At the ILTA annual conference in Nashville today, Microsoft Corp. announced the release of a preview version of a new document management and collaboration platform designed for law firms and legal departments.

Called Matter Center for Office 365, it works with Office 365 and allows legal professionals to securely find, organize and collaborate on files within the familiar Office environment.

According to today’s announcement, features of the new platform include:

  • Cloud storage using OneDrive for Business, providing 1 TB of individual storage, with automatic synchronization across all your devices and for both online and offline access.
  • Sharing and collaboration, allowing you to share files with anyone and work on files simultaneously with others, including the ability to track changes and versions.
  • Robust search, making it easy to search and find matters and related documents directly within Outlook or Word.
  • Integrated document management, allowing you to drag, drop and save emails and attachments from Outlook directly into a matter. Matter documents are automatically saved with the correct metadata, permissions and version control.
  • Access and permission controls, allowing users to be granted or denied access to a matter. All subsequent documents associated with the matter will inherit the same permissions.

The announcement said that Matter Center is well suited to firms beginning their migration to the cloud, with enterprise grade security, management and administrative controls.

Matter Center for Office 365 is available in a limited preview, the announcement said. Interested customers can learn more about participating in a beta program at

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  • Wow .
    Sounds great for all those who have not got practice systems already doing this.
    Integration is the key.

    If this is a step forward for a user in integrating their document collaboration, storage and creation , it will be a big leap forward

  • Glad to find your blog with Nice post.

  • For solo and small firm attorneys who are interested in something a little less powerful:

    I have a FREE MS-Outlook macro that will add a Smiley Face button to your Quick Access Tool (QAT) bar in your MS-Outlook e-mail Inspector window. The effect that this macro will have when you click the button is to create a filename based on the content of the subject line of the e-mail message you are looking at minus any characters that are not valid in Windows filenames; The macro will then export the e-mail message you are looking at to a MSG file by the subject line specified file name into a well defined directory structure that you have previously created for the matter/case file documents used by your law firm. Assuming that this “well defined directory structure” is in a “share” on a Microsoft server that is accessible to all in your law firm who would need access, this e-mail MSG file could be processed by anybody in your law firm as if it were in their own MS-Outlook inbox.

    The following blog website has very detailed instructions for implementing this macro that are not for the faint of heart. If you are a competent user of Microsoft Windows Explorer; Windows editing techniques; and your heart isn’t too faint, then you can implement this macro. The payoff is that you will be able to save copies of your matter/case related e-mails with little more effort than it takes to use the turn signal in your car. Plus it can save you and everybody in your law firm a ton of time.

    I also have a practice management system that can be customized for any area(s) of practice.

    Blog Website:
    If you need my free help, contact me at

    • I updated my blog post about my Outlook Macro. The macro is particularly useful to attorneys who are tired of jumping back and forth between Microsoft Windows (file) Explorer and Microsoft Outlook Inbox trying to associate e-mail messages to their corresponding case file records. This is a very time consuming process and once it is completed you have to repeat the process whenever you want to review the e-mail message’s content for its effect on the outcome of the case. This is such an extreme consumer of time that there has to be a better way because there is currently no way to make this association persist. Well there is a better way.

      I am making this macro available to whoever wants to download, install, and use it for FREE with FREE technical support assistance with the installation process. You can obtain this macro by going to my blog website at

      You can contact me directly best by visiting my main website at

      To watch a video that sheds more light on this topic, follow this link: