A woman in a suit points to the word Agile to symbolize proactive actions

The Legal Sector Needs to Prepare for or Become a Victim of Disruption.

Published on : 09/07/2021 09 July Jul 07 2021

Disruption is happening everywhere.The closing of brick-and-mortar retail stores across the world is one example. Online buying, particularly during the health crisis, is the preference for many consumers. Other sectors affected by disruption like finance and the leisure industry are evidence that no industry is safe. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees; the legal sector needs to prepare for disruption or become its unwilling victim.


Digital technology has evolved to prepare legal operations to face uncertainty and disruption. Remember a time, not so long ago, when we needed a high-level IT professional on call to create reports or add a custom field to make sense of the data in legal business management systems? 

Some managers even tried “bribery” by bringing the tech department donuts and treats to stay on their good side in the hopes of moving up the queue to get the reports needed. 

That was then; this is now. The digital revolution has created opportunities for non-technical business people to self-serve to build their dashboards and reports. There’s no need to learn techie programming when you can simply drag-and-drop objects onto your dashboard and instantly connect to your live data. 

Data-driven businesses are more confident when they base their decisions on facts. Therefore, giving business leaders a way to spot patterns to intervene before adversely affecting operations is essential to enable digital transformation across the business. 

But how to get started? Let’s examine how you can digitally transform In-house Counsel and Law Firms to see more, do more, and communicate insights that resonate and inspire action.

Here are some ideas to consider:

1.  Why are legal professionals looking for nimbleness and rapid change for their processes?  

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin, The Science of Evolution 

Intelligent automation powered by Business Intelligence provides a bird’s eye view of trends that clarify the subsequent actions to take. Having this intel illuminates which business processes need to change to better connect the legal sector to those they serve. 

The digital revolution has turned many organizations into “startups” as they navigate through innovations that change the way they work. Likewise, the legal sector can adapt to change with the fierce courage of a startup – becoming like an eager entrepreneur who is curious and willing to jump in with both feet to deliver value to those they serve.   

2.  What drives the need for quick results and agile business solutions?

 “Failure really just means that your system is trying to tell you something – so you’d better listen.” Henrik Kniberg, an expert in agile processes

Our systems are collecting more data than ever before. Organizations need to harness and use that data, from basic information to all the detailed documents, emails, and communications required in business.
In-house Counsel and Law Firms are focusing (correctly) on removing tedious manual processes and areas of friction to ease unnecessary work efforts for their staff. The right technology enables informed decisions that prepare your organization to be agile.  

3. What helps your people trust the data? 

“Data really powers everything that we do.” – Jeff Weiner, Executive Chairman of LinkedIn
Most managers understand the need to move quickly to make wise decisions, and they appreciate that data and insight are critical.

The challenge is making it easy for staff to access and trust the data and communicate what the data reveals. 

Modern technology solutions that connect you to your data in real-time are game-changing. You are not dealing with stale data, but what is happening at the moment. Viewing live data gives you enough time to react quickly to change course and avert issues. 

Gaining trust by ensuring you operate from a single version of the truth is essential. Having a solid Business Intelligence solution that consistently presents data analytics that is clear and relevant is the key to winning over trust in your organization. 

4. Learn to speak about what matters to your managers.

Humans perceive and communicate differently. For example, your accountant may focus on numbers differently than a lawyer would; speaking to them in business language that they understand gains their attention and gives you a better chance of “selling” them on new technology.  

So, you might show an accountant the trend that controlling spending is improving your bottom line. But when speaking with a managing partner in a law firm, it may be more meaningful to show the additional number of contracts won over a period or the rise in billable hours and payments. 

Finding out which metrics matter to different department leaders can be meaningful and persuasive. Your managers will hear you when you speak about what matters to them and bring their data to life. 

Embracing change is not natural for most humans. 

Bringing change to your In-house Counsel or legal practice is possible, but it requires your attention.  

Your colleagues may become frustrated and won’t see it through to the finish. Others don’t want to learn new behaviors and may want to skip over foundations without understanding what metrics to look at and what processes need to change to be successful.

With technology that incrementally proves its worth by providing quality data, your team can learn to embrace change. They will learn to trust, have curiosity about better ways to do things, and be well-prepared to meet disruption.

Want to learn more about productivity for the legal sector? Read our blog, “Embrace a Manageable Workday With Automated Contract Management.”

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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