The December/January issue of Law Office Computing includes an article titled Matter Management Systems Matter to Most Firms - ILTA survey shows corporate law departments are harnessing the technology.
According to the article, "Comprehensive matter management systems are becoming the industry standard for the corporate legal community. . ." The article is based on a survey of 53 organizations, with 21 responses. The author is drawing conclusions based on 21 responses out of the thousands of corporate legal departments.
I'm sorry, but that survey is way too small to develop any meaningful information. The mean number of attorneys among the survey respondents was 67. That's hardly representative of the corporate legal community, which is overwhelmingly made up of small departments. The only conclusions that can reasonably be drawn from the survey relate to the 21 responding organizations -- certainly not the general corporate legal community.
Only five matter management vendors were mentioned (one of which, Hummingbird's LawPack, has been defunct for at least three years). Perhaps the small number is not surprising given the size of the sample, but there are a lot more choices than that. And I can state with certainty, without doing a survey, that the vast majority of corporate legal departments do not have any comprehensive matter management system -- unless you consider Outlook to be a matter management system. Most of us are lucky to have a document management system.
And although the article mentioned with some surprise that few of the responding organizations were using electonic billing, the article didn't even mention my personal favorite, Serengeti Tracker. http://www.serengetilaw.com/ Tracker is a web-based matter management system that incorporates electronic billing -- and it can be affordable even for relatively small departments. It was designed from the start to incorporate e-billing. Since it's web-based you can avoid one of the major obstacles to technology adoption in corporate legal departments, which is the corporate IT department.
Since Tracker was the top-rated system in both the matter management and electronic billing categories in the most recent General Counsel Roundtable survey (admittedly based on an even smaller sample size), I'm surprised it didn't even merit a mention in this article.
The bottom line is that corporate legal departments in general are a long way from adopting matter management systems, and this article doesn't do justice to the subject.