In 2018, Legal Ops Will Keep Turning to Technology
In 2018, Legal Ops Will Keep Turning to Technology

In 2018, Legal Ops Will Keep Turning to Technology

Kelli Negro |

David T. Kinnear made a great point recently: When the rest of our world is becoming more agile and more tech-enabled, why not law?

Mr. Kinnear is CEO and Publisher at High Performance Counsel, and pressed his point in a recent column, Legal Innovation Rock Stars: Law Is Having Its Steve Jobs Moment.

As he sees it, the legal landscape is getting more complex, more expensive and more demanding for everyone, from clients to counsel to the technology companies becoming so embedded in that landscape. He’s absolutely right, and it’s why the trend toward investing in tech tools to bring greater agility to Legal Ops is going to only gather force as we head into 2018.

That was made extraordinarily clear by this year’s HBR Law Department Survey, which detailed how corporations are currently spending to optimize the performance of their legal department.

66% of the companies surveyed had already adopted a document management tool of some sort, while another 21% had plans afoot to implement one within the next two years.

The main driver? 82% of respondents expected their legal needs to increase in the next year, but want to manage the costs involved and find – or innovate – efficiencies, both internally and with outside counsel.

Therefore, they’re implementing centers of excellence to manage contracts, outsourcing more legal processes, adopting analytics, and taking the first exploratory steps toward artificial intelligence.

When moving forward is the only way to go

We’ve had the pleasure and good fortune to know some of the people who are leading legal services into this brave new world, like Connie Brenton and other pioneering adopters such as Justin Hectus. We’re proud to be able to help them, in some small way, to light the way for others.

It’s an unsettling transition from tradition into technological modernity for some. But those who fail to make the leap will be left by the wayside, unfortunately. But the potential is huge, and it’s well worth that leap. As Justin pointed out,

When you look at technological disruption, the two major subcategories are: potential for tremendous risk and tremendous opportunity. We have to embrace the transformation from the standpoint of how to minimize risk while maximizing opportunity.

As exciting as it is, we think we’re looking at much more than a “rock star moment” for Legal Ops technologies such as workflow automation.

They’re soon about to become cornerstones of how the law is practiced and supported, and eventually will be as familiar as judges’ robes, and as valued as all its other worthy traditions.