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Managing talent during Covid — matter management status updates

Few people think of a matter management package as a tool that might play a key role with talent during pandemic separation. But if you think of that software as a repository for periodic, short status updates by your lawyers, you can see how it would inform everyone in the law department.  It could even become the foundation of a knowledge management repository.

A general counsel could enlist members of the department to take part by pointing out that they are saving time every day that they do not have to commute to and from work. If instead twice a week, for example, they spent 10 minutes updating the status field of any matters on which they had worked at least a few hours since the most recent update, the demands would not be burdensome. Over time, whoever reads the updates would develop a reasonable sense of what is being done throughout the department.

If you’re law department is small and does not have specialized matter management software, you can do the same thing with a shared document, such as Google Docs, or another form of a secure, shared file. How frequently you ask the lawyers to do this, with what threshold of hour for matters, and with what specificity of reporting can vary greatly. Experiment with it, improve and modify based on what you learn, and decide whether this is a useful technique.

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