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Legal Automation Ideal Why Is Adoption Slow

Legal IT Says Automation is Ideal – Why is Adoption Low?

Arraya Insights | October 5, 2018

Legal and automation go together like peanut butter and jelly according to a majority of executives working in the industry. In a new survey by Intapp, Inc. and The Lawyer,legal automation leaders professed their belief that firms have a lot to gain by deploying hands-off technologies. Despite their overwhelming support, in practice the combination of law firms and automation remains curiously elusive.

In order to determine what’s preventing real world automation adoption from matching its on-paper support, let’s look more closely at Intapp and The Laywer’s research. The companies found:

  • 97% of leaders surveyed see automation as a way to reduce conflicts and create a more smooth new client onboarding process. Less than half (44%) of firms are taking advantage of it.
  • 90% see the value in using data-driven insights to manage client relationships yet only 16% are doing so.
  • 87% feel it can make resource allocation easier but only 14% are using it for that purpose.
  • 86% believe it can assist with delivering insights and analytics to clients, however only 18% of those surveyed are leveraging it that way.

One set of statistics indicates law firms are extremely positive about the potential of automation. The other, however, demonstrates a reluctance to implement the technology regardless of the advantages. Why? The authors of the survey floated a few theories that Arraya’s own subject matter experts have experienced firsthand.

What’s causing legal’s adoption divide?

The first? It’s tough to break habits. Whether they pertain to how employees prefer to work or the kinds of technologies firms prefer to invest in, old habits die hard. The kind of organizational support needed to break those old habits likely can’t come solely from IT. Instead, it must be organization-wide and start from the top. Often, the barrier to such widespread acceptance is built on fears of technology replacing employees so it’s important to demonstrate early on how automation will be used to augment workflows, not take ownership of them.

Another issue possibly leading to low adoption figures is a lack of in-house expertise. Automation is still relatively uncharted territory for many law firms and their technology teams. Without that built-in experience, many are averse to taking on the challenge of a new solution. In cases such as this, it can help to bring in a partner with experience in the field. Leaning on outside expertise in this way can allow firms to pursue advanced technology solutions while continuing to focus on what they do best.

Other firms aren’t suffering from a lack of experience with automation, but a lack of positive experience. Perhaps they rolled out automation in one part of their environment and simply weren’t blown away by the results. In those instances, it might not be the automation that came up short but the process. Instead of giving up on automation due to a less than stellar first impression, firms should re-examine their original goals. Then, they should contact an experienced automation partner, one who can build off initial experiences and help plan for and execute their vision in the most realistic and measured way possible.

Next Steps: Bringing together legal & automation

Does your law firm fall into any of the above buckets when it comes to automation? Arraya Solutions can help. Our team understands the challenges presented by bringing automation to the legal industry and can work with you to position your firm to achieve its automation goals.

Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to start a conversation with our experts today. Also, you can leave us a comment on this or any of our blogs by way of social media. Arraya can be found on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook. Once you’ve let us know what you think, follow us to stay updated on our industry insights and learning opportunities.