Woman lawyer celebrating effective workflow

The Secret to Simple Effective Management of Legal Processes

Published on : 04/02/2022 04 February Feb 02 2022

When in-house counsel, law firms and lawyers are looking to enhance, create, and embed important practice principles into their everyday business processes, legal workflow automation is what they turn to. They use legal workflow automation to facilitate high-quality, collaborative, and accountable service delivery every single time.

This article will take an in-depth look at legal workflows and further explore how they should be automated to keep up with the increased pace of business and accelerate response times.

What Are Legal Workflows?

‘Workflow’ refers to the exact process of completing a task. It can be illustrated as a series of steps that thoroughly explain the actions from start to finish. It is advantageous for legal professionals to have clear, predetermined, and structured workflows.

It can help to organize many of the complicated protocols and processes. These protocols usually involve numerous internal and external parties. The best way to provide an example of this is via the process of briefing external counsel. 

Usually, this involves the legal department clearing potential conflicts before the client provides the detailed, complete, and reviewable brief. From here, establishing a clear and structured workflow can be a time-consuming and highly manual task. This process is especially true if there are multiple law firms involved while the client is conducting a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process. 

The workflow complexities only escalate when you add in multiple internal approval requirements and tends to be quite common across both government and corporate legal departments.

However, in-house counsel and law firms can use process mapping and workflow automation to achieve effective process governance and control. 

What Is Legal Workflow Automation?

So, what is legal workflow automation? Legal workflow automation refers to software to streamline the approval, creation and management of legal matters or work. Essentially, legal workflow automation involves using technology that helps to automate the process and create a repeatable and structured workflow.

Workflow automation can be used in many areas within legal practices, such as:
  • Matter management
  • Legal intake
  • Briefing law firms
  • Triage
  • Managing spend
  • Regulatory compliance
  • RFPs

By automating these processes, it changes the life of lawyers completely. Legal professionals using workflow automation can save time, work more efficiently, and reduce operational costs. And the best news is that automation can all be done while keeping up with the increased volume and pace of business. 

Here are some of the additional benefits of workflow automation:
•    Collaborative and agile processes
•    Minimizing errors and reducing risks
•    Optimizing processes by eliminating inefficiencies of manual input
•    The ability to scale legal service delivery both internally & externally
•    Data collection and reporting
•    Opportunities to learn, iterate and continuously improve over time

Some firms using workflow automation can reduce the cost and time of completing processes by 20% to 45%. One of the best places to start is identifying the high volume, time-consuming, and repetitive manual tasks when looking to get started with workflow automation.

Using technology to automate the receipt, approval, and delegation of legal requests from internal clients during the intake process and triage is a fantastic opportunity to create consistent, standardized, and accountable workflows. This will help to assign legal matters to their correct level of priority.

Instead of using a generic or somewhat standardized form for many legal matters, you should opt for functionality that can customize the requisites on forms. Ensure that each legal team receives the information needed to undertake and complete all tasks on time, every time.

Implementing more advanced workflow automation makes it possible to take this a step further. Autonomously configuring tasks in the correct order by delegating them to the right person, capturing and reporting on the key data points, and even generating a document by only updating or creating a matter.

Better yet, this process can also be coded to notify relevant parties automatically by either SMS or email while simultaneously briefing a law firm to allow it to complete the key aspects of the matter and confirm the fees.

Get Started with Process Mapping

Did you know that the most significant financial losses throughout the legal process within law firms are because of how law firms are engaging and how their scope of work is managed? For this reason, communication needs to be done in a timely and accurate manner every single time without fail.

That is why automation workflows are the best way for in-house legal teams and law firms to achieve consistency and reliability by creating accountable and standardized legal processes that will consistently ensure the timely delivery of high-quality services every time. In essence, you can perform simple, effective management of legal processes by implementing automated workflows. 

To stay relevant and compete in the industry, any In-House Counsel or Law Practice not using workflow automation risks being behind those who are.

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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