Legal Matter Management Software Support | Matter365

Matter Management

Matter management is the core of your business. In this article, we will explain how to make the most value of our matter-centric approach to it and how to best utilize Matter365 and Office 365 features.

Creating a Matter

To create a new matter from any page of Matter365 application, you can use a shortcut from the application header.
Additionally, on Matters page, you can click Create new Matter button.
Options to create a new Matter
In both cases, the following dialog will appear, and you can enter some basic information about the Matter you’re about to create.
There are some restrictions when it comes to naming your matters, some special characters can't be used. See the full list here: https://app.matter365.com/OfficeConstraints
If you include ` ~ ! $ ^ { } | in the Matter name it will cause a glitch with the link to Outlook from Matter Dashboard. If you put these characters in the name, the Outlook link from the Matter Dashboard will lead you to your Inbox instead of the Outlook group folder associated with that matter. It is a glitch from Microsoft's side, we are waiting for resolution. 

Matter creation dialog
Create new Contact – If you didn’t already create Contact(s) you would like to tie to this Matter, you can do it here.
Client – The dropdown menu of all Contacts entered in Matter365 by anyone in your organization.
If your Matter is going to have more clients, here you should select the main one (default one).
Conflict check – Click on this button will run a conflict check for the selected client. This feature is explained in detail here.
Responsible attorney – Main Matter owner, responsible for the Matter.
Matter name – Give a meaningful name to the Matter you are creating
The character limit for Matter name is 92.
Type – Pick one of the default Matter types, or add a new type in Matter365 settings. More on Matter types here.
Source –Pick one of the default Matter sources, or add a new source in Matter365 settings. More on Matter sources here.
Description – Free-form field to add any relevant information about the Matter.
The character limit for Description is 10 000. 
Owners – Add people from your company that will work with you on a Matter.
Owners can manage who are the persons working on a matter, they can manage Matter contacts, change Matter general info, set default billing rate for Matter members, or delete a Matter.
Members – Add people from your company that will work with you on a Matter.
Members can set their own default billing rate for a matter, but they can’t administer other things mentioned above, that owners can.
Both owners and members have full control of Matter documents, tasks, notes, Matter inbox and calendar.
Guests – Add people from outside of your company, that will be able to see Office 365 resources like Planner or OneDrive, but won't have access to Matter365 application.
Other contacts – Add other previously created contacts as Judge, Opposing attorney, Witness or some other role on this matter. More on Contact types here.

You can also add Custom Fields for your Matters.
Custom Fields allow you to gather and store additional information about your Matters in predetermined categories. When created, Custom Fields will be included in Create new Matter window, but aren't required to open a Matter:


To learn how to create and use Custom Fields click here: Custom Fields


All created matters by default have matter status set to Active. You can read more about different matter statuses here.
After confirming the dialog, a new Matter is created and you are redirected to a Matter dashboard page.
The full name of any matter will be saved in the following format: MATTER ID-CLIENT NAME-MATTER NAME (Client name and Matter name are set in Matter creation dialog, while Matter ID is not customizable and will be assigned automatically).
What happened behind  the scenes is that there is:
  • a new Outlook inbox created for that Matter,
  • new Outlook calendar for Matter appointments and meetings,
  • new OneDrive folder for documents of the Matter,
  • new Microsoft Planner for task management,
  • new OneNote notebook,
  • and a new SharePoint site.
All Matter owners and members can access and use any of these.

On the Matters page, you can see a list of all the matters that you have created. 
You can easily do a search in the Search field and find the matter that you need (you can also search by Matter description). 
There is also a menu with shortcuts to various options that you can access by right-clicking on a matter (Open the selected matter in a new tab, Edit the matter, see Details etc.) . 
Right-click menu with details and shortcuts to documents, contacts, time tracking, and expenses.

Matter dashboard

Matter dashboard shows some basic info about your Matter presented in tiles.
Here, you can see Matter details, recent documents, status of all tasks on a Matter, important links you will often use, billing and invoicing details.
From the navigation menu, you can navigate to display all of the documents in a Matter, Calendar events in Outlook, Tasks in Microsoft Planner, Contacts involved in a matter, Time Tracking records and Expenses for work done on a Matter, and Notes in Microsoft OneNote.
Matter dashboard
You can also easily access your client's Contact details by clicking on their name in the Matter details section. By clicking on Contact Details you will be re-directed to their Contact page where you can edit their information.
Accessing Contact Details

Matter settings page

To open the Matter settings page, click on Settings in the right corner of Matter dashboard and select Edit.

