“The State of the Legal Industry” Survey Reveals Technology and Lack of Efficiency Are to Blame
AUSTIN, Tex. (December 20, 2016) Corporate legal departments will decrease spend on outside counsel and take more work in-house in 2017, reveals a new report released today by Liquid Litigation Management, Inc. (LLM), a legal workflow unification platform provider. “The State of the Legal Industry” report explores the motivations for technology adoption among U.S. law firms and corporations. It also examines the business benefits firms and their clients expect from technology adoption, as well as the lingering challenges they face.
While the corporations and law firms surveyed said their number one goal of incorporating technology is to boost efficiency, the way they use this new technology can prove counterproductive. The survey found that 64 percent of law firms rely on more than four distinct legal software systems to aid in developing strategy, tracking case management, and collecting, processing and reviewing data. This outsized number of systems, which can lead to inefficiencies and increased cost, is one example of why corporations think law firms are not as efficient as they should be. As a result, corporations are taking more work in-house and spending less on outside help.
“The law firms and GC offices participating in the survey show some interesting similarities and differences,” said Cas Campaigne, Chief Executive Officer and President of LLM. “Both are heavily focused on cost-cutting and efficiency gains, but need to work together to accomplish goals that are mutually beneficial. If law firms and corporations can work together to figure out how to consolidate their technology and reduce some of these inefficiencies caused by the complexity of systems they use, firms will be better equipped to meet the demands of their customers and corporations will save money.”
Some of the reports other key findings include the following:
- Corporations and law firms want greater budgeting predictability
- Corporations are using Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs) to reduce legal costs
- Nearly half of firms only use email to track communication around budget and strategy for historical purposes
“Doing ‘more with less’ is a mantra of many modern law departments. They are starting to demand similar discipline from their external providers,” said Casey Flaherty, former in-house counsel and founder of Procertas. “Talking about efficiency in the abstract isn’t enough. Corporations want measurable efficiencies and tractable savings without compromising quality. Many law firms struggle to meet these mandates. Buying technology is different from using technology is different from using technology well. Interoperability and integration are among the primary challenges we have in making our tools really work for us.”
The report provides other insights of particular interest to the legal community, such as:
- The most significant changes firms and GC offices anticipate in the coming months
- Their biggest obstacles
- How frequently firms communicate with their clients
- The ways in which corporations and firms want to use tech to improve operating efficiencies
- The degree to which legal departments and law firms leverage historical data and why
- The impact of AFAs on technology purchases
- The relative ability for firms and clients to keep pace with change
About the Report
LLM’s 2016 State of the Legal Industry report is based on responses provided by 250 legal professionals working at U.S. law firms and corporations. Of the 12 industry sectors represented, the top five include Technology, Manufacturing, Consumer, Financial Services/Banking, and Energy & Utilities. Among the law firms, eight core areas of practice are represented, the top three of which are litigation, intellectual property, and unemployment. All sizes of companies and law firms are represented in the study. The report is freely downloadable at http://www.liquidlitigation.com/survey.
LLM, Inc., a market leader in legal technology, provides a unified legal solution to many of the Fortune 100 companies, Am Law 100 & 200 law firms and Global 100 firms. LLM’s one-of-a-kind product, Liquid Lit Manager™, unifies the legal process by combining legal holds, case strategy, matter & budget management, review and analytics in a single, web-based platform that enables corporate legal departments and law firms to reduce costs and eliminate inefficiencies. LLM connects legal strategy to tactics in a way no one else can, so every part of the legal process is actionable. For more information about LLM, please visit LLMInc.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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