How Modern Legal Tech is Managing Workflow Across Businesses
The legal technology landscape has transformed dramatically over the last few years. While first generation tools were siloed and lawyer-centric, modern legal technology takes a much broader approach to managing legal workflows across the business.
Early legal technology focused on digitizing specific legal tasks like research, discovery, storage and billing. E-discovery software enabled lawyers quickly to search documents for information. Storage solutions provided a central repository to store documents. Document automation streamlined generating repetitive agreements and contracts. Billing software tracked activities and invoiced clients. These capabilities offered clear efficiency gains within legal teams.
However, the scope was limited and legal tech was not interconnected with other systems and processes - it existed in isolation, rarely extending beyond the legal team. As legal tech platforms evolved to automate entire legal workflows using cloud software, automation and AI, this started to change. Core capabilities like matter, document, and contract lifecycle management, analytics and collaboration became configurable platforms, not just point solutions.
Today's legal technology aims to transform essential legal processes across the organization:
> contract lifecycle management platforms provide end-to-end visibility and control over the entire contract lifecycle - from request to negotiation, execution and post- signing management
> corporate governance tools centralize tracking of board/ shareholder meetings, minutes, resolutions and filings
> compliance management systems help build policies, procedures and controls while also monitoring regulatory change
> legal analytics provide insights into budgets, spending, productivity and risk to inform management
> legal request intake and matter management solutions enable the management of all legal work from intake to completion in a single system
With streamlined workflows accessible across teams, functions outside of the legal team can benefit from the legal technology:
> HR can and does rely on legal tech for rapidly onboarding new hires and employee relations activity
> core HR platforms integrate with contract management tools for efficient, compliant employment contract management
> sales and procurement teams are using contract management software to generate quotes, proposals, and agreements to keep deals moving swiftly
> compliance utilizes legal tech to update policies and procedures as regulations change
Historically, legal teams were the primary users and beneficiaries of legal technology. However, the automation and efficiency gains delivered by modern legal tech platforms are too significant for other departments to ignore. Legal technology is now permeating across the organization as teams recognize its potential to streamline their own manual workflows. As with any investment, combining technology with redesigned processes, data insights and the right people and operating models unlocks the most value. With the right holistic approach, choosing, implementing, and integrating the right legal tech can move legal from a cost center to a strategic business accelerator across several departments.