6 communications tools Lawyers need to know

Telephone_operators,_1952

In this brave new world, lawyers should not forget about one of the more basic and cheap, but extremely effective, ways to instantly save time and money, work smarter and faster.

Better communication and collaboration could be as simple as investing in quality Video Conferencing software to better communicate with clients and out-of-office colleagues, or allowing remote access to email inboxes and computer desktops. Thanks to cheap bandwidth and a wide selection of video conferencing services, trying to coordinate meetings in various geographic locations and interacting with remote workers is no longer the logistical and technical challenge it used to be. IT departments often have preferred solutions and this may be the first place to ask about available options. Here are six major communications tools that are transforming the daily working of lawyers.

1. Citrix GoToMeeting

www.gotomeeting.com

Citrix GoToMeeting (which begins at $19 per month) is one of the best-known video conferencing services. Citrix offers three versions: Starter, Pro, and Plus. Starter (which begins at $19 per month) supports up to 10 participants.

2. Cisco WebEx

www.webex.com cost: Free

Cisco WebEx allows users to record the meetings video, audio, and on-screen displays, mute and unmute participants, switch hosts with ease, share files, share screens, share applications. The free service allows meetings with up to two other people, while plans begin at $19 a month.

3. UberConference

www.uberconference.com cost: Free

UberConference gives you an easy, powerful, and pain-free way to schedule and run audio conferences, all without requiring annoying PINs. UberConference is free for unlimited calls. It also offers a Business version for $10 a month giving you your own local number for outbound calling to participants, recurring conferences, international dial-ins and more. CEO Craig Walker sets out some of the main selling points for lawyers. “These are private, important issues you’re dealing with. You need to know who is on the call, and whether they belong there.” Once you have the right people on the call, just hit the lock icon and nobody else can join your conversation. Features include record keeping of how long the call lasted to track legal costs.

“These are private, important issues you’re dealing with. You need to know who is on the call, and whether they belong there.” – Craig Walker, UberConference 

 

4. Slack

www.slack.com cost: Free

Slack allows you to build a team site and put all of your team communications in one place (called “channels”). You can utilize real time messaging and file sharing, one-to-one messaging for private conversations, and you can search all of the information in your Slack project channel, including documents and conversation threads. You can download the mobile app or a desktop version (or both). You can create channels for teams or for specific projects. Slack allows you to drag and drop all of your files, images, PDFs, documents, and spreadsheets and share them. You can even invite people from outside the company to join a project—be sure to label privileged communications and documents.

5. Skype

www.skype.com cost: Free

Skype needs no introduction, having become an indispensable technology for modern lawyers. There are two versions for online videoconferencing: the free, consumer version most of us know, and Skype for Business. This latter version is ideal if you want to have very large meetings (the standard Skype client is limited to 25, while Skype for Business raises this to 250); it also allows a sophisticated conference room setup. The paid-for version costs $5.50/month for the service. It adds high-definition video to group conferences, the ability to join meetings from a web browser (including anonymous connections), desktop sharing and remote control, Outlook schedule integration, and the ability to record meetings.

6. Legaler

www. home.legaler.com cost: Free

Sydney-based Legaler described as “Skype and Slack for Lawyers” is specifically designed for the legal profession, making online meetings simple and secure with end-to-end encryption for video calls, messaging, file sharing (allowing online sharing of documents and edits), and screen sharing, giving you the freedom to work from anywhere, on any device. Legaler helps you keep all your important meeting details in one place by automatically archiving your meeting notes, duration, recordings, agendas, messages, and files by matter.

This is an extract from The In-House Counsel’s LegalTech Buyers Guide (a free publication). 

Download the full guide now to see the best LegalTech for in-house lawyers today including more tools for contract drafting; contract review; digital signature; contract and matter management; contract due diligence; legal research; eDiscovery; Prediction technology; Intellectual Property; Expertise automation; eBilling; Legal analytics; simple task management; and Communications.

poster.2

Get the FREE Legal Technology Buyer’s Guide for In-House Counsel and discover:

  • 60+ page practical and jargon-free reference guide
  • 100+ top technology solutions for legal departments
  • Personal recommendations and stories from dozens of in-house lawyers and legal experts
  • Explanations of an in-house legaltech buying journey, including barriers to adoption, establishing and monitoring KPIs, and more

Tales of LegalTech Adoption: Roberto Facundus at Tongal

LawGeez_socialmedia_Twitter_2 (002)

In a new series of monthly interviews, LawGeex speaks to top In-House Counsel adopting legal technology to enhance productivity. Here, we speak to Roberto Facundus, General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer at Tongal.

Roberto Facundus

Roberto Facundus, is the General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer at Tongal, Inc. headquartered in Santa Monica, CA and is an adjunct professor of law at Tulane University.

How is Tongal’s in-house team organized? Size and reporting function?

On the legal side, just me and one super lawyer.  I report to the CEO and serve the Board of Directors as Corporate Secretary.

What are the biggest challenges you face as an in-house team? 

The biggest challenge is keeping up with where we are headed from a product innovation and customer demand perspective.  Anticipating the challenges that may arise from innovation requires a constant effort from many stakeholders and plenty of communication. Challenges exist in coordinating with teams that are not yet aware of the new changes or the impact of those changes will have on their role. We also have a somewhat unique situation in that we have to consider the impact of all decisions from the perspective our clients, the Company, AND our creative community. Our creative community is the lifeblood of our organization so we always have to keep their interests in mind.

tongal group

Founded in 2009, Tongal connects businesses in need of creative work with an online community of writers, directors, and production companies. The biggest legal challenge is keeping up with where the fast-paced business is heading.

