Contacts vs. Matters
In Lawmatics you’ll see many references to both contacts and matters. You may be wondering, what is the difference between these two and when should I use each one. Here is your answer.
Contacts in Lawmatics are referring to a person, whereas Matters are referring to a case. Every Matter will have at least one corresponding Contact, but not every Contact will necessarily have a Matter. Contacts who would not have a corresponding matter would be referral sources, other attorneys, friends & family, etc. These people are still important to have in the CRM, but they are not necessarily clients or prospective clients, and therefore, they would not have a matter.
When you create a new matter, this will include creating a new contact to be linked to that matter, or selecting from your already existing contacts. Whether you create a new contact or select from existing, this contact will be linked to the Matter.
The image below is what you will see when you are creating a new matter. Selecting the blue button for Add New Contact will bring up fields for you to enter the person’s first name, last name, email, phone, etc. Clicking on the Search Contact box at the bottom will bring a drop down list of all your existing contacts in Lawmatics for you to select from.
If the same contact comes to your firm with separate matters, you will only need to create the contact once, and then you can link that contact to more than one matter.
You will also notice as you are creating objects such as forms, documents, and emails in Lawmatics, you will have the option to select a type. If the object is case related, for example an intake form, retainer agreement, consultation confirmation email, etc, then the type should be Matter.
If you are creating marketing content that could be used for any contact, not just matters, then the type should be Contact.
When you are using the search bar (magnifying glass in the top right) to locate a contact or a matter, you will see an icon next to each search result. The icon with three people represents the matter, and the icon with a card represents the contact. In the image below, you’ll see the first result is the matter, showing the linked contact’s name in bold, and the title of the case in parentheses. The second result is the contact.
If you’re looking for anything related to the case, like the activity timeline, notes, tasks, appointments, etc, then you will select the Matter from these search results.
It is important to note that every matter in Lawmatics will have a status of either PNC, Hired, or Lost. PNCs are your prospects/leads, Hired Matters are your current and past clients, and Lost Matters are PNCs that did not end up converting for whatever reason.
When you hover over the CRM tab in the top left of Lawmatics, you’ll see options for both Matters and Contacts. When you select Matters, there are some useful Saved Filtered Views on the left. These filtered views break up your matters by the statuses listed above.
When you hover on the CRM tab and select Contact, you will notice a column titled Type, just to the right of the Email column. Any contacts that are linked to a matter will have a type of Client or PNC Contact, depending on the matter’s status.
You can create custom Contact Types to label your non-matter contacts appropriately, for example you might have types for Referral Source, Colleague, etc. These contact types can be created by going to settings -> contact settings.
Once you’ve created your custom contact types, you can assign them to contacts by opening up the contact, and clicking the edit pencil under their name, as shown in the image below. In this example, the custom contact type is Attorney.
You are now an expert on the differences between contacts and matters in Lawmatics!