Industry 4.0 is coming for legal departments. From cloud services to artificial intelligence, innovative technologies are changing the way legal teams work.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is also changing companies’ expectations of their legal departments. For some, digital transformation is disconcerting. Lawyers are notoriously risk-averse, which leads to slow adoption of new technologies. Gartner’s Roadmap for Technology Adoption in Legal found that 81% of legal departments are unprepared to meet the speed at which digital business operates. In other words, not adopting high-impact LegalTech solutions to deliver legal services is the high-risk position.
All business units are under pressure to work more efficiently, and law departments aren’t exempt from this expectation. Indeed, business units get frustrated when their efforts are slowed down because they’re “going through legal.”
Early technology sped up and improved functions like discovery and case management. What legal department can imagine working without them now? The next gen technologies are improving the department’s capabilities to provide substantive, accelerated legal work. The Gartner survey also found that digitally prepared legal departments increased on-time project delivery by 63%.
General counsels can’t afford to have the gap widen between the business’s digital capabilities and those of the legal departments that serve them.
AI contract review can contribute significantly to operational efficiency and raise compliance with risk management policies. LawGeex customers report they’ve cut contract review time by 90% over their manual review process. The AI-based contract review system has also sped up their deal delivery by a factor of three.
Transforming Legal into a Strategic Business Partner
Increasing operational efficiency is the first wave of a digital transformation. The really exciting part is using tech to scale up the delivery of commodity legal work, like contract review, so legal departments can shift resources to strategic planning.
Gartner’s Legal in 2020 states that the digitally transformed legal department is one that provides strategic value and increases enterprise capacity – without increasing risk. It’s a tall order. But scalable solutions, like AI contract review, provide the platform to deliver legal judgement to business units without requiring direct advice from an attorney.
When legal teams can separate the delivery of legal expertise for rote issues from requiring direct legal input, they’re improving their legal capacity in two ways. First, it allows them to handle a higher volume of the commodity legal work at a faster rate. Second, it allows them more time to devote to the more novel, urgent, or complex legal issues that arise. Lawyers who don’t have to spend hours reviewing contracts have the bandwidth to be strategic players within the organization.
Lawyers Don’t Need to Fear AI – It Makes Their Jobs Better
In our eBook A Primer On AI Contract Review, we share research that shows AI has minimal impact on reducing lawyers’ hours. Indeed, the research indicates that the growth in attorneys’ workloads outpaces the rate at which AI cuts hours.
That’s why we contend that AI-enabled LegalTech will make lawyers’ work more interesting, not make their jobs obsolete. Their expertise will be needed to maintain the AI-engines that take over the common, rote work of contract review. They’ll be working on higher-value projects. They may even regain a bit of that life-work balance lawyers hear about.
In fact, there are countless ways an automated tool like AI-powered contract review promotes the overall success of legal departments and improves their contract review process.
It’s time to get ready for legal digitalization; learn how automated contract review is a critical driver of making a successful transformation.