By Margo Trebicka, Customer Success Director at Della
Over the last decade, legal technology disrupted the legal field. Law firms’ structure began to change and new specialists in data and analytics, legal technology and change management experts emerged.
Last year, numerous research and forecasts were published (find these resources here and here) which estimated that investment in legal technology would increase three-fold within the next three years. However, investment and success aren’t always correlated.
Successful implementation of AI in a law firm requires an approach that is aligned with overall objectives of the firm. Misalignment can cause significant issues with implementation of a new technology and firm objectives are not always apparent or even transparent.
It is vital to set clear strategy for delivery of AI. Delivery is an essential component of successful implementation. This is a set of actionable solutions and tactics that help with wider adoption of AI technology at law firms. The key contributor to that success is the innovation team and legal technologists. Having such team in a law firm can significantly accelerate adoption of AI and other technologies .Why? Because law is complex, technology is complicated and the mixture of the two is both.
Here are 7 steps that should help innovation teams with successful adoption of AI in a law firm of any size:
1. Approach: Think big -start small. Set clear objectives associated with AI adoption that are aligned with the firm’s objectives. If the firm-wide objective is to increase revenue, the innovation team may need to focus on adopting technology that will deliver efficiency and increase capacity. Often, it is easier said than done, so start with one practice group.
2. Know Your Firm: Understand who is the ultimate decision maker when it comes to the use of technology. Some firms’ structure can be intricate and mapping it clearly will support quicker adoption. Know how the matter management process is regulated in each practice group and build champion network based on that arrangement in order to most efficiently support the use of suitable tool for individual use case.
3. Use Case Library: Whether the legal project or deal involves a standard M&A due diligence review or looking for reference to LIBOR in annuities, innovation teams need to build an understanding set of use cases. Either in a form of a library or intranet based guide, this insight enables them to link each use case with the right technology.
4. Partner Relationship: Understand lawyers’ pain points (individual lawyers of the same seniority will have distinct pain points and approaches). Speak to Partners regularly and try different methods and tools such as empathy maps to help comprehend different challenges as well as expectations and gradually bridge the gap between lawyers and innovation teams.
5. Measure and communicate success: Continually raise awareness of available legal technology tool sets. Following each engagement, demonstration or consultation with lawyers collect measurable feedback. This will enable you to track overall progress and satisfaction and build internal success stories.
6. Prioritise Effectively: The roles within innovation department can be complex and prioritising effectively can increase efficiency. Use any tool or techniques such as an Eisenhower Matrix that will help you with productivity and prioritisation. It is essential to distribute workload (e.g. to the legal technology tool vendors) of tasks that can sometimes be important but not urgent, e.g. building internal marketing guides about vendors for the upcoming internal event.
7. Vendor relationship: Work closely with vendors to uncover product’s best fits and suitability within your firm. Understanding products well will ensure efficient implementation and increase end-user satisfaction. Be confident to delegate some of the work to vendors. Let them support you with marketing and internal tool awareness sessions, distribute internal training and workshops. Discuss various use cases with vendors’ Customer Success Team and jointly set implementation strategy and clear timelines for effective adoption.