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2023 Predictions: Legal Operations Will Prove Indisputable Value

January 3, 2023
In this series, Evisort leaders share their predictions for the new year. Today, we hear from Evisort Chief Operating and Product Officer and co-founder Jake Sussman. 2023 is the year companies will gain trust in artificial intelligence for legal purposes and realize legal operations is a function that has moved from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have.”

Legal operations will be elevated within the business

This new year is an opportunity for legal operations to better define its function and prove its value. With the current economic uncertainty, legal departments feel more pressure than ever to be efficient and cost-effective. It’s likely we’ll see three critical priorities emerge:

Removing contract process friction and accelerating deals

Legal operations departments should be empowered with investments in technology that allow for easy and secure access to data and streamlined workflows across the organization. The right contract lifecycle management software can help legal operations teams remove friction across the business to minimize time spent manually drafting documents by standardizing templates and keeping sales and legal teams aligned. By speeding up contract approval, legal operations organizations can make business more competitive; in times of economic pressure, every deal matters even more. 

Realizing savings across business units

With budgets being scrutinized more closely this year, it’s critical for legal and legal operations departments to help surface possible savings across the business. The best way to do this at scale, of course, is with the help of AI that can search across a company’s entire repository of contracts. This allows teams to identify money-saving and business-optimizing opportunities hidden in contracts, such as pricing and payment terms. It also helps business leaders find redundant and unused vendors, manage contract deadlines, inform your company's financial and legal strategies overall. 

Automating predictable and repetitive tasks

Good legal technology optimizes the contract management process by removing manual work. Reviewing thousands of contracts by hand is tedious, time-consuming, expensive and error-prone. When legal operations departments can save countless work hours by freeing employees to accomplish more strategic and high-value work, they are better poised to elevate their function as a strategic business partner. 

With these priorities identified and executed, legal operations can prove its positive impact on the business's bottom line. 

Legal technology adoption will increase in 2023

With legal operations maturing as a practice, legal departments now have hero stories from other companies demonstrating the legal technology’s value to decision-makers. Even companies using AI-powered legal technology are no longer guinea pigs; the solutions are validated and return on investment has been proven time and time again. The directive to do more with less has legal departments searching for answers to accommodate reduced staff and increased work, and many will lean on AI-powered CLM technology.

In 2023 and beyond, I expect we will see the legal and legal operations field making significant strides in reinventing itself. We've handled contracts the same way for decades, even after technology's emergence. Why is this? Instead of building software that mimics what we do today, both vendors and customers need to push boundaries to revolutionize the process. We can focus on addressing the root cause of pain points rather than treating them as they arise. The legal field should start thinking outside the status quo to create new and better methods.

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