The pandemic hasn’t fundamentally changed corporate law—but it has intensified in-house trends that were happening well before COVID-19 became a household name. Today, for example, legal departments are even more cost-conscious and more open to using technology to elicit efficiencies and productivity. But while legal tech providers, especially those serving contract and e-discovery needs, stand to benefit, it’s not all smooth sailing ahead.
The legal department market, after all, has its own set of unique challenges, and it’s not a sure bet that legal technology providers can overcome them. Nor is it a certainty that in-house demand for tech won’t ebb in the future.
Technology is only one component of the transformation of the legal function. Its effectiveness is dependent on the quality of Legal’s operational strategy including the ways people and processes, as well as technology and data, will contribute to its achievement. GCs should hold off exploring the myriad of third party legal technology solutions available, until they have decided which of their problems they are trying to solve and whether technology is the best way to fix them. Then the questions of in-house technology, bought in for use onpremises or accessed as a service on the Cloud can be addressed..
Over time, the burden of work will fall differently across the resource mix of legal functions, other in-house functions, offshore, outsourcing, and technology. In the next two to five years, we expect that the deployment of natural language processing will eliminate much contract drafting work, a lot of research will be automated, intuitive document and knowledge management will expedite finding precedents, with the legal function spending less time on administrative tasks and more on strategic advice that adds significant business value. This presents exciting opportunities for GCs and their teams.
The introduction of technology to the legal function adds value to the entire organization and provides additional competitive advantage. The potential benefits are extensive, provided they reflect the strategy that the legal function has developed to support the organization as a whole, and that the selection and implementation of the technology has been rigorous and effective.
We present to you, “Top 10 Legal Tech Service Providers - 2021.”