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Where to start with Legal Tech

by Rick Junnier, CCO, Legal Gateway

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With so many tools entering the legal space, it’s hard to know where to start.

Business self-service? E Signature? Matter management? Document automation? Workflows? Storage? 

Having helped over a 100 in-house legal teams successfully realise the power of technology, we’ve found the following framework helpful: Start with the things that you have the most influence over (but may not have the highest ROI) and build organisational demand over time. 

Start with some enablers for the legal team that will result in higher lawyer productivity and buy some capacity, such that the team can take on the next phase of legal tech journey. 

In our experience the best enablers are: 

  • Issue management - ability for the team to triage and track their work 
  • Workflow - ability for the team to electronically get and track approvals (with an a udit log) 
  • Document collaboration - ability to collaborate in one document which tracks all changes to eliminate version control issues 
  • eSignature - ability for the whole business to adopt an easy to use eSignature platform 
  • Storage - ability to store all documents, contracts and emails in one organised place (that is searchable), including counterparty documents 
  • Reporting - ability to report on all of the above and using data to make (and measure) improvements in the function 

From there, begin to tackle some basic document automation that legal has the most influence over (think NDA) and give the business a taste of the power of legal automation. Once they’re loving the autonomy (with legal oversight, much the way finance sets expense policy limits) they have with the NDA, they’ll be clamouring (and offering to pay) to have you automate their sacred agreements (sales, procurement, employment, leasing, clinical trials, franchising, project, etc). 

Lastly, once the business is used to engaging legal via tech, you can roll out self-service and more fulsome matter management. 

The key to executing the above is to pick a PLATFORM that has all the above so you’re not buying, implementing and integrating disparate systems. Also be wary of tools that have law firm heritage. In-house legal teams have different needs.

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