Legal Operations Technology for In-House Legal Departments

Date
September 29, 2022
Category
Date
September 29, 2022
Author
Gary Sangha | Founder & CEO
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When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, it became abundantly clear that the old way of conducting business wasn’t going to work anymore. In a few short months, seven years’ worth of technology pushed its way to the forefront of our lives. Children were going to school virtually. Groceries ordered online were delivered to our doorsteps. Manufacturers adopted direct-to-consumer business models. Entire offices went remote. 

But the truth is that efficiency-enhancing technology has been long overdue. With corporate legal departments in particular growing more competitive, facing staffing shortages, and dealing with increased demand for data-driven decision making, legal operations technology is the right solution for the right time.

 In-house legal department considers legal operations technology.

How Are Technology Trends Changing In-House Legal Teams?

The development of machine learning algorithms over the last decade—combined with steep declines in cloud data storage prices and increased computing power—has made artificial intelligence (AI) a highly accessible option for companies of all sizes and industries. 

From 2020-2021, 52% of companies accelerated their AI adoption plans as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, according to PwC. Further, 86% say that AI is becoming “mainstream technology” at their companies because it’s helping fill skills shortages, support workers who are transitioning careers, and allowing legal associates to perform more engaging, high-level work. 

What Kind of Tech is Frequently Used in Law?

There is no “one system to rule them all.” Deloitte’s most recent State of Legal Operations Survey found that 45% of legal departments are using five to 10 technologies to support their legal processes, and nearly a third are using more than 10. 

All too often, businesses adopt dated technology or fail to address the most pressing issues faced by staff. Forty-six percent of those surveyed by Deloitte say they “do not have the right tools to do their jobs.” Three-quarters of professionals say legal staff “spends too much time on manual tasks,” working outside technology. 

Only 18% report being able to automate routine tasks with their current technology. By 2024, it’s estimated legal departments will need to automate at least 50% of their work related to major corporate transactions to keep up with higher workloads and a shrinking workforce. 

Where To Get Started with Legal Operations Technology

A legal operations technology stack may include tools related to:

  • eSignatures
  • Enterprise legal management 
  • Risk management 
  • Workflow automation
  • Records management
  • Vendor compliance management
  • Compliance and policy management 
  • Contract management 

Among these, contract management has seen the highest level of penetration within legal departments, with the market expected to top $3 billion by 2026

Considering the average Fortune 2000 company juggles 20,000 - 40,000 active contracts at any given time, the need to manage this booming area of business is far too great. Not only are up to 15% of all contracts lost or unaccounted for, but contract disputes are said to account for 64% of U.S. state court cases. What’s more, companies can lose up to 40% of a contract’s value without careful drafting and close oversight. All considered, contract management is one of the best places to start modernizing workflow processes. 

Without legal operations technology, a new contract draft would routinely be sent to a junior associate who then spends days combing through each line in search of errors, omissions, risks, and deviations from the corporate legal playbook. A complex contract can take weeks to review. Junior associates may need to escalate a contract to senior counsel if the risk appears great or if there are many deviations. 

By comparison, LexCheck can fully review and redline a contract in five minutes, creating and relying on an AI Digital Playbook to enforce company standardized clauses, best practices, and lawyer inputs. Changes can be made with the click of a button and staff can review the system’s instructive guidance, complete with context-based recommendations for further assistance. It’s the perfect automated solution for any legal operations team looking to improve workflow efficiency while bolstering its bottom line.

Legal operations technology is here to stay, and it’s evolving. To learn more about it, contact us at sales@lexcheck.com or request a demo to experience our technology for yourself.

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