My top 5 tech transformation tips for in-house lawyers for 2022
Earlier this year I was asked to be on a panel with Richard Susskind about why digital transformation is important for the legal sector.
This question made me think of a Meme, which I’ll adapt for relevance:
“I’ve got 99 problems and [technology] will solve 86 of them”.
And in my experience of leading an award winning in-house legal department, that rings very true.
Technology is of strategic significance because it is a powerful enabler for any legal team across so many fronts.
In the interests of your time, I’ll call out three.
#1 Technology enables Scale, Value & Reach.
We’ve come from a place post GFC of more for less, to a COVID era of simply, More.
More agility and dexterity.
More regulation and more governance.
More data and analytics.
More standardisation and automation.
More business mindedness and business partnership.
More legal operational thinking.
You get the gist – More is More.
#2 Technology enables relevance and resonance.
In this decade, businesses and governments across Asia are prioritising innovation and AI initiatives like never before.
To that end business stakeholders will choose a lawyer that possesses what I call IQ2.0 – innovation intelligence – one that’s acting in a client’s best interests congruent with the digital age, not just doing things the way they have always been done.
#3 Lastly, Tech enables us to work smarter, not harder.
Technology creates much needed space for lawyers to focus less on the dull and more on the dirty and dangerous.
It creates a culture of continuous improvement, learning new skills, and a level of sophistication, sustainability and access in support of, and in alignment with, business pressures and objectives.
If the adoption of more tech is on your radar for 2022 (and I hope it is), here are my top transformation tips:
1 – Create space across the team to be all hands-on deck. Implementing legal technology doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It requires weekly dedicated lifting on the part of the legal team in collaboration with your business colleagues and legal tech vendor. It then requires continuous nurturing to ensure adoption occurs at a healthy rate, and that the tech stays current vis a vis evolving business needs.
2 – Transformation initiatives will only work if the legal team can prioritise them. Place transformation at the top of the agenda. Make it a KPI top down. Live and breathe it as you would any other strategic business matter. Put it on the weekly team meeting agenda, in your 1:1 WIP meetings, and communicate about it regularly to your stakeholders.
3 – Don’t ignore the sales emails and calls. In the 2020s, it’s part of your role to stay connected with legal tech providers and to learn the landscape and categories of legal tech available. Sellers of legal tech have a wealth of knowledge and are keen to support you – welcome that into your way of operating. Incorporate it as valuable networking time in your calendar.
4 – Use your influence. Start planting seeds across the business that the legal team is researching using technology to solve certain routine problems. That way, when it comes time to making that pitch or business case, you’ll in theory have a level of support and acceptance around this new way of working. The aim is to normalise the use of technology to solve legal problems in your organisation.
5 – There is no “formula” or perfect transformation roadmap to which you must adhere. For example, if the biggest pain point is the speed and efficiency of routine contract review, then it may make more sense for your legal team to adopt contract AI review technology eg. LexCheck, versus a CLM or automation of an NDA. This is where working with a legal innovation consultant like me can be efficient as it can help you clarify the strategy quickly.
“Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.” Michael Hyatt
Thanks for taking the time to read this post.
Stay positive and future focused.
Also Anna Lozynski Advisory is now taking bookings for 2022:
a) Digital Transformation Consulting to in-house legal teams of all sizes and locations;
b) Social Media Collaborations, Content Creation and Product Advice for legal tech companies across the globe;
c) Freelance General Counsel support;
d) 1:1 Social Media Coaching and/or Mindset Coaching; and
e) Professional speaking.
I’ve also recently co-launched a brand new concept called The Mindful Lawyers. Enrol in our virtual 14-day Mindful Billable Unit Bootcamp commencing on 31 January 2022, and our 4-week Mindfulness Mastermind commencing on 21 January 2022!