• Adami Geldenhuys

Technology in Law Practice Management

Updated: Mar 24


Updates on the latest developments in technology for law professionals: excerpts from our February 2022 Practice Management Alert.


CHATBOTS

CLOUD

CONTRACT OPERATIONS PROFESSIONAL

CRM

DATA

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT

E-DISCOVERY

IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW TECHNOLOGY

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

LEGAL TECH

NO-CODE SYSTEMS

ONLINE COLLABORATION

PLANNING, REPORTING AND FORECASTING

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

REVIEW

SECURITY

SURVEY

WINDOWS 11

WORK-LIFE BALANCE


Chatbots


Robert, Amanda. Building bots: Tom Martin merged a love of law and technology to design custom legal chatbots.

2022 Feb 1 ABA Journal


Cloud


Walker, Paul. Late adopters may be left in the wake as their peers embrace the cloud.

2022 Jan Legal Management p10

“Whatever the size of your firm, your CIO and GC, among others, are likely preoccupied with the topic of migrating to the cloud – unless you have already made the transition. Someone in your organization who recognizes that virtually any area of business can now be conducted with greater efficiency, easier collaboration, and more advanced protection, in the cloud, is actively promoting the move. They fear that a “wait and see” approach may already be perceived by clients and prospective recruits as a stubborn refusal to read the writing on the wall.”


Contract Operations Professional


The birth of the contract operations professional.

2022 Feb 1 Artificial Lawyer

“As in nature, the world of work is constantly evolving and new professional species come into existence every few years. One such new arrival is the contract operations professional, a specially adapted member of the legal ops family, focused on the entire contract environment within a business.”


CRM


Nightingale, Tim. Into action. (CRM Systems)

2022 Jan Legal Management p38


Whittier, Jennifer. CRM data will become an important part of decision making by lawyers.(CRM Systems)

2022 Jan Legal Management p38

“Adaptation to the ever-changing environment will be the theme of 2022. Law firms will continue to evaluate technology purchases based on ease of use and adoption. As lawyers become more actively involved in selecting new applications, they will look to select CRM solutions that can solve multiple business needs in one product.”


Data


Johns, Kate Jansons. Dealing with data in dispute resolutions.

2022 Feb 16 Law Technology Today

“The shift to remote working has changed the way businesses create content and communicate in a corporate setting. This means that the size and scope of potentially responsive documents in a legal dispute have also increased. Traditionally ephemeral communication such as telephone calls and in-person meetings can now be recorded and preserved in short message formats like text messages, chats, and video conferencing tools.”


Molatseli, Leah. Data is the new gold, how are you managing your legal department’s data?

2022 Feb 15 Legal Business World

“About two years ago Forbes Africa loudly proclaimed that Data is the New Gold, labouring on the premise that for hundreds of years since the discovery of gold in Johannesburg, it has been extremely valuable, more so it has been valuable for thousands of years ago. It further went on to explain why in recent years this perception of value has shifted to Data.”


Digital Transformation


DeStefano, Michele Beardslee [et al.] Don't let the digital tail wag the transformation dog: a digital transformation roadmap for corporate counsel. University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 4021593. 10 February 2022.

Abstract: “Due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, enhancements in technology, as well as shifts in the macroeconomic and socioeconomic dynamics of globalization, Digital Transformation (DT) has become an enterprise-wide imperative for most multinational companies (MNCs). As a result, legal departments are being challenged to embrace enterprise DT and start their own departmental DT journeys. Despite these trends, there is little scholarship and research about how MNC legal departments are addressing the DT challenge. How are General Counsel (GCs) currently approaching DT? Is what they are doing effective and value-accretive? And importantly, how should GCs approach DT to best generate value?”


Document Management


Araujo, Neil. What to expect from document management in 2022 and beyond.

2022 Jan Legal Management p18

“Document management has long been foundational to the daily workflows of legal professionals, and that will continue in 2022 in new and exciting ways.”


E-Discovery


Bantelman, Jennifer and Kaplan, Ari. E-Discovery Unfiltered: Automation and innovation for corporate legal teams in 2022.

2022 1 Legal Business World p26


Implementation of New Technology


Didomenico, Patrick. How to increase technology adoption by attorneys.

2022 Jan Legal Management p40

“In the world of law firm innovation and technology, user adoption is arguably the most important focus and the thing that often receives the least attention. Those who fail to prioritize efforts to assure user adoption are bound to fail in deploying potentially useful tools. Here are a few pointers for increasing the adoption of technology tools in your law firm or legal department.”


How to implement new technology at your law firm.

2022 Feb 14 Law Technology Today

“Learning something new is never easy—especially technology. But holding back on implementing new technology at your law firm hinders its growth.”


