The digital transformation trend is a hot topic for a growing number of in-house legal departments worldwide. However, today still, only a minority has adopted a digital approach to its practice. Discover why your legal department should jump ahead, with our top 5 best benefits of going paperless.
“In the past, a legal team might have 20 lever arch files to sift through to find the key evidence. Now that is 2m emails […]. You have to have a tech solution to that.” - Jonathan Brayne, Allen & Overy, Legal services start-ups target lawyers’ paperwork, The Financial Times, August 28th, 2017.
As Jonathan Brayne states, today, in-house counsel must face an ever-increasing volume of legal information to manage. This is mainly due to greater collaboration with other departments of the company, sometimes on a global scale. It is hence harder for corporate legal departments to have an accurate overview of their legal matters, identify opportunities and reduce legal risks.
For in-house counsel who do not digitalize their practice, it is a real challenge to do without a centralized system of information and matter management. Discover why your legal department should jump ahead with our top 5 benefits of going paperless.
Manage your mandates with dedicated Legal Technologies
Gaining better control of your legal activity requires understanding legal spend as well as compiling details regarding the requests submitted by internal clients and stakeholders. Among other things, paperless legal departments embracing new technologies can:
- Efficiently manage and track requests or mandates through automation and notification systems
- Reduce time spent on administrative tasks through centralized information management systems
- Automatically assign tasks and generate standard contract templates
All which will further help you optimize managing your mandates and reduce legal risks.
Structure legal workflows and reduce non-compliance risks
The performance of the legal team is closely linked to its interactions with both internal and external stakeholders. Based on these interactions, you can develop clear legal processes to manage requests in a structured way and better control compliance to the company policies and regulations. Hence, structuring and harmonizing your processes will allow you to increase productivity, efficiency and collaboration among all stakeholders. How? By implementing a system to share documents, create a workflow, assign tasks and send automated notifications.
Evaluate opportunities and legal risks with analytics and KPIs
The paperless approach makes it easier for corporate lawyers to measure their workload vs cost, response time to request, and deadline compliance. This results in a better understanding of the tasks at hand and their assignment within the team as well as outside counsel to insure the highest level of productivity. As such, digital legal environments now allow them to demonstrate their efficiency in the business terms shared by executives.
Generate reports to drive better business decisions
For many General Counsel, demonstrating the value of the legal department has proven to be a challenge. However, for those empowered by new technologies, their ROI can be highlighted in periodic reports to company management where all data is gathered, organized and automatically updated. Digital tools can help you as a modern lawyer analyze budget and spending, summarize key information, and identify developing trends. Reports thus can be used as a powerful demonstration of the legal department’s efficiency and needs when requesting a larger budget.
Digitalize and centrally store your documentation to facilitate the search of information and prevent legal data loss
One of the most tedious aspect of practicing law is information research. Information - client history, reports, contracts - is one of the most valuable assets of a legal department. But now, with huge progress being made in digitalization, corporate legal departments can implement legal information systems to effectively store and manage documents. In-house counsel can thus quickly find the information they need, saving hours of research, which allows them to reduce cost and prevent duplicating efforts. This also includes the additional benefit of getting rid of physical archive rooms!