In today's fast-paced legal landscape, in-house lawyers are busier than ever and always being pushed to do more with less. To meet the increasing demands of their organisations, in-house legal teams are turning to AI-Powered tools to increase efficiency without increasing headcount.
This blog explores why in-house lawyers need to make AI tools their best friend, and how those that don’t could fall behind. We will delve into how AI is transforming the contract creation, drafting and review process, addressing the challenges faced by in-house teams and showcasing how to best utilise these tools to your advantage.
Why In-House Lawyers Need to Make AI Tools Their Best Friend
In-house lawyers face mounting pressure to deliver more with less. With an increasing amount of work, increasing the headcount only makes sense, but is often not possible.
If you’re in this position, then making AI-powered tools your best friend is a must. Drafting and reviewing documents is a major pain point for lawyers, with more than half of in-house legal teams saying they spend too much time reviewing documents, which has dramatically increased from 32% since 2018.
Traditional methods often prove inefficient, error-prone, and limited in handling large volumes of contracts. A study published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies found that manual contract review processes can be error-prone, with an average error rate of 6.67%. This highlights the need for technological solutions that can enhance accuracy and minimise risks.
The Need for Technology-Driven Solutions in Contract Review Processes for In-House Legal Teams
To overcome the limitations of manual contract review, in-house legal teams require technology-driven solutions. AI-powered LegalTech solutions offer advanced capabilities that revolutionise contract review processes.
Research conducted by McKinsey & Company indicates that AI has the potential to automate up to 22% of legal tasks, including contract review. By automating routine tasks, AI allows in-house legal teams to focus on more complex and strategic aspects of their work.
According to a report by Gartner, by 2024, 30% of corporate legal departments will utilise AI-powered contract analysis tools to streamline their contract review workflows, underlining the growing adoption of AI in the legal industry and the recognition of its potential benefits.
Lawyers are waking up to the fact that AI is going to be part of their workflow, with a Deloitte survey highlighting that 62% of legal professionals believe that AI will have a substantial impact on their organisations within the next three years.
Don’t get left behind
AI won’t replace lawyers, however, lawyers using AI will replace lawyers. Not taking advantage of these tools will mean you’re playing catch-up for longer, and adding more work to your plate.
First and foremost, without LegalTech the process of drafting and reviewing contracts is time-consuming and labour-intensive. You’ll find yourself spending excessive hours on repetitive tasks, such as manually searching for relevant clauses or proofreading documents for errors and inconsistencies. This inefficiency leads to decreased productivity and potential delays in contract negotiation and execution.
The absence of LegalTech in contract drafting and reviewing also increases the risk of errors and omissions. Human errors are inevitable, but technology can help minimise them by catching those typos that the eye overlooks, by performing comprehensive document analysis and flagging potential issues or inconsistencies. Failing to utilise legal tech leaves you and your organisation vulnerable to overlooking critical provisions, ambiguous language, or potential legal pitfalls, which could expose your organisation to unnecessary risks and disputes.
Without legal tech, in-house lawyers may struggle to keep pace with the ever-evolving legal landscape. Legal technology solutions often incorporate features like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing which enable them to analyse vast amounts of legal data and extract insights. By not leveraging these tools, lawyers may miss out on valuable legal research, precedents, and industry trends making it difficult to provide informed and up-to-date advice to their organisations.
Lastly, the lack of LegalTech adoption can have financial implications. In-house legal departments often face pressure to reduce costs and demonstrate their value to the organisation. Legal technology can offer significant cost-saving opportunities by reducing the time spent on manual tasks, streamlining workflows, and enhancing overall efficiency. By neglecting LegalTech, in-house lawyers may struggle to meet these expectations and could potentially miss out on opportunities to demonstrate their department's value in terms of time and cost savings.
How to choose the right tech
So you know that you need tech, but exactly what tech do you need? You can read our article outlining the best legal drafting solution and features you need to look for.
One of the most important, and frequently overlooked, aspects of deciding on LegalTech is ensuring the tech fits into your workflow, rather than disrupting it. Having a single piece of software, that plugs into where you already work, is vital. For example, Definely Draft allows lawyers to access and edit all of the information in their documents (defined terms, cross-references etc.) within MS Word, so they never have to leave the provision they’re reviewing, and Definely Proof automates hundreds of proofreading checks with the click of a button. Both of these tools sit within the same MS Word ribbon, meaning the software sits where the lawyer already works.
To see how Definely helps in-house teams around the world maximise efficiency, check out our Unybrands case study here.
Embracing AI as a Valuable Tool for In-House Legal Teams
The rise of AI-powered LegalTech has been a game-changer for contract review for in-house legal teams. By embracing AI tools, in-house lawyers can enhance accuracy, speed, and efficiency in contract drafting and reviewing processes. By embracing AI rather than shuddering at the thought of it, in-house legal teams can optimise their workflows, mitigate risk, and better contribute to the overall success of their organisation.