Which LegalTech do you use?

We use DocuSign, AdobeSign, and Hello Sign for signatures and are generally open to any other types of electronic signature technologies. We also encourage our clients, partners, and community to use these tools. We use Salesforce for contract workflows, internal collaboration, tracking of contract terms, renewals management, and sharing. Having previously worked at Salesforce, as the Global Compliance Attorney, I became fairly familiar the functionality of the platform that goes beyond merely tracking and reporting sales.

salesforce image

Salesforce enables tracking contract renewals, to ensure swift renewal or notification of pending contract expiration.

The business was already using Salesforce on the sales side so we only had to implement a few additional features through the Salesforce API and educate our employees on usage to capture additional data that is helpful in running the legal and operations side of the business.  Overall, we’re probably not at the upper end of LegalTech users though we are certainly open to learning about and utilizing more technologies.

What problems and pain points were you trying to solve with tech adoption?

Getting work done more effectively, saving time, and reducing costs.

How did you begin the process of thinking about efficiency/ your buying journey?

I think there are a few questions to consider. Will this technology make me better at my job?  Does this technology integrate into my existing working process?  Will it be easy to use?  Will it be easily adopted?

I don’t want another login so single sign-on or no sign-on features are a plus. I don’t want to sit through another long training session or ask someone else to sit through a long training session, so an intuitive UI is important.

What results have you seen through the adoption of LegalTech?

Increased information flow, increased efficiency, and increased visibility.  LegalTech is another tool to help anticipate problems and limit the potential negative impact on the business.  Tech has helped reduce the need for extra hires and to keep outside counsel fees to a minimum.

What processes or improvements are you looking to enhance using tech in the future?

Automating review of certain documents. In particular for Tongal, reviewing release, publicity rights, and licensing forms. In the future, I think technology can be used to negotiate contracts with simple terms. I definitely see a day when there is a negotiation using AI alone. I speak to the other side probably 50% of the time as we often just exchange a few rounds of red lines via email before reaching an agreement.  Looking at the other uses of AI, I don’t think we’re far away from this type of application. And let’s face it, lawyers are a pain in the ass, so any technology that reduces time having to interact with another lawyer is probably worth consideration.

And let’s face it, lawyers are a pain in the ass, so any technology that reduces time having to interact with another lawyer is probably worth consideration. 

What is the main advice you would give any in-house counsel about the challenges/ opportunities or obstacles in a legal tech buying journey?

Firstly, you have to follow trends at the risk of being left behind. I recognize that there will be many things created that are not relevant or helpful, but one out of 100 might be worth knowing about.  This doesn’t mean you have to be an early adopter, but you should at least be an early observer.  I think you’re doing a disservice to you and your company if you are not paying attention. Secondly, will you actually use the technology or is the setup and integration too complicated?  Just because something may initially seem cool, you should think about how you will be able to integrate it into your work process and whether it will really make you better at your job.  And I don’t mean can you delegate integration of the technology to someone on your team or the IT department. I mean can you, yourself, integrate and work with the technology. If you can’t get your hands digitally dirty and do it yourself, then it’s not a technology worth pursuing.

Did the adoption of tech in your case mean a reduction in staff?

No. We’ve managed to keep the same levels, though I anticipate increasing both staff and tech adoption as the company grows.

Should lawyers be worried about automation or rise of technology?

Yes and no.  Yes, because cybersecurity is such a hot topic from so many perspectives – regulatory, information security, privacy, etc.  All of these have a commercial impact.  Lawyers should be worried about the impact of technology, but as with any risk, it must be measured.  Each business is different.  Just because you see a large company get hacked resulting in the disclosure of millions of pieces of customer data, it doesn’t mean you have to suddenly allocate 75% of your budget towards protecting against cyber security breaches if your company doesn’t store any customer data.  Like any legal analysis, you have to assess your risk.

No, lawyers shouldn’t be worried because ultimately, technology is there to help you and make you more efficient and give you access to more information. While technology shouldn’t be followed blindly, it’s not going anywhere so you might as well embrace it at the risk of becoming obsolete yourself.

Is today’s tech age, a better or worse time to be an in-house counsel?

Of course I think it’s better.  It is certainly a benefit that we have more tools at our disposal than ever before.  That said, LegalTech is still relatively nascent so we need people to innovate, experiment, and try new technologies that will make us better as a profession.

Roberto is among the top in-house counsel featured in The In-House Counsel’s LegalTech Buyers Guide.

Download the full guide now to see the best LegalTech for in-house lawyers today including more tools for contract drafting; contract review; digital signature; contract and matter management; contract due diligence; legal research; eDiscovery; Prediction technology; Intellectual Property; Expertise automation; eBilling; Legal analytics; simple task management; and Communications.

front cover 3d

Get the FREE Legal Technology Buyer’s Guide for In-House Counsel and discover:

  • 60+ page practical and jargon-free reference guide
  • 100+ top technology solutions for legal departments
  • Personal recommendations and stories from dozens of in-house lawyers and legal experts
  • Explanations of an in-house legaltech buying journey, including barriers to adoption, establishing and monitoring KPIs, and more

Legal winter is coming. Will you leave the wall?

