‘Everyday automation’ in legal

Hasan Choudhary
‘Everyday automation’ in legal
‘Everyday automation’ in legal

As legal automation becomes more commonplace and a daily part in the lives of lawyers, we can start making distinctions between different approaches to legaltech. We hear more and more today about AI and what I’ll refer to as ‘heavyweight’ tech, while many do question its value in the near future, and whether it’s mature enough for the legal world. However, much of the ‘value’ that law firms and legal teams are getting out of technology today comes from ‘everyday automation’ – tech that saves you smaller chunks of time, but more frequently, and eases workloads. 

 

What is everyday automation?

Everyday automation is about automating small(er) tasks and processes in your daily work life, resulting in time savings no less significant. It differs from more complex applications that are used less frequently and can take over larger pieces of work. While both types of automation are valuable, everyday automation is easier to implement, can be iterative in its design, and often adds up time savings into a very attractive ROI. 

 

How does it help? 

In the legal field, everyday automation can help facilitate the adoption of automation among lawyers who are typically resistant to change. By automating minor, mundane, procedural tasks, lawyers can gradually become accustomed to automation without being overwhelmed. From there, incremental changes can be made to workflows, and a comprehensive roadmap for digital transformation can be developed. Think of it as a more ‘organic’ approach to innovation. As any CIO would tell you, getting internal buy-in and uptake can be a pretty significant hurdle, and any easing of this is likely to help you actually attain the benefits of automation rather than having a tech white elephant. 

Your team can reclaim small pockets of time here and there, and this time really does add up. Contract automation, a legal front door, guidelines advisors, and many other types of tools which you can deploy can end up saving precious hours for each lawyer every day. Automation isn’t about replacing people with robo-lawyers; it’s about making work life easier and allowing individuals to allocate more time to other activities.

Adopting no-code technology and deploying custom applications can get you several steps further too. Digital solutions that do exactly what you and your organization need them to do, integrated with your existing tech and processes, which can be easily built in a drag-and-drop interface by someone who doesn’t know the last thing about coding. A key benefit with platforms like Neota is that you can deploy multiple tailored-made solutions under one subscription cost as well. 

 

How to approach it for your law firm or legal team? 

One recommendation when approaching the topic is to ‘work forward’ rather than work backwards. What we mean here is that, while it is very easy to fall into a trap of learning about shiny tech and trying to establish how it could help you, consider your own problems, bottlenecks, and concerns, and establish what you actually need to combat those issues. 

Problem identification is a critical part of any digital transformation journey. Once again, establish what vendors and technologies could help you solve one or more of those issues, what is the most cost-effective solution, and what tech would let you scale your innovation strategy without incurring significant further costs. To this end, it is worth speaking to platform-solution vendors as well as individual point-solution vendors, to see whether you could have multiple tools under one roof and price. 

 

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