Knowledge Management


Wilson, Dave. Firms are seeking to adopt new document-based knowledge systems.

2022 Jan Legal Management p24

“Whilst there is much talk of automation as a key trend in the industry at the moment, I have found this to be a bit of a buzzword. Largely we have found the uptake in such technologies to be slow, as firms explore automation in theory, rather than in practice.”


LegalTech


The Legal Tech to English Dictionary – Above The Law, 2022.

“There’s a term for when attorneys use Latin words and arcane terminology to describe legal processes to consumers: “legalese.” But there’s no similar term for when vendors use technical and other arcane terms to describe their legal software operations to lawyers. True, this dynamic may seem unfair. But now we have The Legal Tech-to-English Dictionary to help us cope. Adapted from a series of Above the Law articles by the legal technology expert Jared Correia, this free, tongue-in-cheek guide to the world of legal tech includes plain language explainers, dramatizations of key themes, and links to comparison resources. We hope this dictionary brings you up to speed on all things technology, while providing a few laughs along the way.”

Download here.


A comprehensive directory of legal technology products & buyer resources. – LawNext.


See also:

Ambrogi, Bob. I am proud to announce the launch of the LawNext Legal Technology Directory.

2022 Feb 15 LawNext

“After years of writing about the launches of other companies’ legal technology products, I am proud to announce one of my own: the LawNext Legal Technology Directory, which we hope will become the most trusted source of legal tech products in the market.

Consider this our MVP. Our goal is to continue to develop this into a comprehensive directory of products, reviews, learning resources, and more, where buyers can find trusted information to guide their purchases, and where vendors can help their products be discovered and distinguished.”


Ragen, Caroline. The why and how to navigate a saturated legal-tech market.

2022 Feb 2 Legal Business World

“Here’s a fact: The legal-tech industry is a strikingly growing, saturated, and competitive market. Once an industry dominated by a few notable players, the legal-tech sector generates over 17.32 billion U.S. dollars worldwide and is filled with up-and-coming start-ups with great potential and unique values. Whilst a wide selection of legal tech keeps the market competitive, consumers may find that they just have too many legal tech options.”


Why is selling legal tech so hard?

2022 Feb 21 Artificial Lawyer

“Legal tech is meant to improve the lives of lawyers and their clients. Meanwhile the legal world is growing steadily and is so vast now it’s almost a trillion-dollar industry. Selling legal tech products should be easy. But it isn’t.”


Beuth, Bonnie. Client demands will dictate how important the use of technology has become. (Legaltech Education)

2022 Jan Legal Management p37

“The past two years of disruption identified skills gaps, particularly among attorneys. The majority of those involved in delivering legal technology education found themselves busier than ever. Attorneys’ reluctance to attend in-person training events in the past became an urgent need to attend virtual training sessions once they recognised that they couldn’t call on that helpful colleague at the next desk to resolve their challenges!”


Gelb, Roberta. Training will become much more user focused. (Legaltech Education)

2022 Jan Legal Management p35

“When the pandemic began, some firms were able to quickly pivot to working remotely; others fumbled dramatically. Law firms’ eyes were opened to the gaping holes in the legal tech education they had been providing. How many times have we said the words “you have to unmute” while people looked for the mute button? Without immediate access to a support person, some users were completely lost. It became obvious that complicated software was even more difficult to support remotely.”


Kearney, Janet. Making the case for law tech.

2021 Dec 21(3-4) Legal Information Management p187

“As the concept of a ‘practice-ready’ attorney continues to grow in both law firms and law schools, law school libraries are meeting this need by offering programming related to legal technology. In this article, a law librarian from the United States, Janet Kearney, discusses their successes and failures in creating and maintaining legal technology programming, a first step in a larger conversation on practice-ready law graduates. The article is based on a June 2021 presentation given at the annual conference of the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians.”


Moon, Cat. Propel legal education in the fourth industrial revolution.

2022 Jan Legal Management p35

“Living JR Ward’s advice, rather than predictions, I offer a prime opportunity for legal tech and innovation educators. As we (hopefully) emerge from the COVID pandemic in 2022, we have a tremendous opportunity to influence legal education by leveraging what we learned over the past 20+ months and use this to propel legal education in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”


No-code Systems


Grupp Michael. We have only scratched the surface of what is possible.

2022 Jan Legal Management p28

“Wow – what a wave No Code has become this year! Companies need digital solutions, in every team, on every level. IT is overstrained and cannot help – and with a global shortage of IT talent, becoming digitally ready becomes a real issue. For legal and compliance, the hurdles are even higher: While most teams have now seen the advantages of digital solutions, they are struggling to procure the budgets for IT development. In hindsight, No Code is an obvious solution that has now become an indispensable one for many legal departments and law firms: it enables domain experts to go digital themselves faster, easier, and cheaper


Obdam, Chris. The legal industry in 2022 - a citizen development future.

