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A Digital Lawyer #4: The “more for less” challenge and cost optimisation

Industry news on legal tech, digital transformation & innovation in law and professional growth.

In this month’s Digital Lawyer:

Digital transformation and innovation in law


The Legal Geek organised the Uncertain Decade webinar series with Mark Cohen & Richard Susskind to help the legal industry adapt to a new post-crisis landscape. General Counsels are now challenged to do “more for less” and become extremely efficient. They are under pressure to reduce costs and have more legal and compliance work to do than ever before.

Clients, in turn, don’t expect gold-plated services, they demand something “cheap, cheerful” and “good enough” as Susskind mentions. The webinar hosts suggested their versions to cope with the current demand: using ALSPs, sharing legal costs and improving process management.


Edo Bar-Gil, Head of the Legal Ops department at LawFlex shared his 4 types of tools that help in-house legal counsel to gain operational efficiency and optimise costs: Matter/Content Management, Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM), E-Billing and Spend Management and Reporting & Analytics.

As Edo says: “The title “in-house counsel” takes on a new meaning of late. The in-house legal counsel no longer needs to be solely focused on the law, but rather the focus is also on other non-legal tasks and on making sure that all these tasks are done, whilst simultaneously improving the legal processes and making the service more productive and cost-efficient.”

Legal tech industry news


A niche website with legal tech career opportunities has been launched during the lockdown. Daan Vansimpsen, a founder of a Belgian legal tech & design agency Ethel, cherry-picks the best positions on the global market to help young lawyers start or experienced legal professionals switch from law to tech and match with the right companies. In this article, Daan shares how and why he started his side project and what benefits lawyers can already get.


A Legal Engineer Catherine Bamford explains how to measure Return on Investment (ROI) when using Legal Document Automation. She suggests a simple pattern where “the automation team should calculate at least the time saved each month, by country and department and report this to their senior sponsors, for example, the Head of KM, IT and Practice Group Heads (e.g. a Licence to Underlet saves approximately 18 minutes, a Legal Opinion 30 minutes, or a Construction Appointment Suite 1-1.5 hours)”. She also explains how to analyse and estimate saving for the next 12 months so that the legal team can evaluate if it’s worth investing in a tool or not yet. 

Professional growth and personal productivity


Colin Levy highlights the skills needed to achieve effective collaboration within legal teams: active listening and appropriate talking, dependability and trust, accommodating and flexible, and emotional intelligence. 


“Research suggests that most lawyers spend only 2.5 hours a day on billable legal work. The rest of the time, they are wearing other hats: accountant, HR manager, photocopy repair person, web designer, social media guru, IT director. It’s OK not to be great at everything you need to do to run your practice.”

And it’s wiser to stop wearing all the hats and delegate. Karen Dunn Skinner, an Attorney & Legal Process Improvement Expert, suggests a 4 categories framework according to which lawyers can divide their tasks into areas they are good at, enjoy doing, need to do themselves or can delegate.

On a mission to constantly deliver operational intelligence to our customers, each month we publish a carefully curated list of news we find important.

Focused on legal tech, digital transformation & innovation in law and professional growth, the Digital Lawyer newsletter includes the month’s most notable updates in the market.

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