“Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke.”
This quote comes from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., a United States Supreme Court justice from 1902 to 1932. And while he was not talking about the state of legal departments in 2021, he might as well have been.
There are so many other business departments that have digitally transformed: sales, human resources, and marketing, for example. But legal departments, as Holmes points out, are often doing tedious tasks with outdated tools. Lawyers were trained to be legal experts, not digital experts. They were trained to be lawyers. And law school teaches you how to practice law, but not optimize the process of law. The true essence of the legal profession is reading, understanding, and applying the law in a new manner.
But now, the game is changing. CFOs are demanding better ROI from their legal departments. The pandemic, meanwhile, has forced teams to do more with less. And putting off a digital transformation is no longer an option. In this article, we’ll see how and why UnitedLex’s Vantage solution is the right platform to empower legal teams across industries.
Built on Microsoft
When we built Vantage, we set out to build a product that was entirely lawyer centric. We know how entrenched certain solutions and software are in a lawyer’s workflow. For that reason, we knew that we could build a great product — but if it did not operate with the solutions lawyers are already using, it would never get great adoption.
We researched everything we could about a lawyer’s daily work and processes. We wanted to know not just how they spent their days, but rather their minutes. What products did they use the most? What are their most consistent pain points? What solutions are they spending the most time working within?
It didn’t take long to see that the only way to build Vantage was on Microsoft. Microsoft has long been the chosen platform for lawyers. Every day, legal teams depend on Word, Outlook, Teams, and PowerPoint to get their mission critical tasks done — all backed by the enterprise capabilities and security of Microsoft. But it goes beyond that: Vantage is a solution designed for the law departments of the largest companies in the world, and 96% of Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft Cloud. That’s why Vantage is now available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, an online store providing applications and services for use on Microsoft Azure.
Vantage meets users where they already are: And that’s on Microsoft.
Optimizing the Center of Businesses
For far too long, legal has been seen as a necessary evil within businesses. An organization has to have a legal team, of course, but many other colleagues see the department as the place where good ideas go to die. Or to be held up endlessly in red tape. Legal is also often viewed as a cost center, as money flows to massive external law firms who bill at exorbitantly high rates.
The reality is that legal is actually a critical central hub for nearly every business. No contract gets signed — no revenue flows — without the legal team’s input. It is the department that safeguards the most important assets to a business, its IP and patents. It keeps companies compliant and minimizes regulatory risk and liability.
Legal departments are enormously valuable to a business. But outdated technology can ensure they are seen as antiquated and cost inefficient. That’s why slow and inefficient processes within legal departments have a ripple effect across an entire organization. Large legal departments often find themselves not knowing the scale of their resources and how these resources are allocated.
Vantage is built to create a 360-degree elevated view of legal operations, resources and budgets, allowing legal teams to work from a single source of truth. Vantage empowers legal teams to reduce their outside legal spend, by bringing work in-house through better resource management. Vantage is truly an end-to-end solution that transforms legal workflow: Some early Vantage customers are seeing up to a 20% drop in expenses.
Many industries have been wary of automation. After all, if automation becomes too prevalent — the thinking goes — what will become of my job?
The truth is that automation is coming to every industry, including legal. In fact, Gartner says by 2024 that 50% of legal work to major corporate transactions will be automated.
The true power of automation doesn’t come in replacing one’s job. Very few platforms are capable of replacing a worker. But it comes in helping employees do their job better and more efficiently, by freeing workers up from burdensome work. It comes from finding the most tedious and automatable work and taking it off a worker’s plate.
Legal has long been a paper-based profession. And yet, the technology around us has evolved, from smartphones to social media to CRM platforms. Enterprise businesses cannot rely on a legal department that is using outdated technology, while the rest of the departments are leveraging the latest solutions. Because Vantage is an API-enabled cloud solution, it is ready to automate your processes in a way that works with your overall enterprise processes and existing tech stack.
So as much as Vantage will give your team more insights into your resources and expenses, it will also free up your team from tedious tasks so they can focus on the high priority work that truly impacts your business.
For example, billing time and status updates are repeatable, time-consuming tasks. They are also easily automated. Vantage can help you remove the burdensome projects from your department, freeing up team members to do legal work that they truly excel at and are passionate about.
And that part of legal work will never be able to be automated.
By: Meg Ramsey, SVP of Product at UnitedLex
Want to learn more about Vantage? Let’s talk.