The Transformative Effect of Legal Department Digitization

First Reviewed : March 23, 2023
Last Reviewed: March 23, 2023

When data is king, and everyone but legal has it, legal loses.

Artificial Lawyer

Legal departments are rapidly making the move to modernization, so that they can stay relevant and ahead of the game. Equipped with the latest in legal technology and tools, these legal departments are ready to take on any task with ease. A LegalDive article notes that the digitization of legal departments with centralized and digital workflows is in full swing across areas including contract management and compliance.

It Starts With Digital Maturity

Digitization and digitalization are important aspects of the legal department modernization process. Although legal departments could potentially install a few applications or software to their devices and computers and call it a day – this is just one part of modernization. 
Digital maturity is a critical part of modernization, where legal departments should identify their current and projected levels of digital maturity, says In-House Lawyer.

Digital maturity is a reliable yardstick to measure where a company is at in its legal transformation journey, where they aspire to be, and the knowledge that this is a journey that requires constant updating. 

Legal departments cannot implement legal tech and modernization tools today and rest easy. Modernization is a constantly evolving journey that requires a refresh and update all the time.

Digitization with Legal Tech

A Legal Dive survey reports that 96% of corporate lawyers say a centralized workflow management platform is necessary for their legal department. 92% of survey respondents agree that digitization will help the department be more productive. 

Even though the majority of corporate lawyers are all for digitization, their organizations haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet. Legal departments face a myriad of challenges, ranging from being overloaded with rote legal work and not finding the time to work on pressing matters, or the inability to even work on any task because they’re severely understaffed or working with a highly restrictive budget. Organizations that understand the value that legal technology and digital workflows offer legal departments will be the first to invest. The return on investment that legal digitization offers more than pays for itself, while offering legal departments the opportunity to provide further value to their companies, while also finding the time to focus on the high-value legal work.

Digitization and Digitalization

Without a doubt, legal departments create voluminous amounts of data every single day. Legal data digitization is the process of recording and converting that data into valuable metrics and useful insights. Going one step further, digitalization encompasses all this and more, by developing processes and changing workflows to replace manual methods. 

Artificial Lawyer notes the urgency of modernization for legal departments, in an article where they state that “when data is king, and everyone but legal has it, legal loses.” Legal has a place at the corporate table, as long as they’re equipped with digitization tools. The article continues to say that “if legal is pushed out of the boardroom, while companies might realize short-term savings, they too will lose in the long run.”

What Digitization Offers Legal Departments

Gartner states that “87% of senior business leaders identify digitalization as a key priority,” which is why legal departments have to digitize on an urgent basis. In addition to keeping legal departments up-to-date, digitization offers a wealth of benefits that demonstrate value to the organization.

Simplifies processes
One of the biggest plus points of technology is that it makes life easier. Digitalization makes legal workflows and processes faster and easier, while also making them far better than they ever could have been. The power of technology can’t be underestimated when it comes to driving processes more efficiently.

Provides value to the organization
Better and faster processes are a win, but digitalization helps legal departments showcase their value to their organizations. Modernized legal departments can showcase their business expertise alongside their legal acumen with a digitized legal department.

Frees up resources from routine tasks
The point of simplified processes is to remove routine tasks off corporate lawyers’ plates. Nil to zero routine tasks to work on frees up time and resources for the legal department.

Allows lawyers to focus on important matters
With simplified and streamlined processes, legal departments will note the uptick in time that they get. With their schedules cleared significantly, lawyers can focus on pressing matters instead of focusing on rote contract reviews for instance.

Digital Legal Departments, Today and Tomorrow 

Modern problems require modern solutions. Legal departments can rely on digitalization to keep them relevant, which will ultimately keep them in their organization’s good books and attract savvy clients. With benefits such as the opportunity to actually focus on high-value work without the hassle of working on routine tasks, legal departments have their priorities adjusted and back in place. A digitized legal department is an empowered one that creates value and finds value. 

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