Legal departments guard their organisations from the risk of litigation, reputational damage, and penalties for compliance breaches. Their expertise is needed across the business, and they get to wear many hats.
But staying on top of regulations is demanding for most corporate law departments. Nearly three in five (59%) perceive the evolving risk and compliance landscape as a major challenge. And when leaders are poised to make tough decisions for their businesses during COVID-19, they turn to in-house counsel for guidance.
When in-house counsel were surveyed for the annual Tech & the Law 2022 report, the benefits of liberating time cropped up frequently. Dedicating more time to provide strategic business advice was cited by corporate counsel as a valued way of working, with strategic business advice being a priority for 57%.
The benefits of improved operations
Legal teams are finding new ways to cut administrative processes out of their workdays. Many are increasing their use of technology to optimise processes. The majority of legal counsel surveyed placed high value in improving operations and workflows – 63% cited it as a priority.
“Review your workflow and reporting to find some quick wins with the use of technology,” urges one General Counsel based in Queensland.
Another Legal Counsel, based in New South Wales, weighs in on getting in-house legal tech right. “Choose legal technology that is best suited to the style of the team and not the other way around. This may mean trialling the technology and spending time to understand it.”
Training and stakeholder management
One recurring tip that surfaced in the report was to train staff on digital proficiencies. “Make time and space for training in the use of new technology,” says a Western Australia-based In-house Counsel.
Close to one in four legal departments (23%) surveyed have experienced a failed legal technology implementation project. This calls for building a successful business case at the start and ensuring the technology is the right fit for the legal department.
“Consult with your stakeholders before implementing anything so they buy in and walk the journey with you,” urges another In-house Counsel included in the survey.
Top three legal department insights
We’ve captured three insights gleaned from Tech & the Law 2022 for in-house leaders to consider in their legal technology roadmap.