In-house lawyers aren’t communicating their true value to their wider organisations, new survey finds

LexisNexisToday, LexisNexis Legal & Professional, a leading global provider of legal information and analytics, has released a new report titled: Escaping the legal labyrinth: using technology to demonstrate value.

The report, which surveyed 223 UK-based in-house lawyers, revealed legal departments are far more interested in using legal technology to increase productivity, streamline simple, low-level tasks and create more time for strategic work than they are in demonstrating their value to their wider organisations through data insights and analytics.

When asked about the benefits of legal technology, the top responses were ‘makes the legal team more productive’ (74%), ‘automates simple, repetitive tasks’ (54) and ‘gives more time to focus on priority issues’ (53%). A similar pattern emerged when respondents were asked about the future benefits of legal technology.

However, according to the survey, in-house legal departments are noticeably less interested in communicating these results with the wider business through data and insights. Less than a fifth (17%) of respondents listed ‘delivers unique insights’ as a current benefit of legal technology, while just over a quarter (26%) listed it as a future opportunity. In a similar vein, just over a quarter (26%) of respondents listed ‘demonstrates results to the business’ as a current benefit, and less than a third (32%) listed it as an opportunity for the future.

This is particularly interesting when considering the biggest obstacle for in-house counsel is communicating with the wider business. More than half (54%) of respondents listed ‘communication with the wider business could be more effective and efficient’ as the top challenge facing their legal department. This rose to 71% when looking at responses from general counsel alone.

Emma Dickin, Head of In-house Practical Guidance at LexisNexis, says:

“To manage rising workloads, the majority have turned to legal technology for help, automating the routine, lower-value tasks so there’s more time to dedicate to the strategic work that makes the biggest impact and best utilises their lawyers’ skills.”

“In today’s business world, data is the real silver bullet. Yet the survey shows very few legal counsel are interested in using data insights from their legal technology to help demonstrate and drive the value they’re adding to the wider business.”

“It is time legal departments forge a new path by looking beyond the here and now, taking their investment in legal technology to the next level and using it to showcase their real worth.”


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