Demystifying the Legal Tech journey with Stephanie Siu, APAC Legal Counsel and Project Manager at eBrevia, a DFIN company
Legal tech has gained considerable traction amongst law firms and corporate legal departments over the past several years. From data or document analytics, document automation to project and workflow management – the progressive adoption of technology in the legal industry has reflected the fact that many such tools are market-ready and have started transforming the way legal practitioners work.
Stephanie Siu, APAC Legal Counsel and Project Manager at eBrevia (a DFIN company) recently spoke with The University of Law on legal tech. Coming from a corporate lawyer background, Stephanie explained why the legal field is in need of transformation, and shared some tips on how to better onboard legal tech solutions. The article was featured in the August 2021 issue of The Hong Kong Lawyer Magazine.
A summary of the tips are as follows:
- Start by examining the gap(s) in your workflow: a common fallacy is that there is a one-stop solution which would meet all of your legal tech needs. Typically speaking, most legal tech tools will specialise in specific area(s) and be more suited for certain use cases. Begin by looking into each step in your workflow: for example, if your team spends a lot of time drafting documents in recurring formats, begin by exploring document automation tools.
- Start small for quick wins and internal support: encouraging adoption of legal tech tools in your organisation can be an uphill battle - gaining a quick win will help build internal momentum. You can start by rolling out a tool on a smaller scale – this can take form of a pilot program in a particular department, or for a specific project. The pilot program should be (a) short for quicker results (e.g. 3 – 6 months), (b) significant enough for other members of your organisation to notice, and (c) run by a smaller team to ensure effective communication and feedback. It would also be useful to conduct a return on investment (ROI) analysis at the end if otherstakeholders require convincing (e.g. breakdown of the costs and time reduced, feedback from people involved).
- Engage all of your team: rolling out a legal tech tool within an organisation will take time and effort beyond the initial fad. This is especially so as most legal tech tools will require an initial training phase for it to fully deliver its value. To succeed, (a) educate – organise training sessions and regular feedback sessions, and circulate use cases (ensure your vendor can offer knowledgeable support in this regard); (b) incentivize – for example, allow training time to be recorded as billables ; and (c) empower – for example, appoint junior members to lead the initiative.
- A change in mentality: legal tech should be seen as a tool to empower your team. In addition to reducing costs and improving efficiency, legal tech can also facilitate collaborative working and improve team morale and talent retention.
In the conversation, Stephanie also summarized the key types of legal tech tools relevant to law firms and discussed practical tips on how legal teams can more easily approach this subject.