Legal Industry News: Current News and Trends in Legal Department Operations, June 2021

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

In today’s digest, we share a recap of CLOC’s annual State of the Industry Survey and its recent virtual Global Institute, words of advice for corporate legal transformation, how AI finds even more billing guidelines violations and more.

#1 AI in the Legal Sector by the Numbers

More and more corporate legal departments are turning to AI every day to handle manual tasks, boost efficiency and gain insights for informed decision-making. You’ve likely already incorporated AI into some aspect of your day-to-day practice. After all, we’ve all heard the claims about how much it transforms everyday tasks. But just how much of a difference does AI really make?

This blog post breaks down the numbers and outlines some of the most significant gains to be gained through AI in the legal sector, including:

  • A 24% reduction in the average sales cycle and a 9% annual cost reduction by using an AI-powered CLM solution
  • A 51.5% increase in user productivity and the ability to redline a contract in under 2 minutes with legal AI software for contract review
  • The ability to review 6,000 contracts at once and access over 500 contract data points with AI for contract extraction
  • A 5-10% reduction in outside counsel spend with an AI-powered ELM solution

(Source: Onit blog)

#2 CLOC Sets Benchmarks for Legal Department Operations

The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) recently released the 2021 State of the Industry Survey report, the organization’s annual review of trends to watch in the legal ops space. This year’s survey, conducted in collaboration with the Association of Corporate Counsel, garnered responses from 200 organizations (including 48 Fortune 500 companies) across more than 22 industries in 31 states and 21 countries.

The 2021 report highlights how priorities have shifted through the uncertainty of 2020, with legal ops growing, legal spend increasing and more work coming in-house. Some of the most notable survey results include:

  • 39% of respondents said they brought more work in-house in 2021, compared to only 28% the year before
  • Nearly all respondents reported using the same number or more ALSPs than the year before
  • 40% of respondents increased their number of dedicated, full-time legal ops employees
  • 61% of respondents identified implementing a Diversity and Inclusion program as a top priority for 2021

You can read the entire survey report here.

(Source: CLOC)

#3 Workflow Automation, Return to Office Top “Big Picture” Plans for Legal Department Operations

On the final day of CLOC’s recent virtual Global Institute, one legal department operations panel took an in-depth look at why organizations need a well-defined plan for implementing new technology and preparing to handle business in a post-pandemic world.

Legal ops professionals will play a huge role in that planning and implementation. They’re pivotal in big-picture technology adoption because they’re often the most on top of innovation and the latest trends in the legal tech market. Legal ops will also be integral to making sure the rest of the legal department and the business as a whole actually adopt the new technologies they find.

(Source: Legaltech News)

#4 Legal Department Operations Leaders Share Their Best Strategies for Transformation

Change is a constant in our world, especially in the last year and a half. While workloads continue to increase in-house, the need to work quickly and effectively remains a common goal. But how can legal operations professionals spur change – especially technological change  – in corporate legal?

Corporate legal department operations experts from Mastercard, McKesson, Microsoft and GlaxoSmithKline sat down at the CLOC Global Institute to explain their best approaches, including:

  • Understanding the reasons for resistance
  • Communicating the vision of change and what that means
  • Conveying the importance of transformation on a personal level to team members
  • Understanding what resources are necessary to enact change, including people, tools and priorities

Bonus: What’s driving transformation in legal? Operations expert Brad Rogers digs into the topic, breaks down what is accelerating the need for change in corporate legal. Scroll to the bottom of this blog post to hear the podcast. You can also find the Onit podcast on Apple, Google Play, Spotify or other podcast platforms.

(Source: Corporate Counsel)

#5 How to Find Up to 11% More Non-Compliant Charges in Legal Invoices After Billing Rules and Standard Review

Growing workloads and other priorities limit the time in-house counsel can devote to reviewing outside counsel bills spanning hundreds of pages and thousands of line items. Enterprise legal management, matter management, e-billing, billing code standards and automated billing rules reduce the burden of invoice review. However, AI offers the opportunity for even more technological innovation.

On May 26, Onit announced the debut of InvoiceAI, an AI offering for first-pass legal invoice review and analytics that’s now available to customers. InvoiceAI handles first-pass legal invoice review to identify errors better and increase the consistency of application of billing guidelines and spend management best practices.

On average, InvoiceAI has identified 6-11% of unactioned errors in historical invoices, above and beyond what had already been identified by standard invoice review. Even in a year when travel was significantly restricted, InvoiceAI uncovered an average of $100,000 worth of savings on travel-related time and expenses that had been improperly submitted to customers.

For a free AI analysis of 90 days of historical billing data, Onit customers can reach out to their account managers and other interested parties can email [email protected].

(Source: LawSites Blog)

Get the inside track on legal department operations trends, the very best events and helpful content from the legal community by joining Lean Into LegalOps today. The program unites the legal community, providing them with a forum to share and learn from one another and get the latest news and trends in legal operations and technology.

Thank you for subscribing!