In-house law departments have grappled with how to evolve into a truly modern law practice. Too many have often focused on implementing new technologies without considering what modernization entails.
In a modern law practice, law departments make holistic business decisions, in an efficient manner, that often lead to actionable outcomes aligned with the company’s objectives. They can get there by figuring out more efficient methods of delivering legal services across the organization that go beyond just the traditional practice of law, and also by reimagining processes, introducing automations, examining ways to cut costs, and helping improve overall user experience along the way.
Our specialists reflect on the four tenets and share some important considerations.
Law departments have tried to modernize over the years, but many have taken a piecemeal approach to transformation. For instance, starting and stopping with your contract lifecycle management processes may only solve for a narrow segment when your law department is involved with so much else. The key is examining how the entire legal ecosystem operates, including the way the law department interacts with the overall business. For example, consider whether the law department’s outside counsel is efficient and effective, if it’s getting the data it needs from contracts or other activities to help drive better business outcomes, and if the right information and data is appropriately and easily accessible, actionable, secure, and more.
At PwC, we’ve identified four tenets of a modern law practice, all of which law departments should consider if they want to transform.
You’ll need buy-in from your company’s stakeholders to pull all of these tenets together. That includes law department leadership but also sign-off from other business partners. Ask those partners about their most pressing needs and explain to them the value the law department brings. Get a yes to transformation and to the four tenets of modernization and you’ll get the budget for execution.
Also consider starting small. Focus on four or five initiatives that will bring you closer to modernization, such as introducing automation. Start with the issues and tasks causing your department pain so the business can feel a sense of gratification when you alleviate that discomfort. Then keep pushing ahead until you reach your modernization goals.
Principal, Legal Business Solutions Leader, PwC US
Managing Director, Legal Business Solutions, PwC US