Learn how self-service saves in-house lawyers time

Mar 6, 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As an in-house legal professional, your ‘client’ is the business, so it’s vital the service you deliver meets its needs in a timely manner. Yet there’s a proportion of legal work that’s primed for the business to self-serve, with the potential to free up your time for higher-value, more strategic legal work.

It will be no surprise that tackling inefficiency and finding time savings were top of mind for in-house legal professionals surveyed in the 2022 In-house Legal Technology Report, with 40 percent spending over three hours per day dealing with back and forth with the business.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • what legal self-service is;
  • what types of legal tasks the business can self-serve;
  • the benefits of legal self-service for the legal team and the business; and
  • important considerations when designing self-service systems.
Discover how to empower the business with legal self-serve options.  Sign up for the Connected Legal Certification — it’s free for all in-house legal professionals, from General Counsel to legal operators to paralegals!
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What is legal self-service?

Legal self-service is the use of legal technology, such as a legal workspace, for the automation of common workflows and processes. This enables colleagues in the wider business to action their own legal tasks, with no or minimal assistance from the legal team.

Often access to the legal tech is through a ‘legal front door’, for example a business portal or a hub.

Within the legal industry, self-service comes in many forms, including self-help FAQs, shared knowledge management, and contract creation of simple documents, for example NDAs, employment contracts, and terms of service.

What are the benefits of legal self-service?

Imagine how much time you could gain back in your day if your business colleagues were able to access legal knowledge and answer their own legal questions, or be able to create their own NDAs? Plus, working in challenging and recessionary times means there’s even more incentive to be smart about how your valuable time is spent.

When legal self-service is adopted as part of your wider legal operations efforts, the legal team and the business benefit because self-service:

  • saves time — the wider business can access legal knowledge and create contracts without the need to involve legal;
  • minimizes legal waste — no more bottlenecks or back and forth to collect complete information as business users can enter all details at the point of document or contract creation;
  • optimizes productivity — legal has more time to spend on high-value, more rewarding strategic work;
  • improves legal service delivery and the business’s experience with the legal department; and
  • empowers the business to get involved with their own legal work and learn new skills.

Three important considerations when designing your legal self-service system

  1. Balance repeatability vs risk, taking into account the business’s risk appetite
  2. Educate the business, especially about when and how to use the self-service options
  3. Make the self-service tools easily accessible, user-friendly, and seamless

Keeping these three points in mind means your self-service system will be well-utilized by the business, saving you time and ensuring a high ROI for your legal technology.

“Remember, it’s not always necessary for legal to cast an eye over every legal task — legal doesn’t have to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’. When a selection of the legal tasks is available to the wider business as a self-serve option, everyone in the business wins some time back.”

Shaun Plant — Chief Legal Evangelist, LawVu

Where to start with self-service?

Joining other legal professionals and learn more about setting up self-service for your legal team in our course ‘Self-service, as part of the Connected Legal Certification.

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