Enclosure (1) to COMDTINST 5801.4E
POLICY & GUIDANCE FOR THE USE OF LAW MANAGER IN THE LEGAL ASSISTANCE
1. Law Manager. Command Directors of Legal Assistance and legal assistance attorneys are required
to use law manager to track all legal assistance matters. Law Manager is a commercial off-the-shelf
(COTS) computer application designed for legal case and matter management tailored for use by the
Coast Guard legal program. It employs a web-based interface to provide individual attorneys and
office managers a flexible tool for managing case-related information, while at the same time
gathering essential program data. Law Manager is to be used in accordance with Commandant
Instruction 5230.53 (series) as modified by the below requirements.
2. Case/Matter Management. Law Manager provides tools to assist attorneys, support staff and
supervisors. These tools include the capability to open and describe cases and matters in terms of
various pre-determined Practice Areas and types of legal work performed. A scheduler is available
to track deadlines and events, and a contact manager provides a record of persons related to cases,
which also provides the conflict checking capability. There is also notes and narrative capability, as
well as the ability to link other documents and files to Law Manager cases and matters. Offices can
track case-load by unit. In addition to containing a full text search capability, pre-defined reports
can be generated. Ad Hoc reporting is available to provide additional information sorted by any of
the data items entered in the system.
a. Legal Assistance Case. A "case" for tracking legal assistance matters is defined as: A distinct
legal matter handled for an eligible recipient of legal assistance services (a client). A single
eligible recipient may be involved in several cases involving several distinct legal matters. A
"matter" is generally used to describe projects or tasks that do not involve individual
representation. For the purposes of Law Manager use, no distinction between case and matter is
(1) For example, a member who received legal assistance advice on a landlord/tenant
matter, had a will/living will prepared, and was assisted on a debt matter has been
involved in 3 cases.
(2) Similarly, a client who is seen by a legal assistance attorney many times regarding the
same matter is 1 case. The added resource used for these "high maintenance" cases
can be reflected in timekeeping.
b. Practice Area. Practice Areas are the general areas of law in which Coast Guard attorneys
work. Legal Assistance is one Practice Area.
c. Practice Area Type. Describes the legal assistance services provided. Types are the same for
all legal assistance offices and can only be changed by the System Administrator at Commandant