Roughly 90% of in-house legal teams use three or more software vendors and one-third utilize five or more, according to a survey of nearly 500 in-house lawyers and legal operators earlier this year.
Meanwhile, 77% of legal teams report spending more than an hour a day moving through different systems to obtain a complete view of their work, with 39% spending three hours or more.
The survey of legal professionals in the U.S. and U.K. was conducted by LawVu, a technology platform designed for in-house legal teams.
Sam Kidd, LawVu’s co-founder and CEO, said its technology enables legal teams to use fewer software tools by providing a wide range of functionalities in one cloud-based platform.
This approach helps legal teams do more with less, he said, which is what is expected of them during periods of economic headwinds.
“Having a system that enables you to be more efficient and more effective with the resources that you have just becomes unbelievably important in uncertain times,” Kidd told Legal Dive.
Locating key information
Two highly utilized functionalities in LawVu are contract and matter management, which encompass a large portion of the work legal departments undertake.
LawVu’s connected workspace also includes spend management, analytics and intake tools.
Additionally, the platform features integrations with Microsoft Outlook, Slack and Gmail, among other technologies.
As a result, Kidd said in-house professionals can use LawVu to more quickly find the information they need to complete key projects.
Examples include searching through key contract terms while completing an M&A transaction or easily locating an email about a sensitive legal matter being worked on in the matter management module.
“One of the easiest wins is just enabling people to get to the information that they need to get to when they need it,” Kidd said.
The in-house legal team at the digital financial services company Buckle used a combination of Gmail, spreadsheets, and shared folders to manage its work prior to using LawVu.
After implementing LawVu’s connected platform, the New Jersey-based company estimated it saved two days a week on administrative tasks, according to a case study.
Conducting data analysis
Once legal teams get important documents and information into LawVu, they can use the platform to undertake data analysis.
LawVu’s Insights tool provides a dedicated dashboard for general counsel that includes metrics such as contract turnaround times, legal team capacity and legal department efficiency.
Airways New Zealand used metrics provided by LawVu to better manage delivery expectations within the company, according to a case study.
Additionally, LawVu users can analyze their legal spend on outside counsel and external counsel performance.
“It [provides] the ability to interrogate the information that you have and think of legal in a more data-driven way,” Kidd said.
A data-focused approach allows legal teams to make more strategic decisions rather than going off their gut feelings.
It also enables legal departments to communicate with other business units using numbers and reports, something colleagues appreciate.
“I think that is probably one of the more game-changing moments for legal teams when they can start to do that,” Kidd said.
Improving intake processes
The intake systems LawVu helps in-house legal teams create is another way the platform helps them improve their interactions with other departments, according to Kidd.
As it stands, many legal departments have business requests sent to them via email and other communication platforms, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams.
These requests are not easily centralized and often lack necessary information, resulting in attorney time being spent going back-and-forth with company colleagues to gather more information.
With LawVu, legal departments can set up guided forms for members of other business units to fill out describing their requests. The requests then arrive in a queue that legal team members can view in LawVu and use to prioritize and assign the tasks.
Sales, procurement and marketing teams are among the business units that often benefit from the LawVu Intake tool, Kidd said.
“Anytime we roll that out, the business has actually been really receptive to it because it just takes some of the thought process out about how and what information they need to send through legal,” he said.
Meanwhile, legal departments have reported that one unexpected benefit of a centralized inbox is that attorneys who were previously the sole direct contact for certain projects have found it easier to take vacations without constantly fielding emails from business colleagues.
“It’s actually lifted a huge burden for a lot of legal teams,” Kidd said.