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In-house legal teams stand out in the legal community for their dedication to driving innovation forward, adopting new ways of working and embracing change initiatives.
The LexisNexis annual survey of in-house teams, which took place near the end of 2020 when the UK was entering a second lockdown, found in-house legal teams both big and small were spending too much time reviewing documents and carrying out repetitive tasks that added very little value.
Thankfully, our survey found the appetite for digital innovation amongst in-house legal teams hasn’t been squashed – in fact, the majority are eager to adopt new legal technology in the near future.
Below are some trends that were found through conducting this report:
In-house legal teams are eager to adopt new technology
The legal technology market is rife with innovation. This came across in our survey with 82% of in-house legal teams looking to increase their adoption of legal technology in the next five years.
Demand for data insights will skyrocket
Data insights will play an integral role in powering a variety of use cases across legal departments meaning legal technology must have the ability to surface data insights in the next three to five years.
In-house teams are being bogged down by routine work
Despite an increased appetite to adopt legal technology, more than half of in-house legal teams are saying they still spend too much time reviewing documents.
Time and resources are key barriers to digital transformation
Almost three out of five (59%) in-house legal teams listed lack of time as a key barrier to digital transformation, while six in ten (63%) teams admitted they had given legal operations no attention whatsoever.
In-house legal teams are growing in size and specialist expertise
In-house legal departments are growing in team size and they’re taking on more responsibilities with the survey revealing that more teams are taking on non-legal experts such as project managers, data analysts, knowledge managers and legal operations specialists.
The above trends are explained in more detail in this report and highlight what legal functions can fix to help stay on the right side of the statistics.
What does this mean for the legal function moving forward?
Looking ahead, we will see a new type of lawyer emerge – the Tech-Enabled Lawyer. In recent years, the legal function has moved beyond the realms of offering legal advice and support in times of need, and has instead transitioned into a high-functioning, commercially-savvy asset to the wider organisation. In the next phase of the evolution of the legal function, we will see lawyers who fully embrace and utilise legal technology.
For more information on these trends and to learn how legal functions are adapting to change, download the report below.
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