The Cost of Doing Nothing

Articles
While taking on new solutions has an initial associated cost for your in-house legal team, doing nothing can be even more expensive in the long term.
May 16, 2024
Last updated:
May 16, 2024

The legal industry has historically been hesitant to adopt modern technologies, and with limited budgets, it can be challenging to know where to start when selecting a tool. While taking on new solutions has an initial associated cost, doing nothing can be even more expensive in the long term.

If you don’t currently utilise technology or have limited or unused solutions in your in-house legal team, you could be costing your business significantly more than you think. Legal departments are overstretched and under-resourced, and adopting technologies to streamline, automate, and optimise your workload can save time, money, and resources.

The gift of time

Time is one of the most vital resources for in-house lawyers, but these departments are becoming increasingly time-poor. Much of their time is occupied with routine or repetitive tasks, so in-house teams are turning to technologies that incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate tasks such as contract review, document creation, and legal billing.

This gives in-house lawyers the gift of time – up to eight hours per week, according to a University of Manchester survey – allowing them to redirect their focus to more complex, high-value tasks. This increases the value that they contribute to the business, improves the reputation of the department, and it also opens opportunities for personal growth and professional development.

In fact, 74% of respondents in a LexisNexis survey say increased productivity is the most appealing benefit of legal technology, with 53% adding that legal technology allows them to prioritise their workload and use their time more effectively, adding value to the organisation. Without implementing these types of technologies, you risk slowing down your team's growth, not delivering on the actual value of your department, and falling behind in an increasingly competitive legal landscape.

Tools with AI can also improve how time-consuming legal research can be! They can search vast databases or contract portfolios at unparalleled speeds, provide concise summaries and up-to-date information, and enhance project management. This adds value by introducing efficiencies and improving the analysis and prediction of trends. It also accelerates the decision-making process and can reduce oversights and errors, leading to excellent employee retention, improved morale, and higher productivity.

As you can see, by implementing these tools and automation, your business can free up time and save money. Specific tasks can be completed at scale rather than by high-value lawyers, removing the cost of manual work and overloaded legal teams.

AI and Contract Management

Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) tools incorporating AI will play an increasing role in in-house legal teams in the future. CLM tools can make contract management and review more dependable, accurate, and consistent. They can help teams manage multiple contracts, identify potential risks and discrepancies, and ensure all documents comply with legal standards. In addition, this can decrease human error, offering greater confidence in the quality and precision of the work.

CLM tools also enable in-house legal teams to gather substantial amounts of data on their contract portfolio. This can then quickly inform the department about problematic contracts or specific clauses that need renegotiating.

Artificial Intelligence can also be used for proactive risk management. Algorithms can analyse historical data to identify patterns and potential risks, allowing them to be quickly addressed before they escalate. Therefore, risks can be mitigated, and the organisation can be safeguarded against unforeseen legal challenges.

Disruption vs investment

While AI can potentially disrupt the legal industry by automating repetitive tasks and streamlining processes, there is an initial resource. In-house legal teams need to invest time thinking about how technology can help them and be implemented into the business, not to mention the time required to train Artificial Intelligence to perform the necessary tasks.

However, the return on investment is immeasurable. These tools increase productivity and give lawyers the time and space to perform meaningful and valuable work. Moreover, legal technologies like Contract Lifecycle Management tools are necessary. Those who don’t adopt technology will fall behind the businesses that have implemented it and are already looking towards the next phase.

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About the author

The Summize Team

Summize is a Contract Lifecycle Management solution that incorporates contract workflows into the tools you and your business already use every day.
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