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Legal26 February, 2019

How small legal departments can cope with an increasing workload

If you think your job is more demanding and time consuming than a year ago, you are not alone.

About 3/4 of in-house lawyers say workloads have increased compared to 2016. The question is, how can small legal departments cope with this increasing workload.

For small legal departments that lack the budget to increase headcount or outsource legal work, this increased demand for legal services from their businesses means more operative work, often at the expense of providing strategic counsel. In fact, many GCs are only able to spend 32% of their time providing strategic counsel while more than 50% of their time is spent on admin tasks like filing, searching for documents and sending emails.

Luckily, technology can help small legal departments cope with increases in operative work, and become more empowered to advise corporate leaders, support business objectives and manage legal risks. Structured systems and process for managing legal information (like contracts, compliance information, corporate records, claims, IP, data privacy and more) can save legal teams time searching, tracking, managing and reporting legal matters.

But, that’s not all.

The changing role of in-house lawyers

As the role of in-house lawyers continues to evolve, legal departments are becoming more reliant on collaboration with other departments across the business, which translates into an ever-increasing volume of legal information to manage. With better technology, you can provide standard templates, assign tasks, manage and track matters, share documents with colleagues and collect relevant data in a structured way, increasing your efficiency and collaboration across the organization.

For example, when using a solution to manage contract data, you can provide colleagues with templates for standard contracts, like NDA’s, and set up standard workflows to collect signatures. Likewise, you can share company policies and regulation information across the business to improve awareness and compliance.

Are you starting 2018 unsure about how to drive efficiency gains? In our latest guide, “Digital Transformation for Legal Departments” we explore the risks of inefficient legal information management systems, the benefits of centralizing your data on the cloud, and the 8 simple steps you can take to implement more efficient tech in your legal department.

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