Having spent the first part of my career as a corporate solicitor in the magic-circle, I could see first-hand significant inefficiencies within legal practice and the opportunity for technology automation to change the legal landscape forever. It is for this reason that I co‑founded Clarilis with a view to developing and implementing its unique precedent automation platform that is proven to improve the profitability and efficiency of law firms.

It is hard to deny that technology is the future of business, but nowhere is that more relevant than the modern law firm. To remain competitive, firms had previously focused almost exclusively on outward performance to drive profitability and increase revenues. But more recently, with the increasing importance of technology automation, firms have been looking inward and are now better able to identify the internal processes that are cutting into their PEP.

Any form of critical introspection is difficult so Clarilis makes that first step for law firms straightforward. I know first-hand the importance of focussing on hard results to overcome the initial skepticism my colleagues in the legal industry had about automation and am now in a position to help them make those results a reality. Given the boom in the legal technology market, it is important to ensure the investment in IT is both targeted and strategic.

One of the biggest fears of any purchaser of any product or service, is whether the product or service does what it was purchased to do. It’s fair to say that in this vein, automation has had something of a poor reputation. There are a large number of good firms who have wasted a lot of time and expense on automation projects that have not come to fruition. Many firms are put off by the business model of traditional software toolkit suppliers, whereby they sell you the software but you have to build the processes, invest the internal resource and take all the implementation risks.

Experience tells us that the overwhelming reason that so many automation projects fail, is that firms are significantly underestimating the resources required. These failed projects could explain why a third of lawyers we surveyed for our report, Technology-driven profitability in the modern law firm, still remain skeptical to some extent about the benefits of precedent automation.

The report highlights that the most popular reasons for skepticism are concerns about the quality and accuracy of automated drafting (46%), closely followed by a belief that the implementation costs would be prohibitive (36%). These are understandable but surmountable concerns.

Read the rest of James Quinn’s great article on using technology in the practice of law at Legal IT Professionals.