Integrations with much-loved enterprise tools are crucial for getting the most value from your legal technology solutions.
As in-house legal teams continue to deal with increasing workloads and complexities together with the uncertain economic climate, now is a great time to ensure your legal tech is providing value and a high ROI.
One way to do this is by having the right integrations for your legal technology.
We look at the four must-have integrations and explore why integrations as part of a legal tech solution, such as a legal workspace, work to solve many of the challenges in-house legal teams face.
The top four integrations for in-house legal teams
1. Email and communication
Integrations with email solutions such as Outlook and Gmail mean that your communication channels exist as part of your legal technology. For example, business users can use email to make a legal request, with further replies, updates, and engagements tracked to the original email and all saved inside your legal workspace.
There are also other ways the wider business likes to communicate, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams. Integrations with these channels make it easy for the legal team to turn structured information from the platform into a matter, contract, or other legal content, enabling more productive communication and collaboration without leaving the platform.
These integrations also save you a bunch of time on the back and forth and get all your data into your legal platform without even lifting a finger!
It’s likely that other functions within the organization are already using enterprise tools, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software in sales. Integrating these solutions with your legal technology means the business and the legal team have the same information and visibility, with less manual effort and without disrupting workflows.
For the sales team, who naturally live in Salesforce, a Salesforce integration enables sending a contract request to legal with completed details from the original record, therefore removing the need to re-enter client information and other details around the deal. Legal can then create a contract, changes are synced in Salesforce, and everyone is kept up-to-date with the contract’s real-time status.
This saves a bunch of time for the sales team and the legal team, and once again ensures your data seamlessly flows into your legal platform, such as a legal workspace.
3. File management and document processing
Integrating your document management system, such as Sharepoint, Box, or Google Drive, makes it easy to connect and sync files with your legal technology. There is access to important documents, which are easy to surface, with no need to duplicate or maintain copies in various locations. Documents are also in a trusted repository and not scattered amongst disconnected platforms and drives, reducing risk.
Furthermore, with document editing and version control with platforms such as Workshare Compare, and Microsoft 365, all changes are reflected, in real-time, and across all documents.
By ensuring your business’ document management system and legal workspace are aligned and up to date, you reduce the risk of having scattered information or lack of context for legal issues.
4. Digital signing
With a digital signing integration such as DocuSign or Adobe Sign, you can send contracts for signing, see the status and progress, and automatically save the final copy — all without leaving your legal technology platform.
This means all critical information is kept within your system of record, and you save a bunch of time.
If out-of-the-box solutions aren’t meeting your needs, choose a legal technology vendor with an API to partner with to build the specific integrations your organization requires.
Why you need integrations that work with your legal tech, now
Integrations help solve many of the challenges in-house legal teams face, particularly context switching, duplicate data entry, and manual steps — all challenges that waste time and are side effects of working in disconnected tools.
The 2022 In-house Legal Technology Report found that switching between applications consumes a significant amount of time, with 77 percent of in-house legal teams spending over one hour per day and 39 percent three or more hours, jumping between various systems to gain a complete view of their work and determine priorities. Asana also reports on the impact of app switching, noting missed actions and messages, a feeling of being less efficient, and duplication of work as common occurrences.
Ultimately, these inefficiencies take time and value away from what lawyers moved in-house to do — have an impact on the business. In fact, the majority of lawyers and legal operators in the above report believe that time spent on lower-value, manual daily activities takes time and effort away from working on larger business goals or affects their ability to deliver services promptly.
Integrations deliver efficiency to your legal team and the business in several ways, while also ensuring you get maximum ROI from your legal technology.
Integrations reduce the number of places you have to work
Integrations enable you to stay working in the tools you love! Leveraging integrations within a legal workspace reduces the number of places you need to work, eliminating application switching as all the information you require is available wherever you’re working. The result is more efficiency, such as improved legal cycle times and velocity, less wasted time, and, ultimately, a more productive way of working.
Integrations build efficient workflows
A legal workspace means that all your legal work is tracked and saved in one place, no matter where you are working. Imagine working in a Word document, while simultaneously chatting in LawVu’s Conversations and capturing some new content in an email, then using Workshare to compare the changes, finishing the workflow with an e-signature and closing the loop with an email. With integrations of your most-trusted solutions, all work is in sync, with visibility and access across the whole organization.
Integrations streamline intake
Where intake workflows are non-existent or are inefficient, the volume and breadth of work flooding into the legal department from the wider business can be overwhelming, resulting in overflowing inboxes, a slew of back and forth, and far too many manual tasks that waste time and introduce risk.
Integrations enable the wider business to submit requests that:
are submitted from the solution of choice, without disrupting workflow to switch to another platform to submit a request;
are complete, with wasting time going back and forth to gather more details; and
contain structured data, so the details sent in the request are ready for use by the legal team who can turn the request into a matter with just a few clicks.
This results in an intake system that is part of a workflow, with seamless interaction and collaboration between the legal team and business users.
Integrations reduce risk
Integrations remove the need to switch between applications and send data and documents via point solutions, reducing risk and providing a safer and more secure way to work. Integrations eliminate the need to switch systems, meaning that information and data are in sync across apps, and in real-time.
Integrations are also a favorite with IT teams, as they offer ease of implementation, the option of out-of-the-box integrations, and single sign-on for a more secure login.
Integrations encourage adoption of legal technology
Lack of adoption and change management was one of the biggest concerns related to technology in 57 percent of participants in Deloitte’s State of the Legal Operations Survey 2021.
But, while adopting a new legal workspace can be a little disruptive and scary, being able to continue working with your favorite tools makes it a little less so. As integrations support existing workflows and tools they lower barriers to adoption, making implementation easier, reducing the expense of change management and training, and ensuring existing enterprise investments retain value.
Integrations enable you to be a more Connected Legal Function
Having the right technology in place is important for empowering in-house legal to manage the complexity and volume of work better and for helping the legal team become a more Connected Legal Function. You can leverage technology, such as integrations with your favorite tools, to optimize your team’s productivity and free up time, assist with how legal engages with the business, and provide crucial insights for being more proactive and showcasing the impact that legal has on the business.