Legal operations is a newish field, which involves running a company’s legal department just like any other business unit. Legal operations is transforming the legal landscape by challenging stakeholders to become more efficient and also gather and analyze data about their legal operations.
Molly Huie is the team lead for Bloomberg Law’s Data Analysis & Surveys Team, specializing in research design, custom surveys, statistics, and data sciences.
Here are Bloomberg Law’s top three trends to watch in legal operations.
Number one, law firms. Legal operations has traditionally been associated with corporate legal departments. However, this is changing. Law firms are getting into the legal operations game by increasing investments in staff and technologies. Bloomberg Law did a survey and that showed that 87% of respondents have a legal operations function. The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) announced a membership track for law firms, so we’re eagerly tracking to see what happens as law firms deliver more efficiently to their clients.
Number two, technology. Legal technology has exploded this year. In 2019 we saw over 1.2 billion with a B dollars in legal tech investment in the first three quarters alone. In the same survey I’d referenced earlier, the Bloomberg Law legal operations and technology survey, 97% of respondents say they use at least one legal technology. However, 44% of respondents say they aren’t doing anything above adopting new technologies to enhance their efficiency.
Number three, artificial intelligence. Are you using AI? Probably, but how knowledgeable are you about the AI that backs the technology you are using and how aware are you of the regulatory landscape and the potential ethical concerns? In our survey, 23% of law firm and in house counsel reported using legal technology with AI. However, does that mean the other 77% aren’t? Maybe, but more likely, they’re unaware that the natural language searches inherent in most legal technologies are powered by AI. Check back often as the Bloomberg Law analysts are tracking these and other developments in 2020 and the years to come.
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