Entering Matter settings page
On the Matter settings page, Matter owners can change Matter general info like description, status, type, source etc.
They can manage external Contacts that are involved with a Matter, but also manage members from inside a company that are working together on this Matter, and also set their default billing rates.
Matter members can see all of this data, but they can’t manage it. Although, they can set up a default billing rate for themselves on that Matter.
Matter settings page
To set a default billing rate within a matter go to the Members section and click Edit. 
Input the desired default billing rate and click Save. 
Setting a default billing rate within a matter
These billing rate settings will override the values set in Home>Settings>Deafult billing rates, to see more about Default billing settings go to this page.

How a Matter you created utilizes Office 365 applications

SharePoint

New SharePoint group is created, all of the Matter members are included, and you can see a new SharePoint site created for your Matter.
You can also use SharePoint to view Matter documents, although it’s probably more transparent to do it through OneDrive.
More useful info on getting familiar with SharePoint can be found on Office 365 official website, here.
SharePoint site created on Matter creation

OneDrive

For every Matter, there is a separate OneDrive folder created. All of the members on a Matter can contribute to it and manage the documents in it.
More useful info on getting familiar with OneDrive can be found on Office 365 official website, here.
Matter documents in OneDrive folder

Outlook

All of the created Matters have their own Outlook inbox created. In your Outlook, that inbox will be shown in the form of a Group. These Microsoft Groups are used so your personal inbox wouldn’t get clogged with multiple emails from different Matters, and also so all of the other members working on a Matter would be up to date with the correspondence happening around them.
More on Groups in Outlook can be found on Office 365 official website, here.
Matter Groups in Outlook

Calendar

Same as for Outlook inbox, a separate Calendar is created for every Group. In your Outlook Calendar, you can choose which Group calendars you want displayed at the time, and events in them will be colored differently so you can easily separate them from the events in your personal calendar. Also, all of your co-workers on a Matter can easily check when the important events for that Matter are scheduled for.
Matter Calendar and personal calendar in Outlook

Planner


After creating a new Matter, a new plan in Microsoft Planner is being created for that Matter. Members and owners of that Matter will be able to access the mentioned plan, and participate in creating and editing tasks that need to be done for the law case they are working on.
There is a convenient view of My tasks that groups all tasks from different Matters assigned to yourself, or you can navigate to a specific Matter and see all of the tasks for that Matter, assigned to various people working on the case.
More info on Microsoft Planner and how to get familiar with it can be found at Office 365 official website, here.
My tasks in Microsoft Planner. Plans for different Matters are shown on left hand side

OneNote

For every created Matter, there is a new OneNote notebook created. This notebook is available to all of the Matter owners and members to share notes between each other. When you visit your OneNote homepage, all of these different notebooks will be sorted like shown on the screenshot below.
More info on OneNote and how to get familiar with it can be found on Office 365 official website, here.
Matter notebooks in OneNote
In Matter dashboard (Important links tile), after OneNote shortcut for a Matter notebook is used at least once, you can choose to open that notebook either in web or desktop version of OneNote. Clicking on the icon will open the notebook in your browser, while clicking the desktop icon in top right corner will open the notebook in your desktop version of OneNote.
Shortcut to open the Notebook in desktop app

Teams

On Matter creation, a new Team will be provisioned to enhance collaboration between you and your team members. You can use it for workplace chat, video meetings or file sharing. Inside of every team, you can create different chat channels.
Teams and different chat channels in a single team
Have in mind that creating a new Teams account might take up to 15 minutes since new Matter is created in Matter365.
More info on Teams and how to get familiar with it can be found on official Teams site, here.

Collaborating with people from outside of your company

It’s possible to add people from outside of your company to your Outlook Group as guest users. They won’t be able to use Matter365, but they will be able to access various Microsoft applications such as Planner, Calendar, SharePoint etc. – if you give them access to. This is a very useful feature if you’re occasionally collaborating with outside associates. 
NOTE: If you add/invite “guests” to your Matters in Matter365 or if you add “guests” in any of the Microsoft 365 Applications (e.g. OneDrive, Planner, or OneNote) the “guests” will be added to the Group created for that Matter and will have complete access to all the Applications and data. You should therefore be careful when adding “guests”.
You can add guest users either through Matter365, or through Outlook. Below we will illustrate all different possibilities.

On Matter creation, you can use the add guest button.
Adding guest users on Matter creation
After Matter creation, you can still add guest users at any time. To do so, go to Matter settings, and in Guests area, click Edit, and then Add new guest button.
Adding guest user from Matter settings

Remember that you are always in control of what applications those guest users will have access to.
You can also add guest users through Outlook, as shown on screenshot below.
More info on how to add an external associate to an existing Group can be found on Office 365 official website, here.
Guest member added to a Matter Group in Outlook
Example of guest member collaborating on a Matter in Ofice 365 Planner

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