The Latest in Corporate Legal Department Trends and Resources (November 2021 Edition) By Onit November 4, 2021 AI/ML,Business Process Management 4 Minute Read Welcome to the November digest of the latest in corporate legal department trends and helpful resources. In this edition, you’ll find information on AI’s effect on practicing law, stringent steps to increase law firm diversity, the importance of a business perspective, how to benchmark legal technology investments and the latest in tech spending for UK law firms. 1. AI vs. Lawyers: How Does AI Affect the Practice of Law? There’s always the question: Will AI replace lawyers? The answer is no. But it will reduce congestion and manual work resulting from back-office administrative tasks that lawyers face every day. In the latest episode of the Non-Eventcast podcast, host Jared Correia of Red Cave Consulting speaks with Nick Whitehouse, GM of the Onit AI Center of Excellence. Together, they discuss fundamental components of AI, how it improves processes in the legal world, how it gives lawyers a valuable competitive edge and the future of AI in the next five years. Source: Non-Eventcast podcast (Apple or Spotify) 2. Corporate Legal Departments Want Diversity, and They’re Using Money to Motivate Outside Counsel One of the most prevalent legal department trends is diversity – and leaders are turning to the most significant penalty of all to push for compliance. They’re docking law firm fees. This can mean relocating work or reducing fees. It can also mean rewards for successful efforts. This article from Bloomberg Businessweek discusses how Facebook, HP, Novartis and more have embraced fee-based strategies to motivate racial and gender diversity within outside counsel. Others, such as BT, reward successful diversity efforts with a chance to join their law office advisory panel. Source: Bloomberg Businessweek + Equality 3. The Link Between In-House Tech Adoption and Legal Department Business Acumen The concept of running the legal department like a business surfaced decades ago. It’s still one of the legal department trends zealously endorsed by many GCs, in-house lawyers and legal operations professionals. New opportunities made possible by legal technology mean there are even more opportunities to evolve this discipline. In-house panelists gathered at the Association of Corporate Counsel’s annual meeting to discuss the skills sets that amplify legal technology ROI. Not surprisingly, they pinpoint the importance of a business perspective. You can read the article here. Source: Legaltech News 4. How to Benchmark Legal Technology Investments: One Company’s Journey Speaking of legal technology ROI, let’s shift to benchmarking. Every legal department’s journey varies depending on priorities. In this on-demand webinar, legal ops executives from a global provider of multi-cloud services for apps discuss their mission to transform and scale legal services to accelerate its growth and simplify the customer experience. They’re joined by an expert from HBR Consulting, who breaks down legal department trends and how data plays a critical role in a successful legal tech transformation journey. Source: Onit 5. UK Legal Department Trends Alert: Increased Tech Spending, But Not for All of the UK 100 Here’s good news for corporate legal departments aiming to work more efficiently with their UK law firms. A recent survey, analyzed by Artificial Lawyer in this article, finds that 60% of UK 100 law firms bumped up their tech spending in 2021. Further, more law firms indicated that improving the use of technology is a top priority in the next year, with standardizing and centralizing processes not far behind. The one drawback: The publication notes that “… for a significant slice of the market that sits between 11th and 50th place by revenue, tech spending shrank a little relative to revenue.” Source: Artificial Lawyer Bonus Resource: How to Implement Legal Digital Transformation CLOC recently gathered a panel of experts to discuss one of the most interesting legal department trends happening now: digital transformation. Large and small companies alike have increasingly turned their attention to legal digital transformation to increase efficiency and improve the legal function. However, it can be challenging to know where to start and how to keep yourself on track. These CLOC experts offered valuable advice for implementing legal transformation projects, including the top-five considerations. You can read more about it and hear the recording of the presentation here. 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