GOT

There is a wall that lawyers have hidden behind for decades, in the face of radical change to other industries. We have seen these walls crumbling in neighboring ancient kingdoms, such as finance or insurance . But in the legal profession, the wall, representing doing what has always been done, remains solid.

The Watchers On The Legal Wall

The reason for lawyers’ resistance comes from the watchers on the legal wall. This guard has relied  on things staying the way they are now (as they have for centuries). Behind the wall, their technological lives have not changed: lawyers are still using pens, paper, printers and faxes to do their legal work. Microsoft has even claimed that lawyers spend 90% of their day in Outlook and Word.

https://twitter.com/EvolveLawNow/status/826916928925097991

Legal innovators are speaking up against the wall-watchers.  In the words of Netapp General Counsel Matt Fawcett: “We were the last industry to provide employees with cell phones. In 1999, I remember getting frustrated with a firm and saying, ‘Our copier repair man carries a cell phone – why not my high- priced lawyers?’ Even today, many “old school” partners still take pride in not being reachable and having their secretaries (yes, their ‘secretaries’) print their emails.”

David Burgess (editor of the Legal500 ) comments that: “A senior partner told me, to be honest, I don’t really understand all this, so I’ll focus on what I know“. Or “My law firm won an innovative award. The next day I rang it up to ask what new tech it was using. I was told – we don’t have anything, just a really good bid manager for the awards“.

The fortress mentality leads to regular slides at legal conferences and events (such as below, at Codex’s Future of Law) pointing to law as a paradigm of resistance (“The traditional law practice business model constrains innovation”, and “the legal profession’s resistance to chance hinders additional innovation”).

But legal winter is coming

Game Of Thrones GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

But winter is coming and there will be a distinction between those shaping the future and those managing the fortress. Consulting firm McKinsey shows 69% of time is potentially automatable for paralegals and 23% of time is automatable for lawyers.

In the shift to this new world, the  division between the innovators and wall-watchers will only become more stark.

The Iron Throne of Legal Innovation

Heralding a new dawn, however, we are seeing a new battle for innovation.This is being led by a new breed of lawyers, ripping up old ways of doing things simply based on the past.

One front of the battle to innovation is greater collaboration and sharing of legal and technological know how (as Jaime Lannister says: “we need allies. Stronger better allies. We cannot win this war alone”).

A second plank of the battle is a legal technological arms race. Companies including Microsoft, Cisco, Google and others are  overhauling their legal departments through innovation. JP Morgan has automated contracts it apparently took lawyers 360,000 hours to achieve. LawGeex provides One Hour Contract Approval through Artificial Intelligence, compared to the weeks it takes within most organizations. Other technology is being taken advantage of by legal teams, including legal research, to IP, to prediction technology (more than 100 legaltech providers are analyzed in our free In-House Counsels LegalTech Buyers Guide).

Thirdly, both the ACC and Corporate Legal Operations Institute (CLOC) have focused on  Legal Operations. 26% of general counsel delegated legal operations to an ops team or department, up from 16% last year. More than 1000 professionals in Las Vegas attended the Corporate Legal Operations Institute (CLOC) institute, vowing to smash down the wall of resistance.

In her closing address Mary Shen O’Carroll, Head of Legal Operations at Google, and head of CLOC : “It turned out that mindset, which felt so entrenched, could be changed. There’s a wall there and once you push on it, you can break through. And once broken, there’s no turning back. You realize those walls are paper thin and no one is trying to put them back up.”

Surviving the winter: moving from watchers to doers

Surviving the winter will mean leaving the wall and keeping fear at bay. In the words of Sterling Miller, former General Counsel of Travelocity and Sabre Corporation: “To  be a successful in-house lawyer or general counsel you need to embrace technology and make sure your team does as well.  So, if you are afraid of technology, you need to get past that.”

It is taking a new legal game plan to shift fear to strength. In the words of Arya Stark: “Fear Cuts Deeper than Swords“.

Or according to legal innovators, the path to the throne  of innovation will be building bridges with technology rather than protecting walls.

For more information or a LawGeex demo Get In Touch.

Jonathan Marciano, Communications Director at LawGeex, is  originally from London. He is  currently in Tel Aviv, helping to bring about the legal revolution. Follow him on Twitter. @J_Marciano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Best Players in Contract Drafting

contract drafting

Contract drafting tools can cut hours of time in a legal department.  If you have not started using contract drafting automation you may be missing out. For the writing of an initial contract, drafting tools are already well understood, and used by more than half of lawyers, who report a 92% satisfaction level with this relatively basic software which has been around for nearly two decades.

The programs tend to offer questionnaire-style document generation with lawyers able to review and finalize the draft. The software helps legal departments cut hours through creating routine and high-volume contracts.

Here are 5 of the best contract drafting tools relied upon by Legal Departments.

  1. Contract Express

Contract Express allows GCs to accurately automate and update their legal templates. The contracts are generated by filling out web-based forms—also called ”questionnaires.” The software allows lawyers to automate templates inside Microsoft Word by using markups. Seth Weissman VP and GC of SolarCity: “Sales can create a contract at one in the morning, one in the afternoon or on a weekend, whenever they want. You don’t have to go through my department, and we will never slow you down.”

  1. Concord

Concord standardizes templates which can be easily created, stored on the cloud, and distributed among team members. This not only saves time but keeps contracts uniform.“Concord is great for solos and teams,” says Mary Redzic who has worked both as a Solo Practitioner and as an in-House Counsel. “You can save templates, and auto populate fields. It’s affordable and really easy to use. They have great cues on how to use their features and they’re really helpful and responsive when you need help.”

