For corporate legal departments, among the highest priorities today are improving efficiencies, reducing risks, cutting costs and being better partners with the businesspeople. While there are many different paths to achieve some of these goals, document automation is one of the few ways that in-house counsel can hit them all simultaneously.
However, before launching into document automation, corporate legal departments need to understand what document automation is and how it works, as well as the benefits that come with automated document drafting and approval.
Last week saw retirement drinks for Janet Day, who is standing down as IT director of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) after 18 years with the firm. Janet hands over to Mike Nolan on 1st January, but she assures us that she isn’t disappearing completely from the legal IT scene!
As befitted a reception for the undisputed leading lady of legal IT, BLP’s client suite was packed with Janet’s friends, including numerous IT directors from top City firms and beyond, suppliers, consultants and more – as well as many current and former clients and colleagues.
There are two groups of law firms being rewarded by the market: go-to firms whose clients are returning to a strong, established brand and firms which are adapting their model to create a more client-driven, client-centric organization by demonstrating high-level efficiencies and driving value to the delivery of legal services. Some firms pursue both strategies, some one of the strategies, some neither.
Law firms’ value lies in the knowledge of the law and so is the primary target for driving value to the client. More to the point, today’s attorneys require access and mastery of a variety of types of knowledge extending beyond legal expertise in order to serve as high value business advisors to clients or business managers of their departments, and are persistently tapped to perform at high levels using the most innovative knowledge platforms.
It’s almost that time of year for Americans: Thanksgiving. It’s a day when we reflect on all that’s going well . Now I realize that not all of you reading this post reside in the States. But even so, it’s never a bad idea to take stock of all the positive aspects of your life.
For lawyers practicing law in 2014, there are many things to be thankful for, not the least of which are advances in legal technology that have simplified and streamlined our daily lives. In 2014, there are so many different tools that are both affordable and innovative and have the potential to change the ways that we communicate, collaborate, and represent clients.
The first complaints haven’t even been filed, but they’re coming. The ether is abuzz and there’s traction – so, more than likely, there will be legal action to follow.
Because this isn’t your first rodeo, you already have “The Plan.” Your Early Case Assessment (ECA) Dream Team is in place, always ready for action. Legal hold, research, document review, facts and issues database, budgeting and other tools … check, check, check …
Using Your Voice to Get More Done Each Day
Trained law firm assistants who are good at their profession can type about 65 words per minute. Most IT professionals and many lawyers who don’t have word processing as part of their official job descriptions can still peck away at keyboards fairly efficiently, since many schools and jobs require students and employees to type at 40 words per minute.
Traditional law firm marketing is changing. Ten years ago much of the revenue generated for law firms was through established long-term existing clients, and new business was attributed to partner networks and direct connections. Now with the changing legal market, the introduction of legal start-ups, and client demand for better value, the market is more competitive. Firms need to differentiate themselves to win new business. Law firm marketing is now as much about lead generation as it is about the traditional marketing and communications role, and the responsibility for generating new business is being shared across the firm.
The phrase ‘perfect storm’ is over used, but there are plenty of reasons for legal IT professionals to look pensive as they look ahead to plan their projects for the next 12 months. Across the legal industry, as “Get Safe Online Week” draws to a close, cyber security is starting to become a buzzword, where before it was only a relatively distant concern. To see the evidence of this change we need only look as far as the last week’s papers. Three recent headlines have framed the technological threats that legal firms are already starting to face.
In recent years, technology has changed tremendously, affecting every aspect of our day-to-day lives, from how we communicate and interact with others, to how we shop, cook, travel and conduct business. Even so, many law firms continue to conduct much of their business just as was done in 1995, refusing to change their attitudes about client service to comport with 21st century expectations.
Now, this isn’t necessarily surprising, given that the legal field is oftentimes so traditional. After all, lawyers are trained to study past legal holdings and apply them to today’s legal problems.
Trends in mobility have disrupted the enterprise world. Simon Price, UK Managing Director at Recommind, looks at what mobility means for eDiscovery practices and how legal practitioners can retain control.
The advent of mobile devices – everything from laptops to smartphones and tablet computers – has had an irreversible impact on the way that organisations conduct business. While employees have always found ways of moving information electronically, gone are the days when they had to transport business information on a USB stick or send work files as attachments to their personal email addresses.
Joanna Goodman joined the DocsCorp team for London’s Byte Night – the IT industry’s annual charity sleep-out – to raise money for Action for Children. The team, which comprised Ben, Greg, Rob and Mel from DocsCorp as well as Samia, Miranda and me – participated in Byte Night, the IT industry’s annual charity sleep-out, which raises awareness – and money – to combat youth homelessness. How did I get involved? I met Ben Mitchell, EMEA VP Sales for DocsCorp, through IT director friends.
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