationship Blocks.

Let's review each type of form.


This will likely be your firm's most commonly used form type. Select Matter as the form type for any forms that will be used for leads, prospects, PNC's, clients, matters, etc. Any form that is case-related will be a matter form.

Some common examples of matter type forms that you might create in Lawmatics are as follows:

  • Phone Intake
  • Website Contact Us Form
  • Intake Questionnaires
  • Survey/Feedback Request

For any of these examples, the form will create a new matter (or update an existing matter) in your CRM when submitted. Remember that all new leads or prospects should be matters in Lawmatics, as opposed to just a contact. Matters will be visible on your pipeline, and most of your automations should also be set up as matter type.

The different options highlighted below will only be available on matter type forms.

Note that you will also have access to matter type standard fields that you would not have access to on a contact type form, such as practice area, source, matter owner, etc.


You will not use this form type at all, simply disregard this option. Any forms that you will use for clients should be matter type, since matters can be either leads or clients (PNC or Hired status).


Typically, this type of form will be used less frequently than matter forms, but there are certain scenarios where you may want to create a contact type form. If you are creating a form that needs to be shared/submitted by someone who is just a contact in your CRM, as opposed to a matter, then the form would be contact type.

Here are some common examples of contact type forms that you may want to create:

  • Simple Contact Information Update
  • Newsletter Request Form
  • Referral Partner Information

Although it can be easy to get mixed up between contacts and matters, remember that you will not use a contact type form for any leads, clients, or anything matter/case-related. When a contact type form is submitted, it will only create (or update) a contact in your CRM. 

Our system has built-in contact duplicate checking based on the email address field. For that reason, it is always recommended to include the Email (Primary) field on your forms, usually making it a required field, so that you are sure to avoid duplicates. When a contact form is submitted, the system will automatically check the email address against existing contacts, and if a contact already exists with that email address, that contact will simply be updated as opposed to a new one being created.


What type of form should I use for my website's Contact Us form?

This should be a matter type form, since you will want it to create a matter in Lawmatics when it is submitted. Any new leads or prospects should always be matters in Lawmatics.

Why should I not use the client type form?

The "client" aspect of Lawmatics is no longer used and is in the process of being phased out of the platform. For any forms that are client-related, you will select matter as the form type.

Can I change the type of a form that has already been created?

No, you cannot change the type of the form after it has been created. The type of form determines what types of fields and objects can be used in the form, so changing the type after it has been created can cause the form to break. You will need to create a new form and select the proper type.