How Legal Automation will empower your team
Automation of routine legal tasks will ultimately free up the locked capacity of your legal team to focus on “real” legal work.Read the article
In our experience advising General Counsel on their strategies, concepts like mission, vision, core competency, effort/impact, root-cause and strategy cascades are under used by legal functions. The result? Many functions just do the work that comes into their inbox each day. The long tail of legal work wags the dog. Strategic impact gets lost in the weeds.
We meet two main types of legal executives - both are hard jobs: The Hamster Wheel folks and The Fly Wheel folks. The Hamster Wheel guys are running as hard as they can to keep up with 'the work'. The Fly Wheel guys are making changes. Small ones at first (at first it’s hard to find the time). Being more targeted at what they do, creating self-help tools, adopting legal automation etc. As these initiatives take hold the flywheel starts spinning on its own. Naturally, these folks are vastly more calm, relaxed and in control than those caught in the hamster wheel.
Many lawyers are understandably concerned that automation will take their jobs. Interestingly, our experience is the opposite. On average clients expand their headcount after adopting our Legal Automation platform. To understand the causal link in more detail we looked at other functions (IT, HR, Finance etc) experiences. The data showed no material change in headcount as a result of technology adoption - but a clear shift to more strategic work. Could it be that Automation increases the perceived value lawyers create, therefore justifying a bigger budget?
The tournament for additional resources for next financial year is in full flight. Most legal executives will fail to secure additional budget because they articulate their business case around 'what they need' - typically justified by having 'too much work' (sadly CFOs have little empathy for the legal function). More successful executives frame their business cases around how they will use additional dollars to generate: revenue, competitive advantage, or cost savings?
A leader of one of Australia’s top legal functions just nailed the description of the future role of an in-house lawyer to me. Pathfinder. Taking complex, ambiguous challenges and navigating to an elegant solution.
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