4 Major Challenges Legal Professionals Should Be Preparing for Within the Next Five Years

4 Major Challenges Legal Professionals Should Be Preparing for Within the Next Five Years

Published on : 13/09/2023 13 September Sep 09 2023

The past few years have not been easy for the legal profession. Indeed, ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, In-House has significantly been disrupted. In the past, the legal departments were slow to embrace technological advancements in their practice. But during the pandemic, lawyers had to shift from in-office working to remote or hybrid working, and technology played a key role in this shift.

In the face of ongoing globalization, multiple changes are expected in the legal profession, which could pose as challenges to legal departments. The good news is that these challenges also present opportunities for legal departments to leverage new technological solutions in the market.

This article discusses four major challenges facing the legal profession in the next five years and what can be done about them.

Keeping up With Compliance

In the current political and regulatory environment, managing the legal needs of an organization is a huge task for in-house counsel and corporate lawyers. Each company has to handle its own tax returns, annual filings, and other reporting requirements in the relevant jurisdiction.

In some cases, a change in one area, like a company director, can trigger compliance requirements in an entity, so in-house legal teams must always remain on top of things to avoid non-compliance.

To reduce non-compliance risks, legal professionals can invest in document management systems.

These systems allow legal departments to hasten file retrieval processes, automate workflows, and streamline entire business processes. Thus minimizing errors that would lead to non-compliance while also reducing redundant frustrations due to repetitive tasks with AI and automation.

Lawyer Burnout

About 78% of in-house attorneys feel stressed or burned out, while 57% are open to getting new jobs, according to Axiom's 2022 in-house counsel survey report. The added complexity of legal work, increased workloads, and reduced legal department bandwidth are some of the factors that have contributed to the increased stress and burnout among legal departments over the past few years.

Again, technology could play a big role in solving lawyer burnout (or make it worse).
By embracing legal workflow automation software, legal departments can save themselves the trouble of handling unengaging, repetitive tasks and instead take on more fulfilling tasks. This also means their days won't be filled up by work, and they can take some time to actually practice law, even better, by taking some time off to relax. For that to happen, legal departments need to choose wisely.

Maintaining Cybersecurity

Legal departments have recently become prime targets for cybercriminals looking to steal, sell, expose, or extort confidential data. Considering that ln-House Counsel naturally handle confidential company information, sensitive client data, and five-figure or higher payments, it's highly likely cybercrimes will continue to be a major challenge for legal departments in the coming years.

While there is no 100% foolproof way to prevent cybercrime, there are several measures that legal professionals can take to reduce their chances of becoming victims.

These include:

  • Keeping operating systems and software updated
  • Implementing event management solutions and vulnerability scanners to scan the systems for any upcoming attacks
  • Scheduling regular training for staff on cybersecurity

Picking the Right Legal Technological Solution

For many years, the legal industry has lagged behind in technological innovation. But today, many new technology solutions are introduced into the industry every year, making it difficult for legal departments to determine which solution fits them best. There is a good side and a bad side to technology, which is why it's important to analyze and identify what is causing the problem.

The right legal technological solution varies depending on one's needs. But in general, legal departments should look for a solution with multiple users worldwide and proven success while also remembering to take one step at a time. The tech provider should also have a working customer care team ready to help during the transition and after the implementation of their system. Other critical factors to consider are performance, ease of use, customizability, and scalability of the technological solution.

In Summary:

While the challenges facing legal departments may seem daunting, they can be avoided by adopting the right technological solutions. Therefore, this is not the time for legal professionals to sit back and wait to see how things unfold.

It's time to study and analyze the challenges facing their law practice and then embrace the latest technology features to overcome those hurdles. In the process, this could reduce their manual, repetitive tasks and improve efficiency and productivity. 

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About the author:
Legal Suite is the worldwide leader in digital transformation for lawyers. We have delivered our state-of-the-art software for lawyers, law firms, and in-house general counsel to 65,000 users for over two decades. www.legal-suite.com


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