Today’s businesses are relying more and more on their own corporate legal departments. This trend is driving higher numbers of lawyers into global organizations.
In fact, it is predicted that 35 percent of solicitors will work in-house by 2020 across industries like financial and business services, manufacturing and utilities, retail and wholesale, construction, transport and communications, media, and publishing.
Legal teams must adapt their processes, data, and technologies in accordance with relevant laws and regulations in order to help their organizations achieve digital transformation. As a department, they too must be able to scale alongside the business as it becomes a fully digital business.
In this post, we explore how Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) can enable the digital transformation of corporate legal departments.
The Time for Change is Now
Legal departments are usually reliant on timely information and data from across the organization in order to make the right decisions for the business. The following processes are commonly conducted in corporate legal departments:
- Legal spend/costs
- Case assessment
- Data discovery
- Document governance/governance of document management system (storage, retention, access, etc.)
- Risk management
When processes like the above are conducted manually, it can interrupt the flow of information as well as impede efficiencies. For in-house legal teams, the goal of digital transformation is to dispel information silos that stem from manual processes, earn better visibility over the business, and empower employees to communicate more freely, and improve productivity.
So how can process automation enable digital transformation of corporate legal departments?
IPA and the Digital Transformation of Corporate Legal Departments
Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) encompasses six core components that, when combined, spearhead the fourth wave of automation. Let’s look at how each of these elements can enable digital transformation of legal departments:
1. Advanced Workflows
Advanced Workflows that require no coding mean everyday business processes can be automated by the lines of business, freeing IT and developers to focus on more strategic projects. This means in-house legal workers themselves can easily automate, orchestrate, and optimize tasks like drafting legislations and providing legal documentation to clients. With workflow automation, the in-house legal department can spend more time on important work and less time chasing paper.
2. Document Generation
While Advanced Workflows can automatically push information along the flow of work, Document Generation can remove the need to create new documents altogether—automatically creating files with consistent and compliant legal information. Legal departments can create document templates for repetitive projects.
3. Mobile Apps and Forms
Lawyers working outside of the office can leverage their mobile devices and forms to capture pertinent information instantly, whether online or offline. From tracking billable hours to video conferencing to working on trial preparation, those hours aren’t lost to travel and commuting.
4. Robotic Process Automation
While we shouldn’t expect robot defense attorneys to appear at trial hearings any time soon, artificial intelligence is making considerable inroads into automating legal processes. The “DoNotPay” app allows end-users to automate common legal needs from landlord contract violations to fighting parking tickets—with future aims of tackling more complex legal processes like marriages, divorces, and even bankruptcies.
5. Process Intelligence
Lawyers will spend much of their time reviewing documents relevant to a case, but even more time is often spent searching for the right documents to review. Through the use of smart analytics, process intelligence can sift out irrelevant documents so legal teams can save time and money searching and reviewing documents. Smart analytics could see a 70 percent reduction in expenditure involved with legal reviews.
6. Machine Intelligence
Lawyers can quickly find the information that is most relevant to the cases they’re working on, which saves valuable time and more accurate cost estimations.
The Power of IPA, Today
The above are just some of the ways corporate legal departments can begin to use intelligent forms of process automation drive digital transformation, improve information flow, and productivity inside and outside their organizations.
To find out more about how IPA can help in your department or industry, download our whitepaper today.