Enterprise Legal Management

Enterprise Legal Management (ELM) is an industry term for a set of disciplines core to running an efficient legal function. Some vendors provide ELM platforms - a suite of solutions in one software package. Such solutions have typically evolved from a core of either matter or spend management to incorporate all aspects of running a legal law department. These systems are designed to unify the complexities of large corporations by simplifying the connecting of complementary teams to coordinate efforts to meet organizational business goals under a collaborative framework.   

The benefit of such solutions is the ability to effectively manage work, with data seamlessly flowing through the stages of a matter for example and leverage the large amount of data produced by the legal business environments. Also, it provides visibility to the legal function for decision making without the need to interact with several software packages. Thereby supporting general counsela in the ability to manage controls, policies, and procedures for operational efficiency.


The following modules are generally the core functional areas covered by an ELM solution:

·       Matter Management

·       Spend Management

·       Document Management

·       Contract Management


The following modules within the ELM category are now included:

·       Legal Project Management

·       Document Assembly

·       Panel Management

·       Internal Time Management


Finally, some platforms also include elements of:

·       Corporate Secretariat

·       Compliance or Risk (especially GRC)

·       Knowledge Management


The size and the sophistication of the legal department, as well as the strategy framework targeted, will mean select modules may be more important than others and the way they are delivered could vary.

For smaller legal departments with twenty lawyers or fewer is, for example, a Microsoft SharePoint site with legal-centric configuration with workflows and basic document management might fulfil their needs. However, the more sophisticated a global legal department is, the more they will require dedicated integrated software to manage each of these specific modules.


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