Legal Industry News: Current News and Trends in Legal Operations, March 2021

Welcome to our March industry run-down, where we share with you some of the most pertinent and timely articles on legal industry news. We hope this roundup of legal industry trends provides some useful takeaways.

In today’s lineup, we share insights about how Lenovo uses AI and automation for contract management, legal technology trends from Gartner and how leaning into communications and leadership traits exhibited by women can enhance collaboration between lawyers and clients.


 An AI Checklist for Every Phase of Contract Lifecycle Management

Contracts are the main source of risk and obligations for corporate legal teams, and if not managed properly, they can lead to a whole host of complications and business failures. The right contract lifecycle management (CLM) tool allows you to modernize the way you deliver legal services, automating and standardizing processes to create a single point of truth for all your contracts.

Nick Whitehouse, general manager of Onit’s AI Center of Excellence, tackles the latest in legal industry news by sharing a checklist for contract AI, covering all phases of CLM. The article includes considerations for both the pre-signature and post-signature contract management phases, including topics like the importance of pre-trained AI, how a CLM solution can turn contract data into actionable intelligence and the overall benefits of contract AI.

(Source: Lexology)


Are You AI-Certified? According to Experts, You Might Want to Look Into that.

While AI solutions are often touted as the solution to human error and bias, the data underlying those tools can contain just as many biases. Problematic data means problematic results, and even potential liability.

One current initiative is trying to change all that by empowering attorneys to give their clients reliable and substantive advice about the AI tools they’re considering using. The University of Toronto’s Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society has partnered with AI Global, a nonprofit focusing on advancing responsible and ethical AI, to create a certification project for lawyers looking to help their firms implement AI tools or advise their clients about AI. The goal of the new program is to create an international framework of AI across a number of industries that is fair, ethical, and responsible, eliminating bias and privacy breaches.

(Source: ABA Journal)


Five In-House Legal Tech Trends from Gartner

In recent years, automation and other technologies have emerged as the obvious solution for beleaguered legal departments that are under constant pressure to cut costs and boost efficiency. While the legal industry has historically been resistant to technology, things have slowly been changing. When the pandemic hit, legal departments shifted gears. As a result, they’ve been able to discover the many benefits of incorporating and embracing technology to achieve business outcomes.

The trend toward widespread technology adoption is only expected to continue. Gartner recently predicted five trends we should expect to see in legal tech in the coming years:

  • By 2024, 20% of generalist lawyers in corporate legal departments will be replaced by nonlawyer staff
  • By 2024, 50% of corporate legal departments’ work related to major corporate transactions will be automated
  • By 2025, corporate legal departments will triple their spending on legal technology
  • By 2025, at least 25% of corporate legal application spending will be on nonspecialist technology providers.
  • By 2025, corporate legal departments will have only captured 30% of the potential benefits of their CLM solutions

 (Source: Gartner)


Look to Women to Advance Success and Collaboration in the Legal Industry

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Women’s Network of the Legal Value Network’s shined the spotlight on what makes women leaders successful and how adopting feminine leadership and communication styles can benefit law firms by advancing collaboration between lawyers and clients.

Female leadership has really risen to the occasion in the face of the pandemic’s challenges, largely because traditionally female leadership qualities – compassion, humility, and collaboration – have been what companies have needed to thrive despite uncertainty. “The qualities that make women great leaders through times of crisis are also what make them great leaders every day,” says Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient and founder of The Equality Lounge.

(Source: Legal Value Network)


The Future of Contracting: CLM Automation + AI Transformation at Lenovo

Every legal department can benefit from more efficient processes. Technology is the key to making that possible. The World Commerce and Contracting Association recently held a webinar that looked at the Lenovo legal department transformation journey, highlighting how Lenovo successfully built a strategy for an effective global rollout of contract lifecycle management technology that relied heavily on AI.

Key themes of the webinar included:

  • Lenovo’s CLM evolution and transformation roadmap
  • Multi-year goals related to their contract management technology
  • Why the culture must eat change management for breakfast
  • The benefits and ROI of a single CLM platform

You can watch the entire webinar to learn how AI is driving the future here.

(Source: World Commerce and Contracting Association)

Bonus Resource: Lean Into LegalOps

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