Matt Margolis: We are witnessing a surge in legal technology. When I was in private practice, the only significant innovation in the market was e-discovery.
Nowadays, we are seeing Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) products that make things much easier. These products also have an AI component that identifies helpful key provisions or provisions that have been utilized in the past.
They can also identify termination dates, which would normally take time and effort to find, and build a client. If I'm in-house, it would take time to build a "no client." We are definitely seeing growth in this area and more adoption of these tools. Over the next few years, we will see more and more automation and better tools that make our lives much easier.
Charlotte Smith: Exactly. One of the incredible things about technology is that teams will need to go through the process of change more frequently. Therefore, having a strong change management strategy and process is incredibly important.
Matt Margolis: Oh, absolutely. I recall receiving an e-discovery tool, I believe it was Relativity or something similar. I remember everyone accessing the e-discovery page, and it was extremely difficult because there was no strategy in place. We were all just trying to figure it out on our own, which ultimately led to a failed implementation.
Why Are Teams Investing In Legal Tech?
Marie Widmer: One of the biggest drivers is the pressure on legal teams to do more with less. In corporate environments, they are often viewed as a cost center, resulting in lower budgets and reduced headcount. This necessitates a redefinition of the term "scrappy" to deliver high-quality service with limited resources.
Additionally, whether working in a law firm or an in-house team, customers and stakeholders increasingly expect efficiency and convenience. In today's world, where you can order groceries and rent a car on your iPhone, we have come to expect everything on demand, including professional services. Legal teams must adapt quickly to changing customer expectations and demands.
Increasing Demands & Adaptation
Matt Margolis: We are seeing an increasing demand for readily available information, particularly in legal departments. For instance, you may receive an email or a Slack message requesting immediate answers or statistics. Specifically, I've noticed a trend where people want to know the amount spent on X, Y, and Z deals by outside counsel. This demand for quick information is not going away anytime soon.
Marie Widmer: It's a lot to take in, especially considering the previous state of the industry where lawyers weren't often questioned or required to provide details about their work behind the scenes.
This cultural shift, along with increasing compliance and regulatory complexities, has had a significant impact on the legal profession. For example, privacy concerns have become a major issue and have required us to adapt, particularly with audits and mergers and acquisitions.
In addition, there is pressure to scale quickly and increase revenue when working in-house at a company. This type of pressure is not typically experienced outside of a corporate environment and requires a different approach to work.
Overall, these changes require lawyers to work in new ways and adapt to the evolving industry.