  1. HotDocs

HotDocs allows companies to transform frequently used documents and forms into intelligent templates that, in their words, enables “super-fast production of custom documentation.” Clients include HSBC Singapore who use it to generate facility letters for its corporate customers.

  1. MerusCase

MerusCase allows in-house teams to prepare templates, auto populate them, and mail them directly for review.

  1. Contract Advisor

The Association of Corporate Counsel’s Contract Advisor provides templates and a contract drafting tool, described by one in-house counsel as “really useful for quick drafting.” It requires an ACC membership, but this nevertheless represents a great resource for 30,000 corporate counsel members from all around the world.

Download the full guide now to see the best LegalTech for in-house lawyers today including more tools for contract drafting; contract review; digital signature; contract and matter management; contract due diligence; legal research; eDiscovery; Prediction technology; Intellectual Property; Expertise automation; eBilling; Legal analytics; simple task management; and Communications.

front cover 3d

Get the FREE Legal Technology Buyer’s Guide for In-House Counsel and discover:

  • 60+ page practical and jargon-free reference guide
  • 100+ top technology solutions for legal departments
  • Personal recommendations and stories from dozens of in-house lawyers and legal experts
  • Explanations of an in-house legaltech buying journey, including barriers to adoption, establishing and monitoring KPIs, and more

There is one danger threatening LegalTech’s future. But here is the antidote

horror-2028165_1280

On nearly every measure, legal technology appears to be thriving.

This sector is now a $16 billion industry in the U.S.  There are 715 legalTech startups. These companies secured a record $155 million across 67 deals in 2016. The figures for 2017 could easily beat this (with large investments for Justin Kan’s Atrium LTS, HelloSign, SimpleLegal Casetext, and LawGeex, among others). Major companies have undergone legalTech transformation including Microsoft, JP Morgan, and IBM.

Despite all this positive transformation, there is one major danger threatening LegalTech’s future. This threat is more deadly to a company like LawGeex than all of the 715 legalTech startups combined.

Status Quo or the fear of Change

In the words of Noory Bechor CEO of LawGeex: “Our biggest competitor is the Status Quo”.  In law, the status quo, based on “skepticism” and “precedent” is hardwired.  The problem begins from law schools which encourages fear of failure . Then the the U.S legal system, rests on guidance from previous case law and precedent, discouraging risk-taking.

For commentators it is often a race to the past to explain how little innovation law has seen. Professor Paul Maharg Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School talks about “graduate assessment regimes which wouldn’t look out of place in the 1870s.” Kingsley Martin, talking about contract creation, says: “The scribes that first drafted precedents in 1392 at the Worshipful Society of Scriveners would recognize the contemporary practice of marking up the last, closest draft to the needs of the current transaction, albeit with a keyboard and not a quill”.

The status quo manifests in the struggle over technology. Research shows 75% of law firms, for instance, spend somewhere between 0 and 4% of their total revenue on technology, compared to 5.2% for the average U.S company.

The Solution: Collaboration 

The fastest path to change, legal innovators have worked out, is collaboration. This antidote to the status quo is counter-intuitive to the lawyer mindset, which tends to resist giving away hard won information. But somehow, collaboration is taking hold at the top levels of the profession.

Mary O’ Carroll, Head of Legal Operations at Google, set out the mindset of being protective of knowledge, rather than collaborative, in her closing speech at the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, (CLOC) in Las Vegas:  “When I first joined the informal gatherings of Operations leaders, I’ll admit that I was much more there to learn than I was to share.  I didn’t see any reason why I should give away my secrets.

“One of the earlier things we started talking about was standard engagement letters and billing guidelines.  Well, I have a very good set of law firm billing guidelines.  Why? Because it went through rounds and rounds of edits and opinions and research and buy in… and these crazy people wanted me to just share the final set with others? You’re out of your mind!”

Clock is ticking for Collaboration

CLOC has come to embody the collaboration principle as a means to shake up the status quo. Its leaders, from top companies, including LinkedIn, eBay, Starbucks and NetApp, could justifiably guard their legal know-how. Yet the movement says moving from the status quo will only come after intense collaboration on best practices and processes. Rather than being built on a fluffy sense of community, O’ Carroll describes collaboration as firmly in the camp of “self-interest”.

Please do not reinvent the wheel

Carroll says the slow-moving profession has to learn from each others hard won successes (and failures) and in double quick time to catch up with other industries.”Now, I don’t have time for you to suffer through that… So please… have my guidelines, put them in place asap” says Carroll. “Let me know when you’re ready for the next thing and hopefully someone has something you can leverage.  Please do not recreate the wheel.” She adds: “It’s the only way we’ll make progress as a group and profession. It’s good for all of us.”

Different legal values coming together 

wizard of oz

The collaboration net includes everyone wanting to move away from the status quo, including innovative vendors, law schools, firms, engineers, paralegals, and communicators. Sellers of top legal technology are also uniting to help change attitudes and drive change in the profession, demonstrating through reiteration that everyday pains for lawyers can now be eased, from contract review, to analytics, to sharing institutional knowledge through expertise automation, or having better contract due diligence, eDiscovery and billing processes. LegalTech providers share around each other’s content that reiterates a message of change. LawGeex’s In-House Guide to Legal Tech for instance was shared by dozens of companies in the legal profession.

