What can Emily in Paris teach us about CLM

April 6, 2022


We as lawyers know CLM as a contract lifecycle management system. It could be the name of a fashion label or a bestselling fragrance, mais non?

If you haven’t tuned into Emily in Paris on Netflix, then here’s a quick overview: Emily is transferred from Chicago to a Paris marketing firm to provide a different perspective.

After binge watching its second season recently, it got me thinking about how that’s what a CLM system brings to a business and to a legal team. A different perspective.

According to Gartner, when a legal team’s ability to execute is slow, this translates into 1.3x longer contract review cycles. That’s not a pretty data point compounding on an annual basis. Thus, on one level, a CLM system solves a myriad of business and legal problems – it makes the many stages of a contract faster, more streamlined and centralised.

On another level, as highlighted in this brand new CLM guide from Gatekeeper it underscores the cultural shift which can be achieved. Contracts are not solely the domain of legal – “you don’t contract with a contract”. A bit like you don’t go to Paris to only drink champagne and eat croissants – there’s so much more to explore.

The early stages of selecting, preparing and customising a CLM system is like being in a new city – it’s what you make of it. It depends on how adventurous you are, and your appetite to explore. It can be seen as challenging and unfamiliar, or as expansive and enriching. The key is to adopt a growth mindset – one that enables both legal teams and business to “grow with” a contracts platform.

In my experience, legal technology such as a platform CLM, changes the perception of the legal team – from foreign and complex to being regarded as one of the most innovative and modern contributors to the company.

For the legal team in washington dc, it’s an opportunity to stop doing contract things the way that they’ve always been done. To embrace a new mindset about their role in the housekeeping process, offer specialized services and see the bigger contracting picture, rather than merely focus on the next contract in the inbox. It virtually draws a clear boundary about legal’s role in the process, estimated to be about 25%.

And like Emily, this shift may break the hearts of change resistant types initially, but just like Alfie in time they end up coming around to becoming CLM’s greatest advocates.

A CLM system is more than just a business tool. It helps to manage contracting relationships – internally and externally. And from a business perspective, that’s what really matters. Because without business relationships, there are no contracts.

À cœur vaillant rien d’impossible.

Nothing is impossible for a willing heart.

Bon CLM Transformation Voyage, Mon Ami!

Bisou, Anna


I’m on a mission to help law and business adapt to the digital age. Anna Lozynski Advisory provides freelancing and advisory services to businesses, legal tech companies and in-house teams, in the areas of digital transformation, social media and content creation, and general consulting.

@legallyinnovative | annalozynski.com Anna Lozynski – LinkedIn | @annaloz Clubhouse.

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