When it comes to implementing enterprise legal management (ELM) systems in either the corporate or government sector, there are a few things that will be universal. Both sectors want solutions that are tailored to their specifications. They want to be able to house myriad documents electronically with matter-level security. Both will need to convert past data to the chosen system, as well as integrate it with other applications used inside and outside the organization.
There are, however, key priorities that government agencies should be aware of when it comes to choosing an ELM solution. Not all solutions are created equal, and choosing the correct fit is paramount to the agency’s efficiency.
Here are four things legal departments in government agencies need to be aware of when considering ELM:
ELM solutions for government agencies are often one of the largest and core information systems for the organization and it’s used by the vast majority of the people at the agency. Many agencies use these ELM systems to actually run government, making government run more efficiently.
Records & Users
Larger government ELM systems can have literally millions of Matter, Entity, and Event records with thousands of users.
Corporate ELM solutions can have more in common from one corporation to another in terms of Matters, Contacts, Invoices, Vendors, and Calendars. At the end of the day, what one corporation classifies as a matter would most likely be the same classification at another. Governments entities differ in that agency requirements will only be specific to that particular agency. The Federal Election Commission, due to circumstances like oversight, regulation, and law, will have vastly different system requirements as the Department of Labor. It is important these government entities are clear with their organizational requirements when hunting for a new ELM solution.
If you work for a corporate legal department, e-billing and vendor management is likely to be a huge part of your job. There is always an invoice coming from either outside counsel, or any combination of other vendors in the marketplace. Government agencies very rarely involve e-billing at all when implementing ELM solutions. There are however, quasi-government agencies that do engage outside counsel and need e-billing.
Keep these in mind when looking for an ELM solution to implement. Does the solution heavily emphasize e-billing? How customizable is it? Does it have the capacity to handle the sheer number of records your organization would need to track, or will performance falter?