Here’s a question to ponder: how is the legal industry doing? As a profession that’s deep rooted in history and age-old text, it may feel like innovation is scarce. Thankfully, we don’t have to wonder anymore — there’s data for that.
Altman Weil, a legal management consulting service, recently released their annual Chief Legal Officer Survey. It’s an in-depth survey that connects with high-level leaders and lawyers of in-house legal departments for a better understanding of their organization’s state of affairs.
The survey touched on many different aspects of operations, including cost control, efficiency, technology, data analytics, staffing, and budgeting. Since our company is focused on litigation cost management through state-of-the-art software, you can guess what we zeroed in on.
Here are our top 3 takeaways on where the legal industry stands in technology and data analytics:
1. “The ongoing evolution of technology applicable to law practices is another marketing force affecting the legal profession […] this can represent new costs.”
As with any new system, startup costs can feel expensive to start. It’s a shakeup to current operations, but over time, it pays itself off. In a hardwired industry, it is tough to change ways, but a small effort towards streamlining work through technology can lead to overall efficiency and costs cut because the team is no longer dabbling in busy paperwork.
The evolution towards a more efficient process lies in something as simple as avoiding paper fax machines and moving towards digital invoicing software. Although the first switch to digital may present initial costs, the time, paper, and extra work it saves will be tenfold. As LegalNet’s President Rory Haynie puts it, “Technology will be the ultimate driver in time and cost reductions across all industries, including legal.”
2. “Technology can also be a tool to control costs and play a contributory role in redesigning the in-house legal function in a new and efficient form.”
The perfect follow-up to the first point. Think about how technology has affected your life. At first, a smartphone seemed expensive and unnecessary. “I can live my life just fine without one,” you thought. But then you had your first experience with one. Suddenly, you could look up directions without your GPS, check into flights without printing a ticket, and take professional quality photos without lugging around a second camera. It was life-changing. This is exactly how we feel technology can work in the legal industry. At first glance, change can feel inessential, but once the change is implemented, everything just makes more sense.
For example, with LegalNet’s services, we convert our client’s legal invoices into a uniformed digital format. Over time, our database creates an integrable software service and a streamlined visual to all invoices, so much easier for the client and firm to read and review. A little goes a long way.
3. “When asked how many of their top ten law firms have provided useful spend analysis to the law department, 73% of CLOs reported that none of them had. Although law departments still have much room to improve in this area, it seems that law firms aren’t even in the game. We think law departments would reward law firms that seized this obvious opportunity to provide meaningful data – and the bar for success here is low.”
The game is new. The bar is low. The territory for exploration goes on for miles. Let’s get the industry into the idea of streamlining operations through technology and reviewing data analytics. This is how we change the game.
What if you want to get into the game? How do you get there? It’s actually quite easy. Using a company like LegalNet, we can get you right into the heat of the action of data metrics and state-of-the-art software without much change to your daily routine. In a time-crunched world, partnering with the right people can reduce your workload while saving money and time. Plus, you’ll look like you’re already ahead of the pack. If you’re looking for a pro-tip, think about rewarding your law firms for providing helpful data to encourage everyone to move one step closer to a more technologically advanced industry.
Big thanks to Altman Weil for sharing their latest Chief Legal Officer flash survey.