It is no news that the world changed drastically in a very short time and that this opened up a new set of challenges. Although a few years ago it was possible to maintain a portion of the legal market in an antilog or precariously digitized way, today this is impossible.
Faced with this situation, the leaders of the law firms and legal departments that are in charge of teams of lawyers carry a great responsibility on their shoulders: to guide everyone in the new digital economy.
For that, they have to adapt their long-term vision, focus on operational excellence, understand the experience of both the client and the professional, and promote growth based on innovation.
In this article, we will tell you the main challenges that these leaders will have to face.
Technology Is The Key To Change:
Technologies applied to legal practice advance in the context of digital industrialization guided by the use of legal software and the need for social distancing. Ultimately, two factors were key:
- Maintain operating teams: the home office and collaborative management platforms to maintain the service without losing quality.
- Control and reformulate operating costs: efficient use of the budget by increasing tasks to avoid cutting expenses and personnel.
The leaders of the companies had to understand that this required a change in the cultural matrix of the way of providing legal services, involving a new component in the system: the SaaS company.
Legal Digital Transformation Is A Leadership-Driven Decision:
Leaders need to assimilate the idea of work and process management in terms of open and integrated platforms, in which there must be strong communication between the legal area and the IT sector. Likewise, the territorial issue is no longer decisive for choosing a service, what matters now is the value it adds.
It is also the time to venture into fields where risk prevention is more diffuse and be prepared for the containment and mitigation of new problems.
The expectations of budget management and efficient management of the resources at their disposal fall on them, for that reason they have to:
- know how to administer and manage by project;
- define the key indicators (KPI) that will serve to monitor performance;
- apply and defend the budget of your area with reference to these indicators.
The trend is that aspects related to the management and design of the processes are being added to their function.
The Experience Of Corporate Lawyers And Digital Transformation:
This also changed the lives of legal professionals who today, in addition to being service providers, are also SaaS users. Therefore, improving their experience in the efficient use of the software became the heart of the digital transformation.
Within this aspect we can highlight:
- the digitization of processes;
- the digital signature;
- the ability to collaborate with colleagues and clients;
- the administration of useful and relevant information;
- updating in real time.
All this changed the dynamics of work, as society is digitizing itself and has created another type of client, more demanding and aware of its possibilities.
Some facts that speak for themselves:
- 80% of companies in the world, according to Forbes, advanced their digital transformation due to the pandemic and 50% of the CEOs surveyed believe that these changes have occurred in “months” and have taken them forward “years”.
- Continuing with Forbes, in an exclusive interview, Maren Lau, vice president for Latin America at Facebook, stated that the digitization of processes in SMEs in Latin America is irreversible.
- According to the specialized website IT User, global investment in digital transformation will grow more than 15% between 2020 and 2023.
Evolution To The Cloud:
Cloud computing made obsolete the old working method that consisted of exclusive programs and systems of each law firm or legal department, giving rise to SaaS companies. That possibility was what reformulated the spatial factor and the issue of data centralization. Now we can work, interact and collaborate in the same virtual space and different physical spaces.
It also changed the offer of companies that sell legal products and billing or document management solutions, for example. Now, these companies finance technological innovation, because by offering much more practical tools to use and update, which are also integrated with other legal solutions in the cloud, they have become the path to growth.
Legal Technologies And The Use Of Legal Software:
Legal tech is well known, but judicial tech not so much, a recent neologism that arose due to the need for the Judiciary to adapt to teleworking and that caused:
- a cost of employees in the IT sector of the Judiciary;
- cost and stress for litigating professionals, for example, the traceability of documents that started on paper and had to continue on digital;
- the conversion to different systems that had to be carried out by some jurisdictions.
Within this framework, it is increasingly necessary to have tools that allow corporate lawyers to:
- Manage contracts: with the possibility of automating the creation and approval within the platform.
- Receive and send documents: from anywhere, on any device.
- Manage legal projects: gather files, knowledge, data, tasks, schedules and people involved in projects in one place.
- Work collaboratively: easy communication and task management.
- Manage transactions: such as mergers and acquisitions, real estate and others of a legal nature.
- Manage legal operations: instant access to critical documents and case details, plus invoices and task management.
- Manage suppliers: work with external consultants with a standardized service.
- Integrate tools intelligently – Connect tools in one place.
In conclusion, the role of the leadership of legal departments and law firms in the digitization of processes is essential to generate more opportunities and qualify the legal practice of the professionals in their charge.