Law firms and legal departments may not typically have a reputation for being early adopters of technological advances. But to add value to the business, it is essential now to be taking advantage of the timesaving, performance-enhancing software that is readily available.
Specifically, we will look at software for e-billing, matter management, collaboration, and contract lifecycle management. These tools allow lawyers and other key people at your business to work more accurately and efficiently, focus more time and energy on high-value activities, and gain insight through data capture and analytics. Furthermore, while cost, capabilities, and design vary by brand and product, there most certainly are technological solutions to fit your department or organization, be it small or large, geographically concentrated or widely dispersed.
By providing a better overview of your legal expenses, along with accuracy and efficiency through automation, e-billing software can allow legal departments and organizations to save time and money and help in-house counsel with controlling outside counsel costs. Additionally, modern legal spend management solutions, such as Onit’s European legal spend management solution BusyLamp eBilling.space, go beyond e-billing capabilities and provide pre-bill information, real-time fee tracking, and powerful analytics. This can give you an edge by turning billing information into strategically important insight for future planning and management.
Everyone must deal with matter management, from solo practitioners to attorneys at multinational firms and major corporate entities. Some software types will offer features beyond the essential function of managing case and client information, such as documents, calendaring, communications, and contacts. More is not always better, however. You need to define your needs and consider budget and ease of implementation within your current operations. The best matter management solutions will empower the entire organization to work together on legal matters, sharing knowledge and driving results in a highly collaborative fashion.
LEGAL DEPARTMENT COLLABORATION
The ability to collaborate in real-time, securely, and efficiently is critical. Simple tools such as e-mail, instant messaging, and video conferencing are commonplace examples of technological collaboration. But for legal professionals, creating documents, controlling them, sharing, and collaborating in a secure environment has become an essential capability. Again, the key to which platform is best for you rests on your needs: what you want to be able to do, with how many parties are involved, and in coordination with what other systems. Another important factor to consider? What your future looks like. Look for a platform that can scale with your company, supporting the multitudes of processes and documents that come with growth.
CONTRACT LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT
Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) involves the end-to-end automation of the entire legal contract management process, reducing costs, freeing up resources, and increasing profits for the organization. The key to an effective CLM solution? One that supports every element of the contract lifecycle — from capture and creation through negotiation, approvals, execution, and management — with integrated AI features to help augment and organize contract review. Integration into existing processes is also critical; to ensure a seamless transition and uninterrupted workflows, look for a solution that works with features like Word and email and can get up and running in a very short amount of time.
Technology is not something for the legal profession to fear. Yes, there may be areas in which software functionality can now deliver a service quicker, cheaper, and better than a well-educated, trained professional. But more than anything, the legal tech world is here developing solutions that will allow the legal profession to operate quicker, cheaper, and better than before — and allow lawyers to use their training and education in a more focused, effective fashion for their clients.
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