Legal Technology Trends That Will Define 2023

icon-contract

It’s been a strong year for technology-driven legal teams; 63% posted profitability increases in 2022 alone. According to the Wolters Kluwer Future Ready Lawyers survey, 87% of corporate lawyers consider technology as either “extremely” or “very” important to their work. 

In 2022, we’ve seen a number of trends shape up:

    • Documents migrating to the cloud for faster searching, sharing, and tracking.

    • Legal teams leveraging automation for e-discovery, research, and contract review.

    • Artificial Intelligence (AI) assisting with predictive modeling and contract compliance.

    • Virtual legal assistants handling low-level tasks, freeing staff to pursue value-rich work.

These same trends will carry on into the upcoming year, with several areas of unprecedented growth anticipated to boost legal efficiency, productivity, and performance. Let’s take a look at five exciting and upcoming legal technology trends for 2023.

Legal Technology Trends That Will Define 2023

1. Automated Contract Review Will Accelerate Deal Cycles

Review and negotiation comprise the lengthiest portions of the contracting process. A typically junior-level attorney must comb through every line of a new draft, compare it to the company’s preferred legal positions, and diligently apply best practices. Once this preliminary sweep is finished, senior legal counsel must then take one final look before it’s passed on to the other party—at which point a draft could bounce back and forth between the two several times. Manual review can take 30 days or more to complete, significantly delaying the entire sales cycle. Smart legal departments that capitalize on contract automation can complete the first pass in five minutes and pass entire deals within five days.

Efficiency: Manual contract review is often tedious and dull work that’s perfectly suited for AI.

Productivity: With automation, contracts can be reviewed in five minutes—not five days.

Performance: As a result, legal departments can handle larger volumes of contracts.

2. AI-Powered Tools Will Drive Negotiations Forward

AI-powered contract redlining, risk analysis, and review tools can focus negotiations considerably. When an automated system detects an error or omission in a contract, for example, it can intelligently mark up the text and enable teams to direct workflows to the appropriate personnel. Wherever suggestions are made, the system inserts contextual notes to explain how and why a section should be improved. This, in turn, clarifies positions and eliminates unnecessary back-and-forths between parties during negotiations.

Efficiency: AI instantly finds standard clauses and boilerplate language to add contextual suggestions.

Productivity: Teams quickly see where to focus their attention during review and negotiation.

Performance: Trust and relationships improve as parties get on the same page faster.

3. Machine Learning Will Assure Standardization

Of all the legal technology trends, machine learning has the most potential to revolutionize workflows and standardization initiatives. Machine learning technology allows lawyers to mold systems to their exact specifications and preferences, automating updates to preferred positions that would otherwise be too time-consuming to find and correct manually. Reviewing two contracts side by side is a painstakingly slow process, whereas technology can check for compliance with a Digital Playbook in mere minutes. With all that time saved, lawyers can focus on more pressing, strategic matters.

Efficiency: Lawyers can input custom “if/then” rules to easily automate draft changes.

Productivity: Technology automatically scans and compares documents, obviating laborious manual tasks.

Performance: Lawyers have more time to focus on strategic positioning and negotiation.

4. Automated Workflows Will Simplify Training

In the past, new employees had to read, digest, and nearly memorize entire corporate legal playbooks to understand the company’s lexicon and negotiating preferences. While clause libraries and templates helped, they still needed to know where to look to find answers to their questions. Today, teams that use Digital Playbooks and automated workflows lean on technology to do the heavy lifting for them. All the information they need to make key decisions is automatically extracted for them, with answers and the ability to make changes just a few clicks away.

Efficiency: Automation can reduce training and onboarding costs by 99%.

Productivity: Technology can guide staff in handling compliance issues and corrections.

Performance: Technology preserves institutional knowledge, even after key staff members leave.

5. Data Analytics Will Improve Performance

Data analytics platforms are often used as part of an overarching contract management system, providing contract fulfillment tracking and valuable post-execution metrics. Teams can also look back at which clauses were most quickly approved and which ones languished in extensive back-and–forth negotiations. Come renegotiation time, contracts can be significantly improved. 

Efficiency: Important metrics are extracted and saved in auto-generated reports.

Productivity: Manual tracking of important deliverables and deadlines is no longer necessary.

Performance: Counsel can receive insights into which clauses are most and least heavily negotiated.

Start 2023 the Right Way—With LexCheck

Maybe you’re riding some of these legal technology trends already, or maybe you’re looking to gain a competitive edge in 2023. Either way, LexCheck supports your pre-execution contract review and negotiation processes with the most advanced AI, natural language processing, machine learning, and automation capabilities on the market. If your corporate legal department is looking to start the new year with an easy-to-use solution that incorporates the latest legal technology trends, look no further than LexCheck.

Legal technology will play an important role in 2023, but if you’re ready to experience the difference it can make for your team right now, contact us at sales@lexcheck.com or download our 7 Steps to Optimize Your Contract Review Process.

gary-sanghaGary Sangha | Founder & CEO

Gary Sangha is the Founder and CEO LexCheck. He's a serial entrepreneur and an academic. Gary previously founded Intelligize, a legal technology company that was acquired by LexisNexis. He's affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University and started his career as an attorney at Shearman & Sterling and White & Case.