At the recent Sysero Summit Oslo, we looked at the growing and imminent need for law firms to operate more efficiently. Pricing pressures, increased competition and evolving client demands are challenging today's firms to find new ways of delivering better client service with fewer resources. According to 2016 Law Firms in Transition report by Altman Weil, 93 percent of law firm leaders agree that efficiency is a permanent trend.
Surprisingly, in the same report, most law firm leaders admitted that they were doing very little to adapt their strategic approach. However, today's technologies have made it easier than ever to improve operational efficiencies and provide superior legal service delivery. Here are three ways that forward-thinking firms can embrace technological innovation to gain a competitive edge.
1) Build Once, Replicate Many Times (Without IT Support)
According to a recent report, lawyers spend about 48 percent of their time on administrative tasks, such as reviewing and drafting documents and configuring technology. However, automation offers new possibilities for how legal processes can evolve to minimise the time lawyers spend on repeatable, less-value add tasks.
Document assembly is a prime example of how automation can help reduce internal inefficiencies. Manually drafting new contracts and other documents for every matter requires a painstaking amount of time and is often prone to human error. Using automation, firms can reduce the errors, costs and overall inefficiencies associated with traditional drafting methods.
For example, leading Finnish law firm Castrén & Snellman recently transformed the way the firm's lawyers work by implementing a customised document automation process designed to ease lawyers' workloads. By automating some of the firm's most-used documents, including its Share Purchase Agreement and Legal Due Diligence Report, Castrén & Snellman was able to shift lawyers' focus from drafting documents to focusing on client needs.
Customised workflows that define who needs to do what work, and when, can also increase internal speed and accuracy by automatically prompting the appropriate team members to complete specific tasks. In the context of document assembly, firms can alert subject matter experts to review the quality of clauses or documents at specific intervals to ensure automated models stay relevant.
2) Automate Risk-Based Business Acceptance
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