Come as competitors, leave as collaborators

Alison Kay, Gobal Vice Chair of Industry at EY, argues that the rapid pace of change across industries means collaboration is “the future” of business. Kay says: “These are exciting and unsettling times – times in which industries themselves are being redefined. This means looking for answers in ways and places that we haven’t before. To succeed, we need to look beyond current industries and silos to broaden our thinking and relationships to embrace collaboration – whether through partnerships, alliances, networks or ecosystems.”

Other collaborations will grow out of necessity. Professor Richard Susskind in his book, Tomorrow’s Lawyers, points to a future when legal departments at financial institutions will share legal workloads. This will be driven by the need they collectively face to meet multiple (similar) compliance challenges,

In-House lawyers are turning to legal technology to foster better collaboration with other departments, fueling smarter legal processes in companies.

CLOC has found that collaboration is striking a chord as many lawyers become frustrated at inefficient processes. By way of example, some 1000 legal leaders attended CLOC’s event in 2017. The institute predicts the attendees will more than double to 2500 in 2018.

Carroll told the Institute that everyone needs to be on board for real change to occur.  “I need everyone to be passionate and ready to transform the future of the legal services delivery model”, says.

“If only a handful of legal departments are ready to automate internal workflows and the rest are still tracking things on spreadsheets… or even post-its(!), then we’re not going to get very far.”

For more information or a LawGeex demo Get In Touch.

Jonathan Marciano, Communications Director at LawGeex, is  originally from London. He is  currently in Tel Aviv, helping to bring about the legal revolution, one press release at a time. Follow him on Twitter. @J_Marciano

 

 

 

 

 

Salesforce praises new legal technology in eliminating sales bottlenecks

salesforcelawgeex

Technologies that eliminate legal bottlenecks will play a significant part in closing deals faster and driving business growth at top companies, according to a Salesforce executive.

Robin Fisher, area vice president of Salesforce Europe and the Middle East, discussed the success of legal technology companies which are integrating with the $272billion Salesforce ecosystem.

Presenting at Salesforce Essentials Tel-Aviv conference (Monday 12 June), Fisher introduced the contract review automation platform, LawGeex, and its CEO Noory Bechor, as an example of a new breed of legal technology providers changing the way business is done for Salesforce’s 150,000 customers.

 “Once the deal is agreed the biggest challenge is then getting the paperwork through, especially when a company has finite legal resources”, Robin Fisher, Salesforce

Fisher said: “Once the deal is agreed the biggest challenge is then getting the paperwork through, especially when a company has finite legal resources.

“LawGeex helps lawyers focus on what is important, and provides an amazing opportunity for our customers. It represents a fundamental shift in aligning sales and legal around the same value of closing deals faster.”

(L-R) Robin Fisher, VP Sales EMEA, Salesforce;  Shif Arad, VP Proucts and Innovation Partners at CloudTech; Bar Israeli, Regional ISV Salesforce; Noory Bechor, CEO, LawGeex; Ori Yankelev, VP Sale, OwnBakup

 

LawGeex’s empowers salespeople to upload contracts using Salesforce and have them approved based on an organization’s legal criteria. Users are also able to access LawGeex reports within the platform.

Noory Bechor, Founder and CEO, LawGeex, said: “Sales teams are dependent on legal to review and approve contracts before the deal can move forward. This process sometimes takes days, weeks or even months, and sometimes deals just don’t close. With the LawGeex Salesforce app, companies can now automate the review and approval of contracts, without having to leave Salesforce.”

Salesforce the global leader in CRM and sixth biggest software companies in the world, was built to serve companies who are looking to optimize their sales processes. It’s AppExchange currently has more than 2,800 apps and includes LawGeex among a number of these apps, joining companies such as Apttus, DocuSign and SpringCM.

For a Review of Salesforce’s application for lawyers and more than 100 legaltech solutions check out The In-House Counsel’s LegalTech Buyers Guide 2017.

About LawGeex

LawGeex (www.lawgeex.com) is transforming legal operations using artificial intelligence, and helping businesses save hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars reviewing and approving everyday contracts. Founded in 2014 by international lawyer Noory Bechor and leading AI expert Ilan Admon, LawGeex enables businesses to automate their contract approval process, improving consistency, operational efficiency and getting business moving faster. LawGeex combines machine learning algorithms, text analytics and the knowledge of expert lawyers to deliver in-depth contract reviews using the legal team’s pre-defined criteria. LawGeex removes the legal bottleneck, helping customers and their legal teams focus on the big picture without getting lost in the paperwork.

For more information, please visit http://www.lawgeex.com or tweet us @lawgeex_.

10 seismic changes forcing in-house counsel to choose LegalTech

Legal technology, commonly known as LegalTech, refers to software enabling lawyers to do their jobs more efficiently and cost-effectively. The In-House Counsel’s Legal Tech Buyer’s Guide shows how in-house counsel are driving change. Based on interviews with lawyers at some of the world’s leading companies, here are 10 seismic changes forcing in-house counsel to choose LegalTech.

1. The More For Less Challenge

Budget GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Cost savings are a major factor driving any LegalTech adoption. Pearson’s former Associate General Counsel, Vicky Lockie reduced legal spend by 20% simply by using eBilling solution, Legal Tracker. Jolie Lin, Deputy GC of Bank of Montreal, also interviewed for the guide, says adoption of another eBilling platform, Tymetrix “achieved significant market savings year after year.” Lin adds: “This is providing a much clearer idea on where our legal spend is going and producing better conversations with law firms.”

