By CreateiQ, Linklaters.
All law firms and in-house legal functions know that legal tech is the future. Law is fundamentally about information – laws, precedents, documents – and therefore data. Apply tech to data to manage it efficiently and you give yourself and your clients an edge.
But what technology? And once you find a solution, how do you persuade your organisation to adopt it?
We have been tackling this head-on at CreateiQ, and in particular looking at ways to help our future customers manage the process of getting their wider organisation on board once they’ve identified us as their preferred solution.
After speaking to three legal operations people at Linklaters, we have come up with these 8 Tips to help you get internal buy-in for legal tech initiatives.
Pathway to success
Look for early wins. That means identifying a problem that is easy to solve – and there are plenty of examples. Once people realise the tech works, they will be more amenable to trying more. Build the drumbeat of success and help people to see that their investment in time is really worth doing.
But don’t put the cart before the horse, i.e., don’t think of what you want to happen before putting in place the right processes to make sure the problem is solved. That includes training, project management and IT support, all supported by good communication so people are well informed and therefore more responsive.
Here are 8 tips from those in the know to help with internal buy-in:
- Build the business case. Be fully prepared to articulate the benefits for the firm or the clients and the impact on the bottom line. More simply, ask yourself, ‘Why would I want to invest in doing this?’ Emphasise how the product can make their lives better.
- Say what benefits the tool brings. In your messaging, lead with what problem the product solves for either the client or the lawyer or both. People are not interested in what the product is called, they need to know what it can do. Lead with YOU not WE in communications. Make the customer the central part of the story with the tech around them.
- Start with easy examples. Choose something easily understandable and easily solvable to persuade users of the advantages. You are then in a better position to broaden it out to include more wide-ranging applications. So, for example, say, ‘Here’s a tool that automates the proofreading of IP agreements and flags up key issues’. Once that has been shown to work, you can move on to the next solution. People don’t want a universal spanner that solves everything.
- Introduce the technology early. Give people a chance to work early on with the product. It may not work perfectly, but they can get used to, and be comfortable with, the tech and also to the idea of working with subsequent improvements.
- Identify a champion. Find someone both in the legal team and in legal tech operations who will champion the product. There is nothing like someone who is positive to help overcome doubts in others.
- Set success criteria. Measure what counts as a successful adoption of the technology. Set some targets, which will incentivise people to come onboard. The individuals proposing it also must be willing to invest some time into the pilot process, to help build a strong case and persuade individuals who are not yet sold on the product.
- Expect some resistance. Lawyers have successfully been doing things the same way for a long time. They will need time and patience to get used to any new software, which will require explanation and training. Choose your time carefully when suggesting they try the new technology, so that they are likely to be most receptive.
- Keep the technology up to date. Make sure that the product continues to evolve and keep pace with what it is that the business is trying to do. Ask yourself: ‘Does it still function for what we want to do?’ Keep in close contact with the vendor to make sure that changes are delivered efficiently.
With many thanks for their input to:
Francesca Bortoli, Legal Operations BD Manager, Linklaters
Maziar Jamnejad, Digital Adoption & Technology Training Manager, Linklaters
Su Clarke, Senior Software Development & Testing Manager, Linklaters
[ This is an educational guest post by Linklaters for Artificial Lawyer. ]