7 Advantages of ELM Implementation for Legal Departments
7 Advantages of ELM Implementation for Legal Departments
by PracticeLeague

November 17, 2021 | 8 Min Read

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Gone are the days when legal departments would function in isolation, working as risk mitigation and contract-managing entities. Today, a company’s in-house legal team is an integral part of the organisation, contributing to its growth, protecting it from potential injuries and helping plan for its future. However, this increase and diversfication in its functions also translates into exponentially increased workload for legal departments. Coordinating with various departments within the organisation, managing deadlines with respect to contracts and compliance, handling litigation and dispute resolution while also advising the business decisions – juggling these tasks is no mean feat. Thankfully, a robust Enterprise Legal Management tool effectively solves all these problems. Here’s how Enterprise Legal Management Implementation benfits legal departments:

1. Accountable operations for strategic advantage:

Much like any other department in an organisation, the legal department is also answerable to the board of directors and management, which require clear answers in terms of numbers and deliverables. One of the biggest advantages of an Enterprise Legal Management Software is the detailed insight its provides into the functioning of a legal departments, thereby increasing transparency and accountability. The availability of quantitative data at regular intervals makes it easier for the non-legal,financial centric decision makers to understand the value that the legal department is adding to the organisation.

2. Process improvement:

One of the many ways in which the right ELM solution helps legal departments increase their productivity is by streamlining and optimising the multiple processes they perform every day. From contract management to legal research, drafting andfiling of litigation related documents to performing due-diligence, legal departments are responsible for performing countless jobs through the course of their work day, many of which are highly repetitive. In a survey on automation in the workplace, over 40% of the respondents admitted to spend more than a quarter of their work week on repetitive tasks. With the average lawyer week coming to anywhere between 50 to 80 hours, the numbers speak for themselves. By standardising and integrating all these processes, ELM helps legal departments transition from manual intensive, repetitive tasks to automated digital worflows through process automation.

3. Cost optimization:

Running a legal department is a costly affair – hiring and working with outside counsel, paying for numerous court and registration procedures and paperwork, procuring necessary licenses- the list is endless. A system that translates and aggregates all the data with respect to legal spend and the various channels it is allocated to, paves the way for better assessment of performance. An enterprise legal management solution provides useful Insight into legal spend, thereby helping departments optimise budgets and allocate resources effectively. Additionally, an ELM tool also automates and integrates the multiple steps involved in cost management, from keeping a track of budgets and legal spend, to digitizing invoices and their review, thus making the entire process highly efficient.

4. Enhanced collaboration:

On a daily basis, in-house legal teams need to coordinate internally within the various departments of the organisation, as well as externally with outside counsel and legal departments of other companies. This means keeping track of countless correspondence spread out over multiple platforms. A robust ELM software helps solve this problem in a two-fold manner. First, it uses a central, cloud based repository to store all necessary data, thus ensuring that all stakeholders have uninterrupted access to information at all times, effectively reducing back-and forth. Second, it integrates with the different tools used by the legal department- email, drop box, E-signature etc. on a single platform, thus reducing the time wasted in searching for information across multiple platforms. A comprehensive enterprise legal management tool combines matter management, document storage, and reporting and analytics to help all stakeholders collaborate seamlessly with each other.

5. Insights for better planning:

The biggest advantage of an ELM software is the access it provides to insights about almost every aspect of the running of a corporate legal department. By providing access to structured data in terms of various metrics, the right ELM tool helps optimise every single workflow in an enterprise. From data contained in various vendor contracts, to the invoices raised by an outside counsel – an ELM tool helps departments make smarter decisions by showing them exactly how much they are spending on each aspect. Compliance with statutory regulations, tax mandates and local laws and guidelines also becomes easier as the ELM tool objectively shows the requirements for each compliance, and whether or not these requirements are being met. By combining data reporting and analytics with process automation and machine learning, smart ELM tools like Razorcube help legal departments reduce their cost while augmenting risk management. This overall increase in terms of visibility of relevant information add value to every decision that the enterprise makes.

6. Increased Security:

In house legal teams deal with sensitive, cofidential information at all points of time, which automatically makes data security a primary concern. Integrating an enterprise legal management tool enables legal departments to store all their data on a cloud based central repository, protected by requisite security protocols like firewalls and 256-bit level encryptions. Needless to say, this also protects all data from any naturally occurring hazards like loss by fire or theft.

7. Simplify work (Increased productivity):

One task hated uniformly by all lawyers is reviewing invoices – spending hours to validate the invoices raised by outside counsel or other service providers before they are cleared. Today, by digitizing invoices, as well as the entire process of billing, ELM tools help save a substantial amount of time which can now be used for more analytical functions. This is true not just for billing, but almost every function that a legal department performs. By standardising and automating a large chunk of the repetitive tasks performed by in house legal teams on a daily basis, ELM tools simplify the daily functioning of legal departments while simultaneously increasing productivity.

The business of law has undergone a tremendous change in the last decade, with organisations demanding more transparency and accountability from their corporate legal departments. Implementation of an eficient Enterprise Legal Management solution enables in house legal teams in cutting costs drastically, while optimising procedures and boosting overall productivity. Wondering how to choose the right ELM tool for your legal department? Begin with your legal health check-up, formulated especially for the purposes of assessing your organisation’s strength, and areas of improvement.

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