2022 Jan Legal Management p28

“However, investment into technology is not a perfect, straightforward solution. Legal industries’ tech investments frequently risk only capturing a small portion of the potential contracted life cycle management investment benefits. This is a result of insufficient knowledge regarding end users’ needs as well as business requirements.”


Online Collaboration


Jeal, Damien. Clients want information to help them make an informed decision.

2022 Jan Legal Management p32


Neill, Andy. The year(s) ahead for collaboration.

2022 Jan Legal Management p32

“When it comes to collaboration in the legal sector, the last 18 months have seen a step-change in capabilities. Whereas the first client extranets were little more than glorified document repositories, today they are more powerful and more flexible than ever, and one of the many ways that firms drive productivity, deepen client relationships, and improve productivity and profitability by doing more with less. With these powerful tools, the industry is riding a new wave of collaboration between clients and law firms.”


Planning, Reporting and Forecasting


What every legal manager needs to know about the digitalization of planning, reporting and forecasting.

2022 Feb Legal Management p9

“As new technologies arise, digitalization has touched virtually every industry imaginable. Manual processes in planning, reporting and forecasting have been replaced by automated ones, and tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning have become more common approaches than ever before.”


Practice Management


Sugden, Eric. The year(s) ahead for practice management.

2022 Jan Legal Management p15

“Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently posited in a speech that we are likely to see “more digitization over the next 10 years than the last 40.” Think about that for a second: four decades representing the emergence of mobile phones, social media, video telephony – all delivered in a quarter of the time.”


Review


Wainwright, Jon. IT refresh? Here are some considerations.

2022 Jan Legal Management p6

“In fact, the firms that were in the cloud when the pandemic hit, made the transition to remote working very easily and thrived. Firms that operated primarily through on-premises IT and paper-based processes, found the shift more problematic. Some of those who weren’t on the cloud for business-critical applications, took the decision right in the middle of the pandemic to adopt the technology as quickly as they could.”


Security


Tung, Kenneth and McCarthy, Glenn. Data protection when legal meets data analytics (Part 1 of 2)

2022 Feb 10 Legal Business World

“As governments have been promulgating data protection laws in recent years, legal departments are called upon to support or even lead functions tasked, among others, for the secure use of data. While lawyers are supposed to master facts and evidence, not everyone appreciates the rationale and usage of Big Data, especially in the context of business organizations and broader ecosystems. While the raceway is in a turn in a globalized and complex world and changes are accelerating, data protection presents the type of challenges that call for interdisciplinary approaches staffed with T-shaped professionals.”


Jolly, Nandini. The legal community is going through an accelerated metamorphosis.

2022 Jan Legal Management p31

“The last two years have been pivotal in our personal and work lives, as we have witnessed a paradigm shift to remote work due to COVID-19. While most of us were in lockdown, enormous change was surging through the global infrastructure we were relying on.”


Miles, Andy. That threats from both China and Russia will increase.

2022 Jan Legal Management p30

“Exponential advances in technology combined with decreasing costs have made the world more connected than ever before, driving extraordinary opportunity, innovation and progress. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has accelerated this trend, but we are likely still in the early stages of a long-term structural shift.”


Survey


What technology is the best fit for your law firm?

2022 Feb 21 Law Technology Today

“As with most professional service providers, legal professionals have a tendency to fall into the “If it ain’t broke…” camp. It’s a big part of the reason why many law firms have historically been slow to adopt new technology.”


Windows 11


Ramsey, William and Hampton, Phil. Surprise! There’s a Windows 11.

2022 Feb Legal Management p27

“Call us naive, but we really believed Microsoft experts back in 2015 when they told us that Windows 10, the new version of Microsoft’s flagship product, was the “last version” of Windows and that, henceforth, Microsoft would just continually update Windows 10 until the end of time or the end of Microsoft (whichever came first).”


Work-life Balance


LTRC roundtable discussion: work-life balance.

2022 Feb 22 Law Technology Today

Partial Contents: How is technology adding to your stress in 2022? – How is technology reducing your stress in 2022? – What technologies (hardware, software, apps) are you using to reduce your stress in 2022? – Do you take “sabbaticals” from technology to help reduce your stress? If so, what specifically are you doing? – If you have one piece of advice, tech or not, for lawyers to help reduce stress in 2022, what would it be?


A recent edition is currently available as a sample copy at: https://www.lexinfo.co.za/lexinfo-practice-management-alert


For subscription information, email us: alert@lexinfo.com.

Image: Wix

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