Legal Reimagined
Legal Reimagined

Conquering Legal Workflow Automation Challenges with Tomorrow’s Technology

Why automate legal processes?  For one thing, most of us have been a part of an organization where the instructions to a critical process existed solely in the head of a single stakeholder.

Job security for the person who knew the process? Possibly. A huge vulnerability for the organization? Definitely. And what happened when that person inevitably left the organization? Chaos, probably. 

If you work in the legal department, the experience likely got you thinking: Let’s never let our legal processes be beholden to the presence of a single point of failure ever again. Perhaps it inspired a big push for documentation, and maybe the creation of a shiny PowerPoint slide.

Legal Reimagined: Conquering Today’s Challenges with Tomorrow’s Technology

But no matter how well that operational legal process is documented, and how many people “know” the process, it’s still subject to:

  • Human error
  • Manual, time-consuming hours
  • Redundancy of effort
  • An inability to scale

So let’s take the possibility of a single link breaking the entire chain completely off the table, and evolve into a forward-thinking, workflow-automation-ready organization.

Automating legal processes ensures you’re bringing the right information to the right people, quickly and efficiently. It often cuts time spent on legal processes by more than half (often a lot more!), and it should take the guesswork out of any approval process.

Along the way, the right technology will identify compliance concerns, cut down on redundancies and human error, integrate seamlessly with existing tools, and may just even help you sleep a little better at night.

All you need is the right solution to get you started. Here are a few key characteristics to look out for in your search for the right piece of technology for digitizing legal processes.

The right legal processes automation solution is robust

Unlike your matter management software, which is a starting point and ending point for all of your matters, your workflow automation software is all about the journey. When legal processes become muddled, or risk non-compliance, or are just aggravating, automating them is the best way to cut through the clutter and streamline your department’s collaboration efforts.

A robust legal processes automation solution has a far reach. Any process, whether in the legal department or merely touching the legal department, can benefit from it. In Legal, it makes sense to start with the big pain points like NDAs and Conflict of Interest disclosures, but pretty soon it will become apparent that any manual, repetitive task can be automated with the right platform.

Ease of use:

Make sure you’re looking at platforms that are built for self-service. Can a user design and publish workflows for any legal process without any code, IT or developer involvement?

Cross-functional adaptability:

Your tool should be the hub that brings together processes across multiple functions and departments. Have you found one SaaS process automation tool to unite them all?

Flexibility and scalability:

Your processes change quickly, so your technology needs to as well. Do your legal processes empower users to take on agile methodology?  Do they enable iterative design and implementation?  Can they scale quickly to meet sudden demands?

Comprehensive integrations:

If your enterprise workflow automation platform can’t integrate seamlessly with anything that has an API, swipe left. Legal departments are increasingly working across the entire enterprise, within different processes and systems: you need to be able to configure custom integrations or integrate smoothly with major software applications, including a robust set of advanced REST API and eSign integrations.

Reporting and analytics:

If your enterprise workflow platform isn’t reporting on the legal processes (or non-legal processes) it claims to make more efficient, it may very well result in even more work. You need a tool that provides easy access to reports in a variety of formats, providing one-click visibility and transparency across your whole organization.

Automate in Q1 for a more streamlined Q2

Our modern work lives are riddled with monotonous tasks and processes. Often, these procedures are not only dull and poorly designed, they also detract resources from the most pressing needs within our organizations.

Imagine if you could recapture 520 hours of productivity per year, per employee from repetitive tasks.  One pre-pandemic study found U.S. employees that much time to work that could be automated, adding up to a collective loss of $1.8 trillion annually.  The “pain of the mundane” is even sharper when you’re wasting the time of well-paid legal professionals.

And no, this isn’t about automating you or your team out of a job. Instead, it’s about tackling the repetitive, error-prone processes that occupy our limited head space, and redirecting that newly freed brainpower towards novel ideas and human-worthy challenges that create more value for the business.

The real question is: What are you going to do with all those extra hours lying around?

Companies lose up to 520 working hours per employee, per year to tasks that could be automated.

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