Individuals and teams across the legal industry face radical change in the way they operate over the next decade.
Organisations are grappling with tech-driven change and need the in-house legal function to keep up by innovating and being commercial, in everything they do.
This means adopting and integrating the right tech, facilitating (or at least not hindering!) rapid growth and international expansion, and avoiding the Cost-Center label.
Just as importantly as tech (and going hand-in-hand), will be the implementation of great processes, ensuring teams have clear procedures in place for submitting requests and receiving what they need.
All this might sound pretty challenging and time-consuming, but there are many easy(ish) things you can do to get the ball rolling.
We’ve curated this list to get you started, looking at tools that can help streamline work, improve comms, put templates in place to enable teams to self-serve, and help legal ops cope with demand
For contract management, Juro has a ton of great features. Comprehensive contract creation, e-signing, and commenting capabilities are a given. But what’s particularly exceptional about this Series-A backed legaltech platform is its AI-powered contract analytics.
Its built-in machine-learning helps identify recurring sticking points in contract negotiations, as well as revealing patterns in negotiations, identifying time taken to complete, and finding unusual contract terms.
In-house teams can also export useful data, analyse completion speeds, and understand recurring bottlenecks, for example, to identify if a particular contract term is causing lengthy enquiries or discussions.
Juro is a paid enterprise tool, so might be one for more advanced (or ambitious) teams…
The “G Suite”, a fancy name for the business tools Google’s developers churn out, is another great tool for teams looking to be smarter and collaborate more.
Along with the obvious google tools, what’s most useful for productivity and collaboration is its microsoft office alternative: Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
These tools are much better at fostering collaboration, tracking work, and are more secure and reliable than document sharing.
Even better, its free offering is comprehensive.
Legal Ops could easily draft and share simple contracts and other basic documents for use by colleagues in Google Drive
Jira is a great project management and issue tracking tool created for the more agile teams.
Each issue or matter can be tracked through its lifecycle, with tickets and tasks available to team members to follow and contribute.
We like it as a really effective low-budget way to control and monitor workflow and productivity for legal project management.
Like Google, it has pretty great free options available to solo GCs or small teams, and even when it starts scaling out it’s pretty modest at $7-$14 per user, depending on volume.
Loved and loathed messaging platform Slack is next up. A great alternative to email that allows teams to keep conversations organised by topic, task, or anything you can think of.
Other useful features like pinning files, and the ability to leave and join conversations where appropriate, give teams the ability to reduce needless communication, which gets a big thumbs up from us
Slack keeps everyone who needs to be in the loop updated and is a clear record of progress and deadlines.
Although it can be a bit unmanageable if your chats aren’t structured clearly or if individual communication preferences aren’t clarified.
Slack is free for small businesses, but it’s paid option is pretty affordable.
Last but not least is Trello, the most famous (and free-ish) KanBan tool. Great for those in need of a simple, easy to use project management tool.
If you’re not familiar with KanBan and why it’s such a popular process management system, check out this short video gives a good introduction Kanban 101
Trello enables teams to track work, prioritise, and work together on projects.
Check them out and let us know what you think below in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear about your favourite tools for managing your legal function, too!