Workflow of the Week: Knock Knock – Someone’s at Your Legal Front Door
See how creating an automated legal front door can help you field requests from across the business, draft self-service requests, leverage data to eliminate bottlenecks, and more.
While legal operations professionals may not know what the future holds for the economy, one thing is for certain: now is a time to build resilience and invest time strategically. Managing your inbox is a full-time job, on top of your full-time job. As teams scale back and “do more with less,” it’s never been more important to enhance cross-department collaboration and keep your team focused on high-value work.
While a common reaction from executives is to “retreat behind the moat” and pull up the bridge, strategic companies take advantage of this moment by building stronger frameworks that can withstand change, ensuring that on the other side of this market uncertainty, they come out ahead. In legal departments, leaders have an opportunity to improve the legal request process with an automated “legal front door.” By building the structural reinforcements that will bring relief to your colleagues (and yourself!), legal can service the business faster and more consistently, fostering better cross-departmental relationships.
What is a Legal Front Door?
A legal front door is a self-service request portal that welcomes users who need to interface with legal. Instead of sending an email to the department with a frequently-asked question or request for a generic contract, employees can drop into the portal to access whatever they need with minimal touchpoints. For example, they can request an NDA or contract, and by filling out some fields, their request can either send them an automated template or get escalated automatically if the request is more complicated. For quick questions, the legal front door allows users to find an answer without relying on busy legal operations professionals.
Why Do You Need a Legal Front Door for Legal Requests?
You’re doing more with less
Teams are stretched thin right now, and any time spent sending boilerplate contracts or redlining a third-party contract is time that could have been spent on higher-level projects. Without a legal front door, legal operations professionals find themselves responding to repetitive requests, tracking down information, and relying on additional approvals that become necessary when a contract starts on third-party paper. When you are working with fewer people or resources, it becomes mission-critical to have a self-service option so that your salespeople can get what they need to close their deals without relying on your legal operations team for every single request. By streamlining requests into a legal front door, you save your team time and make the process even faster for the salespeople you are serving.
Quarter and year-end reviews are nearing
As we head into the holiday season, legal operations teams are beset with extra requests from salespeople whose contracts have a yearly renewal date. Meanwhile, the days are getting shorter, and time off means there is even less time to get each renewal through the process. A legal front door streamlines these processes and ensures that each contract moves through its workflow process, triaging and escalating automatically as needed if and when any tricky issues arise. The best legal front door is dynamic and integrated with your matter management system, so that any contract request or matter update is seamlessly routed through your contract lifecycle management system – ensuring that your records are kept up to date, completely compliant, and resistant to any errors. With this in place, your team’s end-of-year renewal process becomes more manageable.
Your legal inbox is becoming a nightmare
The average office worker receives 120 emails per day. Legal operations professionals, whose jobs are often run out of their inboxes, likely receive even more than this. But it’s hard to keep up with all of these emails, and even when legal operations professionals keep up with their inboxes, each contract request often requires a full workflow behind it: the contract template is sent out, but later must be redlined, approved, sent with eSignature, filed and associated with the correct matter, and more. This means that keeping up with emails, already a Sisyphean task, is not enough. A legal front door not only cuts the number of emails in your legal operations teams’ inbox by offering self-service requests that leave your team members out of it, but they also provide a workflow on the back end. Suddenly, requests are sent on an automated journey, which leverages time-based escalations for approvals and extra oversight on the unusual exceptions that come up – but barring these, your requests should flow effortlessly through your process with limited human touch
Mitratech’s Legal Workflow Automation Use Cases
Explore the workflows that will have the most immediate and productive impact on your Legal Operations.