Without a legal strategic plan, your in-house legal team will be trapped under 'busywork' and unable to accomplish meaningful improvements or...
Does Your Legal Technology Match Your Business Needs?
By 2025, Legal Departments will triple their spend on technology. Here are four critical things to consider to ensure your LegalTech matches your business needs.
“Doing more with less” has long been a core competency of in-house Legal Departments, but recent trends suggest the status quo may soon be unsustainable.
According to a report released in April by EY Law and Harvard Law School, in-house legal workloads are expected to rise by 25 percent over the next three years – and 75 percent of respondents said their hiring budget would not match that pace.
What comprises this workload? A vast majority – 87 percent – of the general counsel and in-house lawyers surveyed said they are spending too much time on low-value, routine tasks.
That means there’s good news and there’s bad news:
- The good news: These straightforward, reoccurring tasks are rife for LegalTech and automated solutions
- The bad news: Finding the right legal software for in house Legal Departments can be anything but straightforward
Gartner estimates that by 2025, Legal Departments will triple their spend on legal technology – but many will fail to achieve a meaningful return on investment. Gartner said many Legal Departments lack “sufficient regard for business requirements and end users’ needs,” and predicts that for contract software alone, only 30 percent of the potential benefit will be realized.
How can you avoid wasting time and money on legal technology that doesn’t deliver?
In a LinkedIn survey of business-to-business technology buyers, respondents ranked “price” and “features that match my needs” as the No. 1 and No. 2 factors that influenced purchase. After that, however, about half of respondents said they evaluated post-sales support and the vendor’s knowledge of the business. Another third looked for feedback on the product from peer organizations and regular technology updates.
If you've identified a potential in house legal software vendor and you're approaching the final stages of your legal technology selection, below are our top tips to consider to ensure you find a solution that matches your business needs.
1. Look for flexibility
Much of the buzz in legal operations surrounds the largest Legal Departments – and much of the product development does, too. But while the average Corporate Legal Operations Consortium member has 104 FTEs, worldwide, the median for total inside legal staff is just six, according to the Association of Corporate Counsel.
Deploying in house legal department software built for a 104-person behemoth with a team of six may be wasteful and overwhelming – if not cost-prohibitive.
Not all in-house legal teams need costly and complex enterprise legal management software solutions. With modern matter management, small legal teams can achieve the same results as big corporate teams, with a matter management solution that scales appropriately for them. Month-to-month pricing options allow you to pay for what you need without a locked-in contract, and intuitive installation means many Legal Departments can set up, customize and launch the legal software themselves – without consultants or, often, the IT team.
Consider the following when choosing an in house legal software that will match your needs:
- Are pricing plans flexible?
- Is it easy to add or remove user licenses?
2. Shop for specific legal software for in house legal teams
They may be popular and effective in other areas of your organization, but general “project management” software is neither built for specific Legal Department workflows, nor built to complement in house legal counsel software, such as document management systems.
Look for a cloud based legal management software built with a pure focus on in-house legal needs and developed by people who have been in your proverbial shoes. Even more important, look for a technology vendor who serves legal teams like yours, so you can benefit from others’ ideas, hacks and best practices.
Consider this when choosing an in house counsel software to ensure it suits your needs:
- Does the legal software vendor understand the processes and pressures unique to Legal Departments?
- Is the software a specific solution for Legal Departments, or is it a refabricated product built for law firms or general business audiences?
- Has the legal software been implemented by teams like yours – similar size, similar industry?
3. Seek specific time-saving solutions
Recall that 87 percent of in-house teams are bogged down by simple, repetitive, high-volume work. Look for a legal matter management software solution that make these more efficient.
Consider these features:
- Legal Intake and Triage: Dynamic, customized forms and templates can “pre-populate” information for reoccurring legal matters
- Integrations: Out-of-the-box integrations with Outlook or Gmail allow you to open matters straight from your inbox
- Interactive Dashboards and Automated Reporting: With your data all in one place, modern matter management can instantly generate dashboards and reports, eliminating the need for tedious information compilation
4. Information Security
How will the vendor safeguard your most sensitive company information? How is data stored and backed up? Does the vendor meet or exceed industry standards, such as ISO 27001 certification?
Download our legal technology roadmap white paper
Currently, 70 percent of in-house counsel do not have “adequate technology,” according to the EY Law and Harvard Business School report. If you’re among them, consider creating a legal technology roadmap to guide your purchases this budget season and in the years ahead. Our white paper, Create a Legal Technology Roadmap, will show you how. Download now to get started, or speak to the team today to learn how our legal matter management solutions can help you.