As workloads and the need to contain costs increase, corporate legal departments continue to turn to legal technology – so much so that Gartner predicts legal technology budgets will increase threefold by 2025.
Technology innovation, especially in AI, has fundamentally transformed the way legal professionals do business and how organizations run their legal function. While it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of legal technology, it’s important to keep perspective. Not all tech trends are ones that should be followed.
How can you sort the helpful trends from the hype?
Three experts from Buying Legal, Consilio and Onit recently gathered to discuss just that. Together, they explored the current state of legal tech and AI, how corporate legal departments should function as we enter the new year and which current legal trends are better to avoid.
Read on to learn which legal tech trends you might want to pass on as we enter 2022.
The Current Pulse of Corporate Legal
As we get ready to wrap up 2021, it’s a good time to take stock of where we currently stand when it comes to legal tech and corporate legal operations.
While some have posited that AI has become over-hyped, our expert panel explains that that’s not entirely the case. Instead, AI tends to be misunderstood, with different people frequently meaning different things when they say AI. This can lead to misunderstandings and even disappointment when it comes to implementing AI.
The top legal areas where AI is currently seeing some of the most significant traction are invoice review, contract review and risk monitoring. Nonetheless, companies still take different approaches to overall legal tech implementation, ranging from all-in-one platforms to best-in-class point solutions to enterprise applications.
Regardless of how you’ve implemented AI and other legal technologies up till now, however, it’s important to remember going forward that legal no longer stands alone. To succeed, you need to involve your department in overall enterprise discussions and initiatives regarding technology.
Legal Tech Trends to Avoid in 2022
While interest in legal tech will only 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:
- DON’T jump on every new technology that comes out – New AI and other legal tech tools are coming out constantly. It can be tempting to buy the shiny object but think about what you’re trying to accomplish with technology before you buy.
- DON’T make the mistake of thinking that huge AI systems will solve all your problems – When AI first came out, it made a massive splash with powerful tools like Watson. In reality, the AI you use at your organization will exist on a smaller scale and be targeted at solving discrete problems.
- DON’T rush to widespread AI implementation – Consider the strategic places where AI will be most helpful and practical (for example, NDAs). This approach gives you time to understand the technology and the value in a much quicker time frame.
- DON’T think that all your data needs to be kept local – With the introduction of the GDPR and the proliferation of privacy regulations, there’s been a trend toward scaring people into thinking they need to keep all their data in-country for compliance reasons. In reality, this is just a backward path back to in-house servers when there are other ways to achieve compliance.
- DON’T let cost concerns keep you from the technology you need – Yes, nearly all organizations are increasingly looking to cut costs. You shouldn’t, however, allow that trend keep you from innovating. Instead, you can justify to the business why an investment in technology now will pay off in the long run.
To hear more about the current state of legal tech, including which trends you should be adopting and which to avoid, you can listen to the entire webinar.