Will the future of law belong to large or small firms? It’s a debate that is ongoing.
ILANZ 2018 was another hugely energising and enjoyable event. Thank you to everyone involved in organising it!
The official theme of this year’s ILANZ was “No 8 wire”, as a nod to our in-house lawyers' ingenuity and ability to innovate with limited resources. Last year, I used this term in my blog to describe some of the cobbled-together solutions delegates were using – it was a term of endearment. This year, I'm a little less certain we should be celebrating this.
For many people, January is a time of reflection and new year resolutions to make a change. Having had a decent break, many people recognise that they are not happy in their current situation and resolve to get a new job.
This article contains some suggestions on how to get the best new legal job for your circumstances.
It’s been a year since I joined LawHawk, and it still feels so fresh and exciting. It’s probably a bit naïve / premature to reflect so soon, but heck, I’m on holiday! The Sydney sun, sea and sand has given me a great opportunity to stop, and think.
So what's happened?!
Hinge Marketing recently released the results of its Employer Brand Study. Given some of my previous research, one question in the study was particularly interesting to me: what’s most important to prospective employees of professional services firms?
We talk to a lot of organisations about document automation. Many of them have problems that document automation can help with. Some of them are literally drowning in paperwork, lacking sufficient experienced staff, and know they are exposed to undesirable levels of risk through inadvertent error or lost opportunities through delay. The people on the front-line need a solution now!
Although it is something that they want to start using because they know the benefits it will provide them in terms of greater speed and quality of document creation, with reduced costs and risk of error, many of them already have some type of system that already has, or could have as an extra module, some sort of document generation capability which they are not using. In a corporate context this could be a procurement system or an HR system, and in a law firm, it is often the firm’s practice management system.
Sensibly they want to look into that option further before they make a decision on how they will start to use document automation. The problem is that we see a lot of people go into that process, but few come out the other side. Months or years will pass without getting any of the benefits they know they need. How can this problem be avoided?
If you are considering these types of issues, the following questions and thoughts based on our observations might help you and your team move through evaluation more quickly and effectively and avoid it becoming a black hole that devours your initiative before you get going:
I like learning about new legal technologies, and how they can help me, but like most people I can still struggle to find time to try them all out.
A good example is digital signatures. I’ve known about them for years, and always thought they will eventually be the way that we sign all our documents, but haven’t made the time to look into it and why I should use it now. However a couple of weeks ago Mike Eyal from Secured Signing and I caught up again after first meeting at the LawFest Conference in May. Secured Signing are another New Zealand based legal technology company, established in 2010 with a number of satisfied customers.
Mike showed me how the Secured Signing system works, and I could tell it was a natural fit for our document automation system and something I wanted to start using. We have now built a Secured Signing integration which we can drop into any of our automated document templates so that users can automatically create Secured Signing “Smart Tags”. These are very simple pieces of formatted text that the Secured Signing system can recognise and act on to manage the digital signing process.
At the conclusion of New Zealand legal technology conference LawFest, one attendee said to me that a lot of the legal tech offerings seem to be targeted at private practice lawyers and there is a lack of understanding of the different needs of in-house lawyers. Does he have a point?
You may have seen me talk about using legaltech to achieve great outcomes. You may have nodded your head in agreement. After all, who wouldn’t agree that getting a great result is, well, great? But what does this actually mean?
There are a lot of legaltech options out there. If you’ve tried one piece of legaltech, and been left feeling like the guy on the right, you’re not alone. This happens all too often. With so many providers (sometimes appearing to offer the same solution), you have to find one that can solve problems you have, in the way that suits you, in the way they said they would. Don’t part with your money or your time, until you know this will be the case.
“Not surprisingly (in hindsight, at least), his first initiative was to implement document automation. This was almost eight years ago!”
Over half a year on from leaving London, I ask myself: what did I learn from my time in London? Perhaps I can best answer this question by first asking myself: what did I expect? Global market-leading bank, hundreds of years old, based in London - everything must go faster and run more efficiently than in little New Zealand, right? Well, sort of.