Driving Change in the Legal Industry: Innovations, AI Trends, and Value of Information Governance

Startup Hivelight aims to boost legal team productivity; Information Governance gains importance; AI adoption is reshaping the industry, yet human insight remains vital. The legal profession is increasingly data-driven, suggesting advancements and challenges ahead.

Driving Change in the Legal Industry: Innovations, AI Trends, and Value of Information Governance

Welcome to your Law Tech briefing for July 28, 2023, covering what happened in legal tech recently.


TLDR; Listen instead:


Have less than a 1 min? Three takeaways from yesterday

  1. Embrace Technology for Improved Productivity: Developments like Hivelight and Morae's expansion are important reminders of digitization in the legal sector. It emphasizes the need for legal knowledge workers to stay updated on the latest technology tools and training, especially those related to Artificial Intelligence (AI), as these can enhance efficiency and reduce costs.
  2. Recognize the Role of AI in Legal Operations: AI is already influencing law firms' workflows and improving certain areas, particularly by enhancing legal operations professionals' roles through case review, strategy development, and team education. However, despite AI's capabilities, human insight and strategic decision-making remain essential in more complex legal tasks such as strategy litigation and merger negotiations.
  3. Prioritize Information Governance and Data Management: The increasing importance of Information Governance in law firms indicates a shift towards data-centric operations. Legal professionals must focus on developing robust IG policies, managing data effectively, and ensuring data protection to leverage measurable insights and data-driven strategies. This trend also suggests a future need for legal professionals to handle potential risks and constraints effectively while navigating the landscape of data use and governance.

Briefing

Startup Hivelight, co-founded by Ash Kelso and Xabi Errotabehere, promises to enhance productivity within legal teams. The Asia Pacific Legal Innovation & Technology Association (ALITA) began accepting nominations for their law tech innovation awards, with the winner to be announced in September 2023. In-house and operations innovators are included in the awards for the first time. Meanwhile, global legal services provider Morae plans to expand its consulting and spend management services, highlighting the growth of its Strategic Consulting group.

Trends

Several key trends were visible. First, the importance of Information Governance (IG) within law firms is being recognized, advocating for a dedicated steering committee to manage IG policies and induce change. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence, particularly generative AI, was another trend as it's expected to influence the success of law firms significantly. AI can automate tasks, enhance efficiency, and reduce costs, making it an essential tool for the future of the industry. Legal operations professionals play a crucial role in this, with their job involving reviewing use cases, devising implementation strategies, and team education.

Analysis

Yesterday's developments underline a couple of critical things. Firstly, the drive toward productivity and digitization in the legal space is relentless. Initiatives like Hivelight and Morae's expansion are clear examples of this trend. Also, AI is no longer a future concept; it's here and making substantial impacts on law firms' workflows and efficiency. However, interestingly, confidence in AI’s capability to revolutionize higher-level legal tasks such as strategy during litigation or merger negotiations remains relatively low. It shows that while AI can undeniably improve certain areas, human insight, and strategy are still crucial in legal work. Finally, IG's emphasis underlines the profession's data-centric nature, indicating the industry’s shift towards measurable insights and data-driven strategies. It suggests that data management and protection will be increasingly important in this sector. Hugo Seymour’s comments about how AI could be beneficial to in-house legal departments were of particular note, highlighting AI technology's ability to analyze contracts, identify potential risks, and reduce unforeseen litigation and commercial losses.


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Key stories

Survey sponsored by Wolters Kluwer forecasts “transformational efficiencies” enabled by generative AI (Legal Technology News - Legal IT Professionals | Everything legal technology)

The latest survey by Wolters Kluwer and Above the Law indicates that legal professionals believe generative AI will hold the key to success for law firms in the next five years. Efficiency seems to be the predictive factor - more than 80% of respondents think AI will create transformative changes within legal research and routine tasks, freeing up lawyers to focus on higher-value legal work. However, lawyers are less confident about AI's ability to handle high-level legal work, such as litigation strategies or merger negotiations. It's predicted that roles like document reviewers and paralegals are the most likely to face obsolescence due to AI, whereas positions such as law firm partners are considered less at-risk. Unearthing this data reveals the potential dramatic shift in the practice and business processes of the legal sector due to greater AI implementation.

All stories

Startup Corner: Legal productivity platform Hivelight (Legal IT Insider)

Founded in 2022 by Ash Kelso and Xabi Errotabehere, Hivelight is a productivity platform that provides a scalable solution for legal teams. It aids in staff upskilling, progress tracking, and team coordination, and integrates with top practice management systems for quick onboarding. The bootstrapped company plans to create a marketplace for productivity-enhancing apps, specifically designed for various legal practice areas.

The Law Firm Ecosystem: Location Neutrality (Attorney at Work)

The article highlights the difficulties law firms face in attracting and retaining talent due to their existing ecosystems. It suggests that firms should consider new strategies, like adopting a location-neutral culture, and encourages them to experiment with various approaches. The use of data to measure the success of these strategies is also recommended.

Third ALITA Awards at TechLaw.Fest in Singapore on 21 – 22 September 2023 (LawTech.Asia)

The Asia Pacific Legal Innovation & Technology Association (ALITA) is accepting nominations for its 3rd annual ALITA Awards, set to be announced at TechLaw.Fest in September 2023. The awards celebrate exceptional legal innovators in the Asia-Pacific region, with six categories this year, inclusive of a new award for in-house and operations innovators. The finalists will also be considered for the People's Choice Award. The nomination period ends on 25 August 2023.

The Essentials of Information Governance for Law Firms - Part 2 (Legal Technology News - Legal IT Professionals | Everything legal technology)

The article stresses the significance of Information Governance (IG) in law firms, advocating for a dedicated steering committee to oversee IG policies and foster change. It underscores the need for clear objectives, defined roles, and data management standards. The article concludes by emphasizing the need for continuous improvement to adapt to evolving needs and external factors, including technological advancements and regulatory changes.

Why advances in AI present a golden opportunity for legal ops (Legal Dive - Latest News)

Legal departments are increasingly adopting artificial intelligence (AI), especially generative AI, to improve operations and streamline workflows. AI can automate tasks like contract review, intake of legal assistance requests, enhancing efficiency, and cost reduction. Legal operations professionals are crucial in AI implementation, reviewing use cases, crafting implementation plans, and educating their teams. Industry leaders suggest that AI adoption today will dictate future leaders in the legal industry.

Guest post: The hidden clause – The poisoned needle in a haystack (Legal IT Insider)

Hugo Seymour, AI/ML product lead at Della, has discussed how artificial intelligence (AI) can be used by in-house legal departments to improve efficiency. AI can be used to review contracts and legal documents, reducing the time and resources required. The technology can also analyze contracts using AI question-answering, helping to identify potential risks or hidden clauses and reducing the risk of unforeseen litigation and commercial losses.

Morae Leans into Strategic Consulting and Technology Enablement for Corporate Legal and Compliance (Legal Technology News - Legal IT Professionals | Everything legal technology)

Morae Global Corporation is expanding its consulting and spend management services for corporate legal and compliance departments. This includes the growth of its Strategic Consulting group and the use of advanced technologies for digitization, cloud migration, and workflow automation. Robin Snasdell and Murtuza Vohra have been appointed to senior leadership roles to leverage their expertise in legal technology consulting and law department technology platforms.