When I visit law firms and talk with lawyers, I hear a lot about how they are struggling with transformation – on pricing, collaborating with clients, budgeting and managing work.

Often, the client collaboration piece is especially tough. A seemingly straightforward question from a client, “Where are we on this matter?” can derail an attorney’s entire day.

In the past, lawyers may have been able to placate clients with estimates or directional answers. But now that clients demand transparency, efficiency and cost savings, a lawyer fielding the matter-status inquiry needs accurate, up-to-date information.

Law firms are looking to new technology to help them better understand and improve matter visibility. Tools that integrate matter planning, pricing and business management solutions can empower both partners and associates.

Partners managing multiple matters concentrate on consistently delivering superior client service. Providing an accurate budget is an integral part of matter scoping and planning. Simultaneously, they must quickly delegate tasks to get their teams started on the work.

Once work is underway, partners need access to at-a-glance reporting including budget-to-actuals analytics. Using an integrated platform like Panoramic can help them spot and mitigate risk while spending less time investigating matters. With the click of a button, they can get a status update on any or all of their matters. This visibility improves outcomes, while the time savings enable partners to spend more time on top priorities, such as growing their book of business.

For associates, this may sound too much like standard time-entry tasks. But an integrated platform like Panoramic actually expedites work. With a better understanding of what to do, how to do it and how it fits in the big picture, associates’ days becomes less task-oriented and more an opportunity to move matters forward in a meaningful way for the client and the firm.

Increasingly, clients want their lawyers to provide a status update on their matters from a scope and budget-to-actuals perspective at a moment’s notice. Panoramic makes this possible by bringing together a law firm’s disparate systems and providing insights, structure and support.

This new technology means the question, “What’s the status of this matter?” soon will be as easy to answer as, “What did you have for breakfast?”

This post originally appeared on Elisabet Hardy’s LinkedIn profile on May 24. Hardy is vice president, Product Management & Marketing at Thomson Reuters.

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