Over the past several years,unprecedented disruptions have been dramatically changing the face of the legal sector and specifically, in-house legal departments.
Any attorney who has ever worked in a corporate legal department knows this to be true. The title “in-house counsel” takes on a new meaning. The in-house legal counsel no longer needs to be solely focused on the law, but rather on other para/non-legal tasks and on making sure that all these tasks are done, whilst simultaneously improving the legal processes and making the services more productive and cost-efficient.
Legal tech tools that are improving on an ongoing basis and increasingly being used provide legal departments and in-house counsels the ability to scale up and meet such goals.
Here is a glance of the ‘Future In-House Counsel’ and his/her day-to-day life. For the sake of good order, “Future” means the very near one – i.e. 2-5 years from now.
Currently, thousands of legal matters and documents are being managed by legal departments in a manual way (whether by using Excel or Word, in most cases) and in-house counsels deal insuch a way with various agreements and engagements.
However, the ‘Future In-House Counsel’ will utilize the right technology to manage all such matters, in away that will enable him / her and the organization to:
Since legal research lies at the heart of the legal profession and any proper legal advice is (and should be) based on decent research, there is no doubt that NLP and AI can significantly assist.
Nevertheless, while NLP and AI are used for years in other professional fields, they have not been used broadly (and successfully) in the legal sector till recent days, even though their impact on such sector might be significant.
However, the ‘Future In-House Counsel’ will utilize the right technology to do the following:
In a recent study that explored the impacts of using AI in research platforms, the conclusions were decisive:
The ability to access, from any place and at any time, anorganization’s up-to-date data base in an easy, secured and intuitive way has become increasingly important, specifically due to the Corona Virus crisis.
A better visualization of the data not only makes the day-to-day work more efficient, but also allows to plan ahead, create actionable insightsand minimize risks based on analytics. Bottom line, it positions the In-House counsel at the heart of the business and increases his / her added value to theorganization.
The ‘Future In-House Counsel’ will utilize the right technology to manage all such matters and by doing so he / she will also:
While there are huge concerns on the counsels side about the future and being replaced by machines (and some articles / predictions allegedly “support” such concerns), We have focused on the positive side and on the huge potential of using the right technology.
Should counsels embrace the change, not only that they would be able to utilize the technology to do the “unskilled / operational work” and focus on what they do best – i.e., providing legal advice / services – but they would also be able “invent” themselves and create more meaningful and interesting positions, such as ones that involve both legal and tech work.
In addition – and in a bit of disagreement with the above mentioned articles / predictions – not only that the legal tech revolution will not create jobless lawyers, but it will also create (like any other revolutions)new job opportunities and new exciting positions (for example, legaltechnicians and legal BI specialist).
To sum it up, legal departments and their managers can determine if and how they choose to embrace new technologies and operational efficiencies. However, in order to stay “relevant” and successful, they need to start forming a strategy today for how to get to the future. It is inevitable!
Edo Bar-Gil coined his own unique approach to Legal Operations based on years of practical experience with legal ops; such as when he built up the AppsyFlyer's legal department from scratch. He is the Ceo of LawFlex Designed Solutions (https://www.lawflexds.co.il/)
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