Creating a connected in-house legal function and the place of legal tech

Feb 17, 2022

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Our world is driven by positive relationships, open communication and active collaboration. A successful organization is no different. In order to build a lasting legacy and strong network, your business needs connection.

While we know this to be true, many in-house legal teams find themselves in departmental siloes, struggling to collaborate, spending considerable time on low-value projects and being seen as a black hole by the rest of the business.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

In this article, we’ll help you start your journey toward unified legal technology, showing how these platforms can help your team stay connected, expand your single source of truth and showcase the power of the legal team by leveraging data and metrics.

Identifying the problem

It’s pretty common these days for in-house legal teams to live in Outlook and Gmail. While beneficial in their own right, when these email platforms are used for matters, contracts and spend management organization, files can get lost and productive days are wasted.

This lack of transparency and organization can drive your legal team into a disconnected silo, leading to:
Considerable time consolidating legal work;
Legal being seen as a cost center;
Difficulty collaborating with the team and wider business;
Poor visibility and productivity;
Legal at risk of falling behind more efficient and transparent business functions.

It’s time for a change

With legal tech platforms, like LawVu, your team has the power to transform positively – gone are the days of clogged inboxes and week-long contract turnarounds. Matthew Brasch, Associate Counsel at Buckle, implemented LawVu’s legal management software four months ago and has already noticed better organization, sped up matter turn-around time and higher productivity within his team.

If you’ve thought about making the switch to legal tech (or onboarding anything new within your legal team) you probably know that this can be a difficult feat. Many lawyers, despite their adaptability and hard-working mindset, struggle to fully understand why a new tool is critical. It’s important to bring your team on this journey too – regardless of how great the product is, if they’re not on board you risk lengthy implementation and low adoption rates.

How do we showcase the value of legal technology to the team?

Expanding into the unknown can be daunting, but most times, the benefits outweigh fear.

The latest statistics show that in-house legal teams are evolving under pressure:
Workloads are expected to increase by over 25 percent in the next three years;
76 percent of legal teams are already struggling to manage their workloads;
88 percent of general counsel are being pressured to reduce the cost of the legal function.

By implementing a single source of truth, your legal team will have the power to quell these pressures, creating an organized system of record for collaboration, connection and file management.

The best part is, these platforms will meet you where you are. With LawVu, accommodation is endless and there is room to grow alongside the tech. As Alexander Petrie, Senior Legal Counsel APAC at James Hardie, rightfully says “take baby steps.”

With legal technology, legal is no longer the ‘department of no’

Rather than having to dig through thousands of emails and question which platform a matter is floating around in, Devin Jensen, Chief IP Counsel at Silgan Dispensing, has seen a shift in his legal team since implementing LawVu, leading to:
Oversight on expectations and workflow;
Increased productivity in a work-week;
Ability to showcase the value each lawyer brings to the team;
More connection to the business at large.

Jensen’s broader business sees faster turn-around times, receiving responses from the team in a matter of hours rather than days, in addition to a better understanding of the value the legal team brings.

Legal is no longer an untouchable silo – and the in-house team is happier and healthier.

Understanding data and metrics

So, you sell your team on legal tech, implement a cutting-edge platform and have a high adoption success rate.

How can you use this tool to showcase the value of your team to the wider business?

Data.

With LawVu, users have access to easily quantifiable metrics such as the total number of matters, contracts and turn-around times. Now, a General Counsel or Chief Legal Officer can actively see where their team’s workday is spent, bringing this knowledge back to the business to aid in future planning.

Tracey Nobis, Chief Legal Operations Officer at James Hardie, has found that with the help of data tracking, she sees figures like the number of matters each attorney is working on and what department most matters come from. This gives her and the team greater transparency and also helps identify potential risks or escalations.

As Nobis continues to dive into data and metrics, she’s discovered a whole new world of quantifiable statistics. She now sees trends in the business and can be a better manager to her team – catching who has too much on their plate and where additional resources may be needed. Nobis is also a better resource to the business and is included in larger conversations surrounding prospective goals and opportunities.

Making the switch – the time is now

With a comprehensive, single source of truth like LawVu, your team will become truly connected with stronger business relations, enhanced productivity and key insights on the team’s value. With workloads rising and expectations increasing, there’s no better time to make the switch to legal technology.

Learn more about making the switch to connected legal with LawVu’s webinar series! Listen to what customers are saying about unifying legal work, expanding their single source of truth and leveraging data more effectively to the business.

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