Recipients of the ACC Value Challenge 2017 also slashed costs, underpinned by technology. Cam Findlay, GC, at Archers Daniel Midland reduced outside legal spend reduced by one-third. Avis GC Michael Tucker slashed costs by 30%, while Cabela’s Brad Lundeen brought down outside counsel litigation costs by 20 percent.

2. The 24-Hour law department 

Party GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The 24-Hour Law Department has been created by a seismic shift towards cloud computing—37 per cent of in-house lawyers are using the cloud, up from 30 percent in 2015. This 24-hour approach and ability to access services anywhere in the world and on any device, applies to everything from drafting to research, to contract review, and other daily high-volume tasks.

Expertise Automation platform, Neota Logic, for instance diffuses existing legal knowledge, and codifies expert advice, making it available cross-departmentally 24 hours a day. This makes it easier to access quick advice—on issues from bribery and corruption policy to employment law.

In contract drafting, Seth Weissman VP and GC of SolarCity says of Contract Express: “Sales can create a contract at one in the morning, one in the afternoon or on a weekend, whenever they want. You don’t have to go through my department, and we will never slow you down”. Jordan Furlong, author of Law Is a Buyer’s Market says “If its 11pm on a Saturday night and you need access to some kind of legal solution engine, you will not find a law firm in the world that’s going to help you out. Technology has stepped in to make this possible.”

3. In-House lawyers need their time back  

Roberto Facundus SVP, Legal & Business Affairs at Tongal says: “Any legal tech that saves an attorney time through increased efficiency is inherently valuable and attorneys—more than almost any profession—know the value of time.” Technology offers an end to many time (and morale) draining pursuits. Dylan Marvin Head of Legal at Brandwatch using contract review automation platform, LawGeex, has achieved “80% time saved, and 90% cost saving when compared to other solutions.” On a different scale, ($2 pay as you go digital signature platform) ESign Genie promises to decrease the number of “clicks” by 30 to 50%. In contract due diligence, Kira System clients report time savings of 20–40% for first-time users, and up to 60% thereafter.  LegalTech allows lawyers to focus on more strategic use of their time.

4.  Tech is the ticket to the C-Suite

Entrance to the C-suite now requires using technology to demonstrate efficiencies, according to the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Global Census. Justine Campbell, Deputy General Counsel of Centrica oversaw a 24 month plan covering culture, technology, value management and operations, demonstrating themselves as “an integral part of the business.“ Campbell says: “The more technology can do the basic legal work the more you realize that actually what you have to do is be a leader who can establish and motivate a great team, who can look strategically into the future and exercise judgement over what really matters.”  Recent research shows  that within the next three years, 60 percent of GCs expect to take on a strategic business role.

5. Data (In-House counsel are losing out not having it)

The Office GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

NetApp GC Matt Fawcett is one innovator who recognized the need for data in law departments earlier than most. “I value data and embrace its use” says Fawcett. “I lead my team, serve my customers, and develop my organization with data.” Molly Perry, chief operating officer for the Office of the General Counsel at HPE says legal tools are “a source of millions of data points.”  She argues that, while attorneys completing more tasks may seem more productive, they may be working on lower value projects, as revealed by better use of data. Many companies point inevitably to a future where legal data will be the most reliable forecast of the next three months of sales in an organization.

6. Tech-driven GCs are leading the way

Silicon Valley GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Many in-house lawyers occupy senior positions at companies, such as Google, Uber, Facebook, and Amazon (and any number of companies looking to reinvent their industries). Companies increasingly expect their in-house counsel to do the same. Maurice Woolf, GC & EVP Corporate Support at global cloud services platform, Interoute, says: “I think if you work in an environment driven by innovation then naturally as GC you will look to innovate too, irrespective of your age, prior experience or prejudices.”

In a TechCrunch article based on interviews with Silicon Valley GCs (including Foursquare, Meetup, Etsy and Kickstarter),  Daniel Doktori, Chief of Staff and GC at Credly and  co-founder of the Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project says old attitudes will not fly with seismic shifts underway. Being perceived as the “no guy” ranks among a startup general counsel’s top fears. “You don’t want to be the guy at the end of the hall that just says ‘no,’ because eventually people don’t incorporate you into the conversation.”

7. Tech needed to recruit and retain legal talent (including millennials)

Netflix GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The millennial lawyer grew up in the digital age, with technology. They think nothing of creating an account on a tech platform to solve a problem.  PwC finds that “with technology dominating every aspect of millennials lives, it’s perhaps not surprising that 41% say they prefer to communicate electronically at work than face to face or even over the telephone. Millennials routinely make use of their own technology at work and three-quarters believe that access to technology makes them more effective at work.”  The report concludes unstructured approach to technology is often a “catalyst for inter-generational conflict in the workplace and many millennials feel held back by rigid or outdated working styles.”

8. Company lawyers see “business problems” (not “legal” problems) 

deadpeople

Lawyers in a company have a responsibility to put the business first and new technology is helping this mission. David Cambria, at Archers Daniel Midland, says: “An in-house legal department must operate like a business and spend shareholders’ money wisely.” His team opted for contract management solution Onit, in his words, “as an accelerator” to this vision.” Sales teams are driving adoption of legal technology such as LawGeex for automated contract review (unsurprisingly when research shows the majority of in-house legal departments at small and midsized companies spend 50% of their time reviewing contracts). Technology is appealing to the business instinct encapsulated by Uber Chief Legal Officer Salle Yoo. She says: “I always tell my team, we are not here to solve legal problems, we are here to solve business problems. The law is our tool and it’s the specialty tool we have.”

