As the workload and the need to contain costs increase, corporate legal departments continue to turn to legal technology – so much so that Gartner predicts that legal technology budgets will triple by 2025.
Technological innovations, especially in the field of AI, have fundamentally changed the way lawyers do their business and how organizations carry out their legal duties. While it is easy to get caught up in the legal technology hype, it is important to keep track of things. Not all tech trends should be followed.
How do you sort the helpful trends out of the hype?
Three experts from Buying Legal, Consilio and Onit recently gathered to discuss just that. Together they researched the current state of legal tech and AI, how the legal departments of companies should function at the beginning of the new year and which current legal trends are better to avoid.
Read on to learn what legal tech trends you might want to pass on as early as 2022.
The current pulse of Corporate Legal
As we prepare to close in 2021, it is a good time to take stock of where we are now in terms of legal tech and corporate legal operations.
While some have postulated that AI is overrated, our panel of experts state that it is not entirely. Instead, AI tends to be misunderstood, with different people often meaning different things when they say AI. This can lead to misunderstandings and even disappointments when implementing AI.
The main areas of law where AI is currently having some of its most significant impact are auditing, contract review, and risk monitoring. Nonetheless, companies still take different approaches to the general implementation of legal tech, ranging from all-in-one platforms to first-class stand-alone solutions and enterprise applications.
However, regardless of how you’ve implemented AI and other legal technologies so far, it’s important to remember that the legal department is no longer alone. To be successful, you need to involve your department in all corporate discussions and initiatives related to technology.
Legal Tech Trends To Avoid In 2022
Even if interest in legal tech will continue to grow in the coming year, not all trends should be followed. The webinar outlines several emerging trends to avoid in the New Year, including:
- DO NOT jump on every new technology that comes out – New AI and other legal technology tools are constantly emerging. It can be tempting to buy the shiny object, but before buying it, think about what you want the technology to achieve.
- Don’t make the mistake of believing that giant AI systems will solve all of your problems – when AI first hit the market it made a splash with powerful tools like Watson. In reality, the AI you use in your business will exist on a smaller scale and be geared towards solving individual problems.
- Don’t rush with a widespread AI implementation – consider the strategic places where AI is most helpful and practical (e.g., NDAs). This approach gives you time to understand the technology and value in a much faster time frame.
- Don’t think that all of your data has to be stored locally – with the advent of GDPR and the proliferation of data protection regulations, there is a trend towards making people fearful that they will have to keep all of their data in the country for compliance reasons. In reality, this is just a way back to internal servers when there are other ways to achieve compliance.
- Don’t let the technology you need put you off because of costs – yes, almost all businesses are increasingly looking to drive costs down. However, you shouldn’t let this trend stop you from innovating. Instead, you can justify to the company why an investment in technology now pays off in the long term.
To learn more about the current state of legal tech, including the trends you should adopt and which ones you should avoid, you can listen to the entire webinar.