It is often up to general counsel and legal operations managers to support, and closely manage, their department’s technology adoption.
Budget and time limitations often inhibit technology adoption at legal departments, a significant amount of which still use manual tools such as Excel spreadsheets for project management. But this is far less the case at large, well-funded corporations, where the benefits of implementing in-house technology far outweigh costs. Oftentimes, however, implementing in-house technology at such companies requires a dedicated and hands-on manager at the helm.
For example, Jennifer McCarron, technology program manager at Cisco, told Legaltech News that, as leveraging machine learning to automate a host of legal tasks requires significant financial and personnel investments, such technology only provides the most value for its cost when deployed on the sort of large-scale projects common at “larger, behemoth” organizations.
Still, for those at large corporations, funding for legal technology is not always assured—or easy to obtain. Those in charge of funding at such companies have the added responsibility of making the case for legal technology funding—and just as important, overseeing that in-house tech projects are meeting deadlines and proving their worth.
Making this case is a new role for many in-house legal managers, especially general counsel. Julia Chain, managing director and executive vice president at e-discovery services company Millnet, told LTN that in regard to technology, “companies are beginning to embrace change as they see its benefits, particularly to their operational efficiencies, which translate to their bottom lines. Partly, the change has also come about because the role of general counsel has changed beyond recognition.”