What are the biggest trends in legal engineering in 2021? What types of technologies are companies planning to invest in? And what metrics do we all want to start measuring with?
These are exactly the questions we asked top corporate law leaders in a recent survey commissioned by Mitratech. It revealed insights, predictions, and expert opinions from legal directors and attorneys for the Legal Department Challenges, changes and new legal technologies will join the legal teams in 2021.
The advancement of legal technology
At the beginning, this was a unified and very strong opinion of all of our survey participants Corporate legal technology will be more advanced and even more widespread in 2021.
In particular, respondents predicted that these technologies will be even more widespread in 2021:
- 44% – contract management
- 42% – matter management
- 37% – Governance, Risk, and Compliance Technologies
In addition, it is important to note that nearly one third of respondents predict that electronic billing will only be used to an increasing extent.
Data protection and security are a top initiative
Another nearly universal response from the lawyers we interviewed was this Data protection and security will be a top priority in the new year. This renewed focus can be linked to the chaos of 2020.
When the pandemic broke out and employees started working from home, companies turned to their policies and processes to manage new risks. The problem? A jumble of outdated, confusing, or conflicting policies and outdated processes. The past year has shown us how very manual compliance processes or isolated technologies can slow down companies.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
32% of respondents said that AI and ML will be part of their technology roadmaps in 2021, while 42% are uncertain or uncertain about how these technologies fit into their overall business strategy.
Despite this disagreement, it should be noted that artificial intelligence and machine learning can solve major business challenges, particularly in terms of analysis, management, and predictability. In fact, these technologies can transform businesses into more efficient, profitable, and employee-friendly places.
Another important finding? Many legal professionals anticipate an increase in litigation related to COVID-19 in 2021. The Insurance Journal confirms this, reporting a record of 1,548 class action decisions on workplace issues in 2020.
2021 is also expected to be another year that will rely on collaboration tools thanks to remote workers. With the new standard working from home, tools that improve collaboration are of great importance to internal legal departments.
Although 60% of our respondents predict that remote working environments will be widely promoted and accepted in 2021, there was one exception. Lawyers. Most lawyers have to and want to go back to work.
More workflow automation
With so many people working from home, workflow automation is an essential part of any effective remote work environment today. In the new year, 77% of corporate legal departments expect the use of workflow automation will increase and only 2% believe their use will decrease.
“With our various agreements, NDAs, and contract approvals removed like cloud technology, the transition to this work from home has been made much easier.” Andy Cooper, Legal Operations Manager, IDEXX Laboratories
Building something better with process automation
While many executives were predicting more workflow automation, many were quick to point out that the future is not just about automating an existing process. Instead, organizations want automate and improve Processes. This type of implementation can best be done when lines of business and departments work with Legal to introduce process automation.
By working together on the rollout of automation, Legal can ensure that legal and compliance best practices can be easily embedded into each department’s processes.
Take Jeff Marple, Director of Innovation, Corporate Legal at Liberty Mutual, for example, with a statement about their process: “Legal was not originally a process or a technically advanced organization within Liberty Mutual. Now we have developed several internal workflows for customers who just love our customers and who have changed their reputation. Legal now leads the company with process automation deployments. “
Reinforce diversity, inclusion and equity efforts in 2021
Another area for modern lawyers? Diversity, Justice and Inclusion. In fact, 87% of corporate legal departments see ongoing efforts to promote diversity and inclusion as critical to their company’s mission.
However, implementing diversity and inclusion efforts will not be enough in 2021. For real success, measurements and metrics will be key for departments that prioritize diversity.
Nagendra Donepudi, Mitratech’s senior vice president of product development, said, “We want more eyes to look at the legal department as it forces law firms to improve these metrics.” They’ll be held accountable for knowing people are watching them. ”
Immigration and Workers Eligibility
Another area our survey looked at was immigration and visas. 32% of respondents said they did It is quite or very likely that they will be adding H1B1 visa holders to their workforce in 2021.
What does the future hold in store?
“Given the ongoing pressures from COVID-19, I believe 2021 will be heavily focused on efficiency and can achieve a lot more with lean teams and resources. That means focusing heavily on automation, AI activation and the increased use of ALSPs. “2021 respondents
Looking to the future, the horizon is oriented towards greater digital transformation, better data security and data protection regulations, and an even wider acceptance of remote working. Regardless of what awaits us in 2021, the legal teams have the tools to embrace the changes and challenges of the new year with confidence.
To see a whitepaper that has the full results, respondents’ predictions, and other analysis? Download here.
Steven O’Donnell is Mitratech’s director of product marketing for legal transactions. Steven originally came from Progressive Insurance where he spent 15 years as a product and market analyst. Steven joined Mitratech in 2011 and leads our corporate content creation efforts for legal operations. Steven is a frequent speaker at Mitratech events and spends a lot of time researching market and technology trends to understand how our products can meet legal challenges.
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