Matter Vs. Contact Type Automations

You can use automations to trigger workflows for both contacts and matters. It is important to make sure you are creating automations as the appropriate type, contact or matter, depending on how the automation will be used. For a refresher on the difference between contacts and matters, click here.

When creating a new automation, you will give the automation a name, and you will then need to select the target type:

Any automations that will be used with regard to leads, prospects, intake, case material, etc. will fall under the Matter type. This will likely be your most commonly used automation target type, since the majority of your automated workflows will be focused around these things.

You will see above that you also have options for Client Account and All Contacts. NOTE: Do not use the Client Account option. For any automations that are related to clients, you will still select Matter as the type, and then you will specify that it is for Hired matters by selecting the status, shown below.

Any time you select Matter as the target type, you will need to select which status(es) should be allowed to run in the automation. Think of this as an overarching entry condition for the automation. It is an extra check in place to make sure that you aren't accidentally triggering an automation on matters that should not run in that particular automation.

Automations that are meant to trigger during intake should have All PNC as the status. Automations for hired clients should have All Hired selected for status. And automations that are used for lost leads, should have All Lost selected.

You may occasionally want to create an automation that could run on any general contacts, as opposed to only matters. These contacts could be referral partners, friends & family, colleagues, etc. When that is the case, then you will select All Contacts as the Target Type. Note that when you create an automation as Contact type, you will not select a status, since status only applies to matters.

These automations are likely going to be less commonly used than matter type automations, but they can still be very useful. 

Here are a few examples of automations that you might create as Contact type:

  • Sending an automated email to a contact that is tagged as a new Referral Partner
  • An automation that notifies you when a contact has opted to unsubscribe from your email list
  • Send a contact type custom form to a contact, or trigger an action when a contact type form is submitted

You can also use Lawmatics to send out your newsletter as well as automated birthday emails. Both of these things would apply to contacts rather than matters, but you will use an email campaign to send these out, as opposed to an automation. Learn about email campaigns here.

One final thing to keep in mind when selecting the target type of an automation: in a matter type automation you can access any matter type forms, documents, fields, etc, AS WELL AS any contact type items. This is because all matters will also have a primary contact attached. 

On the other hand, contact type automations CANNOT access matter forms, documents, emails, etc. You can only use items that have been created as contact type in a contact type automation.

For example, notice how in the list of custom forms shown below that only a few of them have a recipient type of Any Contact:

When I create an automation that has a target type of Any Contact, I am only able to access those forms, and I cannot use my matter type forms.


Should new leads be added into Lawmatics as contacts or matters?

New leads should always be matters. Therefore, any automations that you want to trigger on your new leads (such as sending an intake form, sharing a booking link, etc.) should be matter type.

I am trying to send a form via automation but I don't see it in the list of custom forms when using the Send Form action, why?

It is possible that you are using a contact type automation and trying to send a matter type form. Go to your custom forms page, found under the Assets tab, and verify the type of the form you wish to send. Then verify that the automation you have created is of the corresponding type.

Can I change the type of an automation after it has been created?

No, the type cannot be changed after an automation has been created. You will need to start over with a new automation of the appropriate type.