Matter Relationships

Matter relationships are a great way to capture information about other contacts involved in a particular matter. Your matters will always have one contact as the primary contact on the matter, but you can link additional contacts using relationships.

First, you'll need to create your relationship types by going into your Settings (gear icon near the top right corner), and then select Matter Settings from the left sidebar.

Once here, you can create relationship types by typing the title in the box, selecting if that type is repeatable or not, and then click Add Type.

It is important to select whether each relationship type should be repeatable or not. This will determine whether or not a matter could have more than one contact assigned to that relationship. For example, Spouse would not be repeatable, but Child would be.

When relationships are added to a matter, you will find them on the matter's profile, on the left side bar underneath the Matter at Stage section:

Relationships can be added to a matter by clicking the Add button shown in the image above. You will then select the type of relationship, and search from contacts in your CRM to relate the correct contact.

Rather than adding these relationships manually as described above, you will often want to collect this relationship information from a PNC or Client while they are filling out an intake form. For example, you may ask if they have children, if they answer "yes", you will want a box to appear for them to enter the child's information, along with the option to "add another" child. You will then want that information to show up in the Matter Relationships section of the matter, circled above.

This can all be done automatically with relationship blocks in custom forms. Learn more about relationship blocks here.

Keep in mind that related contacts are saved in your CRM as their own contact, separate from the primary contact on the matter. Any fields that are populated for the related contact apply to that individual, rather than to the primary contact on the matter themself.

You can go to a contact's profile to see if they are a relationship in any matters. For example, when visiting Walter White's contact profile, we see that he has his own matter (in blue), and is also listed as a relationship in several other matters.

Remember that each matter will have one contact assigned as the primary contact on that matter. Additional contacts will be 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.


Can I send an email to the related contacts?
Yes. Since they are contacts in your CRM you will have the ability to include them in any email audience lists, send them emails related to the matter via automation, or manually send them any emails/forms/documents/etc.
Why use a relationship versus just putting the spouse's information into a custom field called "Spouse name"?
If you want to be able to email the related contact, they will need to be in your CRM as their own contact. This allows you to include them as a signer on a document or fee agreement for the matter, CC them on any automated email communication regarding the matter, etc. If you only have their name and other contact information populated into a custom field, you will not be able to contact them directly via Lawmatics.
What is the difference between a contact and matter profile?
The contact profile will only show contact related information, such as phone number, email address, birthdate, etc. You will not see any of the matter-related fields or activities on the contact profile.