9) GCS are embracing KPIs (key performance indicators)

Law Departments acting like other departments must embrace personal and business goals. Kerry Phillip, legal director at Vodafone Group Enterprise team, commented: “Traditionally, the legal team is pretty low down the pecking order when it comes to IT investment but because we presented a business case that showed the investment paid for itself within the first year, we were able to get it approved”. Tech is at the forefront of measuring and analyzing KPIs.

LegalTech is helping analyze the cost of internal versus external support (money saved by doing work internally), legal response times, and promoting faster contract turnaround times.

10) Raising in-house standing and commerciality of legal 

LegalTech has a number of added benefits, not least raising in-house counsel standing. This is being done through enhancing collaboration with colleagues, reducing risk, and enhancing legal commerciality. Here tech is tailored to empathizing with business needs, whether bringing down time and costs on daily responses or sales cycles. Most of the software featured in our guide also integrates with existing processes in a business – such as use of Slack or Salesforce. This makes the law department show it is not sitting back, but can set a standard for collaboration and slickness level with, or higher, than any other department.

Download the full guide now to see the best LegalTech for in-house lawyers today

Download the FREE legal technology buyer’s guide for In-House Counsel and discover:

Legal Tech Buyer's Guide
  • 60+ page practical and jargon-free reference guide
  • 100+ top technology solutions for legal departments
  • Personal recommendations and stories from dozens of in-house lawyers and legal experts
  • Explanations of an in-house legaltech buying journey, including barriers to adoption, establishing and monitoring KPIs, and more

Download here 

Jonathan Marciano, Communications Director at LawGeex, is  originally from London. He is  currently in Tel Aviv,  helping to bring about the legal revolution, one press release at a time. Follow him on Twitter. @J_Marciano

What being named as a Gartner Cool Vendor in AI means for us (and more importantly for the future of law)

Noory Bechor, CEO LawGeex

Print

We are incredibly proud to announce today that LawGeex has been selected as a Gartner Cool Vendor.

Every year, Gartner selects tech companies with a product or service that is “interesting, new and innovative”. More importantly, the global consultancy also flags to the business world major new disruptive sectors they need to know about.

The distinction of being Gartner Cool Vendor has been achieved in the past by names such as Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Cloudera, and Instagram—then operating in disruptive spaces they created, but which we now take for granted as obvious leaders and benchmarks.

This year for the first time ever Gartner recognized legal Artificial Intelligence (AI) companies making a “profound efficiency impact on the way legal services are delivered.” (Cool Vendors in AI for Legal Affairs, 2017). See the full press release here.

LawGeex is proud to be named in this first ever report, along with three other great legal AI companies: Neota Logic, Onna and Ravel Law. LawGeex was selected for its success in shortening contract approval processes, the innovation of our customized ‘playbooks’ and continuous improvement of our AI engine. Gartner points out the significance of these advances for businesses, including:

  • corporate compliance and legal teams (needing to manage many contracts);
  • procurement managers (requiring fast execution of contracts) and
  • contract review lawyers (needing reviewed based on standards imposed by their company, client or regulator).

Main takeaway: AI in Legal has now arrived

ai-law-plate-noTag

More fundamentally, the inclusion of Legal AI into the canon by the world’s leading research and advisory company is a marker in the ground. The legal AI genie cannot be put back in the bottle. Gartner analysts adds that by 2020, the current amount of manual billable legal work will be reduced by 15%. Gartner recommends that to remain competitive, businesses need to take a good look at these “innovative solutions supporting contract analysis, legal research, knowledge management and case-predictive analytics.”

The amazing work being done by AI players changing these daily practices of law is echoed in  The In-House Counsel’s LegalTech Buyers Guide. Through research we found more than 100 must-know companies in LegalTech, 40 of which are AI solutions (shown in our infographic).

infographic.4.5

 

Legal AI has arrived. So what next?

Having now helped bring legal AI into the bright shining lights of recognition, Gartner’s analysts will return to inspect this new sector in a year. They will assess, as they have done in these reports over the years, what has changed—both in advances, new players, innovation and shifts in mindset. Gartner objectively points out that one of the main challenges for all companies in this new space is a “conservative audience” when it comes to new technology adoption.

In a year, I expect to see double or triple the number of players in legal AI. We will see remarkable advances, both from current players shown in our infographic, and yet unknown entrepreneurs arriving. There will be more shared knowhow, best practice and collaboration as highlighted recently as a major theme in the CLOC conference. The tech, such as AI, will only continue to advance and improve with greater adoption.

Gartner: be sure to start your journey

The Gartner report makes a powerful suggestion to its thousands of clients: start your LegalTech journey in a small way, but make sure to start. Gartner recommends: “Begin with the identification of a set of business problems and use cases. These projects should have clear statements on what they need to achieve in terms of business outcomes and how the goals will be measured. Early projects that were successful tended to focus on a small number of use cases or processes.”

We have seen some incredible results with clients adopting this approach, in our case for instance working with us first to automate the Big Five energy draining contracts (the top five most popular contracts run through LawGeex’s each day are NDA, service agreements, SaaS agreements, software Licenses and Purchase Order Contracts).Overall legal teams are in a much more excited place than they were a year ago .Our clients  are working to change their processes and their mindset, seeing many  immediate enhancements, but recognizing the need to walk before they can run. I believe these ‘early’ adopter lawyers will see some major benefits now (savings in time and money), but will truly see the fruits of their labor exploding in the years to come when they are more competitive as a legal function and as a business.

