Let’s say you lead a sales team and you find that every time one of your sales people is ready to sign a contract with a new customer they have to wait way too long to get the new contract approved by your in-house legal team. The legal team is overwhelmed with the amount of tedious, yet critical, work they must do to make sure these new contracts are accurate and fully in compliance.
Because you keep up with technology solutions, you want to suggest that your company leaders consider adopting technology to address the challenges faced by the legal team. One hot new solution involves incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into the legal workflow. AI solutions can take much of the burden off the legal team, giving them more time to focus on strategy rather than repetitive tasks.
How AI-driven contract generation can help
If your sales team, for example, had an automated contract generation solution at their fingertips, they could access contracts that have been uploaded into the platform, fill in the blanks based on variables set by the company, and send that contract draft directly to the legal team. The team could quickly review the contract, make any changes, and approve it. Rather than starting each contract from a template, the AI learns from past examples and continually improves the process. It can save the company time and money and improve the lives of the sales and legal teams.
AI-driven legal technology is versatile. It can quickly create well-researched legal documents, streamline the sales process by saving corporate attorneys hours of work while improving quality and consistency. It can automatically update changes in laws and standards and incorporate the latest legal rulings. This creates more accurate documents earlier in the contracting lifecycle, saving everyone time and money while moving the business process forward.
The future is calling
But convincing the decision-makers and getting their approval can be a roadblock. They often don’t realize that technology can automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflow processes to help improve efficiency. It can optimize workflow to reduce routine tasks, enact checklists and execute step-by-step processes that the legal team must do.
According to the 2022 Gartner report “Five Legal Technology Trends Changing In-House Legal Departments:”
*By 2025, legal departments will increase their spend on legal technology threefold.
*By 2024, legal departments will replace 20% of generalist attorneys with non-legal staff. Attorney workloads are increasing but legal departments aren’t necessarily getting additional budget to deal with the increase, putting a premium on attorneys’ time. That means to stay competitive, legal departments will rely more on innovative technology solutions.
*By 2024, legal departments will automate 50% of legal work related to major corporate transactions and will also automate a large percentage of the rest of their work.
*By 2025, corporate legal departments will capture only 30% of the potential benefit of their Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) system investments. While legal departments (especially those with only one attorney doing all the work) are told they should automate, they sometimes jump into using a large tool that takes too much time to set up and is too complicated to efficiently implement. This wastes time and money.
*By 2025, at least 25% of legal budgets will go to enterprise software vendors such as Microsoft or Salesforce. It’s important to note that some companies have pre-negotiated amounts to spend with these vendors. Sometimes, that money can be used on legal technology. It’s an important thing to consider when choosing which software solution to use. And the legal team should work with the IT team to make their needs known.
What’s the ROI?
*According to Statista’s 2021-2027 Legal Tech ROI worldwide report from August 2022, the return on investment for every $1 invested in legal tech worldwide in 2021 would equate to $6.32 by 2027.
* Thompson Reuters predicted in 2020 that contract automation would save companies 82% of time.
*And Bloomberg Law, Legal Operations Survey, 2020, found that 64% of in-house attorneys cited better workflow with legal technology.
A collaborative effort
To be clear, using legal technology impacts employees across multiple disciplines. It’s important to solicit and receive feedback from department leaders throughout the organization before submitting a business case. Decision-makers should be familiar with your proposal before officially presenting the business case. Don’t be afraid to stop by their office, send an email, or ask to meet in person to discuss the proposal in the weeks leading up to your presentation. Convincing management to go this route will be more successful after receiving agreement from all stakeholders.
In the end, even when legal technology is approved, real live lawyers will always have final approval. The bottom line is that AI-driven legal platforms can save companies significant amounts of money – we estimate it can increase the value of one lawyer seven times.
These are amazing stats involving legal technology - worth sharing with corporate management to make everyone’s job easier.