5 Legal Tech Strategies In-House Counsel Should Know for 2022

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The beginning of a new year is a time to set goals — which means you’ll need to inventory what it’s possible to accomplish, and how technology can help you get there. There were quite a few relevant studies that came out towards the end of 2021 that may have slipped under your radar in the holiday melee. Here, we summarize this research to give you strategies and statistics you need to know for the new year. 

1. Ediscovery maturity is quantifiable

ACC recently put together an easy-to-follow legal operations maturity model that makes it easy for teams to identify areas of improvement, alongside tools like checklists and job descriptions, to help implement change. 

2. Legal teams need to recognize not implementing technology is a risk

Andrew Maloney at Law.com frames it best: “A recent report from Deloitte focused on in-house legal departments, but noted that the archetype of lawyers could factor into a general aversion to big changes. It noted that the legal mind ‘is trained to spot risks. Law school and legal practice enhance the brain’s already highly attuned ability to notice threats and problems.’ Well ... isn't applying 20th century work methods and approaches (not to mention technology) to 21st century legal challenges a massive risk?”

3. Use data to make decisions with confidence and measure impact 

In a recent Corporate Counsel article, Deloitte offers up how corporate legal teams can seize the power of data to shine a light on results, review the operations effectiveness, and assess outcomes within their litigation portfolio. Their suggested breakdown of data categories (Operational Reporting - Hindsight; Optimization - Insight and Action; and Prediction - Foresight) provides a practical data framework teams can embrace to help attain even their loftiest goals.

4. Combine technology and training to see the best results

In Deloitte’s 2021 State of Legal Operations report, 46% of survey participants said

they do not have the right tools to do their job effectively, with companies continuing to invest in antiquated technology, and 76% reported spending time on manual tasks that could be eliminated with technology. 

However, having great technology is not the only solution — 57% of the participants cited lack of adoption and change management as the biggest concerns related to technology. (Psst — Want a step-by-step guide to implementing new technology? Check out this advice from legal tech innovators Shearman & Sterling.)

Not to toot our own horn here, but we set up DISCO University and Certifications to address these very challenges. There’s something for everyone, from beginners just getting started to power users looking to learn expert tricks, and like everything we do, it’s a magical experience. Check it out.

5. Retaining talent is critical for legal teams — and tech can help

A Law.com article from TRU Staffing partners reports that in 2021, between one in three and one in four employees left their job in the ediscovery industry — with an average 22% increase in salary. Because 2022 will likely continue to be a candidate’s market, legal teams should work to keep existing employees happy. Eliminating tedious tasks, providing professional development opportunities (see: DISCO University), and providing workplace flexibility can all contribute to employee retention — and therefore, keep hiring costs down.

A new year gives you an opportunity to re-evaluate your practices and start fresh with new ideas. With the right technology and partners by your side, there’s every chance to make this your best year yet.

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Erin Russell

Erin Russell is the senior communications manager at DISCO. She has extensive experience covering tech and AI as a journalist and editor, and her bylines include Texas Monthly, Eater, and Austin Business Journal.