The stamp of approval provided by the leading research and advisory firm today, may accelerate many more lawyers into seeing the power of these new and innovative solutions (our guide would be a great starting point for those looking at such solutions).

The hope is that Gartner will return to this space next year to find lawyers even more energized by the possibilities at their disposal and this exciting new chapter in legal services.  Now that really would be cool.

Noory Bechor CEO and Founder of LawGeex is a man on a mission: to revolutionize the legal world through innovative technology. Noory combines his entrepreneurial spirit and years of experience as an international commercial lawyer to help other lawyers #lovelegal again, making their work easy, efficient and impactful.

LawGeex Named a “Cool Vendor” by Gartner

Print

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, May 23, 2017: LawGeex, the leading A.I. contract review platform for businesses, has been selected by Gartner, Inc. as a Cool Vendor in the inaugural Cool Vendors in AI for Legal Affairs, 2017 report.

Every year, Gartner selects tech companies with a product or service that is “interesting, new and innovative”. More importantly, the global consultancy also flags to the business world major new disruptive sectors they need to know about. This year for the first time ever Gartner recognized legal Artificial Intelligence (AI) companies making a “profound efficiency impact on the way legal services are delivered.”

LawGeex was selected for “driving technology advancement and delivering technologies that aim to further automate legal service delivery and provide new insight for better decision making”, according to the report.

The distinction of being Gartner Cool Vendor has been achieved in the past by names such as Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Cloudera, and Instagram—then operating in disruptive spaces they created, but which we now take for granted as obvious leaders and benchmarks.

LawGeex is proud to be named in this first ever report, along with three other legal AI companies: Neota Logic, Onna and Ravel Law. These companies are part of a rapidly expanding industry of legal technologies, recently chronicled by LawGeex in The In-House Counsel’s LegalTech Buyers Guide, featuring more than 100 LegalTech innovators and 40 Legal AI players.

Gartner subscribers can access the Cool Vendors in AI for Legal Affairs, 2017 report.

About Gartner Cool Vendors

Gartner is the world’s leading research and advisory company. Every year, Gartner identifies “Cool Vendors” based upon vendors with a technology or service that is innovative, impactful, and/or intriguing. In this year’s report, four vendors have been recognized. Gartner’s Cool Vendor reports identify technology vendors that have strong market vision and offer unique and innovative products and services that have genuine market impact.

Disclaimer from Gartner

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in our research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose

About LawGeex

LawGeex (www.lawgeex.com) is transforming legal operations using artificial intelligence, and helping businesses save hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars reviewing and approving everyday contracts. Founded in 2014 by international lawyer Noory Bechor and leading AI expert Ilan Admon, LawGeex enables businesses to automate their contract approval process, improving consistency, operational efficiency and getting business moving faster. LawGeex combines machine learning algorithms, text analytics and the knowledge of expert lawyers to deliver in-depth contract reviews using the legal team’s pre-defined criteria. LawGeex removes the legal bottleneck, helping customers and their legal teams focus on the big picture without getting lost in the paperwork.

For more information, please visit http://www.lawgeex.com or tweet us @lawgeex_.

 

LawGeex Launches Legal Technology Buyers Guide for Businesses

front cover 3d

LawGeex, the leading AI contract review platform for businesses, has today launched The In-House Counsel’s LegalTech Buyers Guide – a free, downloadable guide that showcases more than 100 must-know technology solutions which solve the daily challenges faced by in-house lawyers.

The book includes practical advice based on dozens of interviews, real life experiences and personal recommendations from in-house lawyers and legal experts who have used technology to cut costs and reduce legal inefficiency. Lawyers came from companies including Pearson, AIG, TabTale, Travelocity, Vodafone, NetApp, Del Monte, Axalta Coating Systems, Tongal and Novartis.

The guide also provides jargon-free explanations of an in-house LegalTech buying journey, from barriers to adoption, savings and efficiencies law departments can expect, to establishing and monitoring Key Performance Indicators.

Explosion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Players in Law

infographic.4.5

 

The guide also shows the traditional legal sector is facing disruption from 40 artificial intelligence companies using automation to solve daily legal tasks which have not changed in decades. These players are transforming nine sectors of daily law in categories of Contract review, Contract due diligence, Legal research, EDiscovery reviews, Intellectual Property, Expertise automation, e Billing, Legal Analytics, and Prediction Technology.

The analysis argues that legal is lagging as one of the last business areas to adopt technology, but lawyers are now embracing change, spurred by the dramatic increase in LegalTech products available.

Noory Bechor, CEO and Founder of LawGeex

noory headshot

“We are publishing this guide at a time when in-house lawyers face multiple drivers to adopt new technologies. In-house teams are under pressure to produce evidence of higher efficiency and quality and provide better data and strategic input for their organization.”

Sterling Miller, former General Counsel of Travelocity and Sabre Corporation

sterling miller

“One of the easiest ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs is through the use of technology. But, to be a successful in-house lawyer or general counsel you need to embrace technology and make sure your team does as well.”

Chrissie Lightfoot, entrepreneur, author, lawyer and co-founder and CEO

Chrissie Lightfoot 2

“I would highly recommend GCs embrace the plethora of existing and new LegalTech software and tools available. I know from personal and professional experience that AI tools are beginning to benefit GCs, their clients and companies enormously.”

Download the full guide at lawgeex.com/buyersguide