May 23 by Eric Dreshfield

Efficiency is the new hallmark of corporate law departments. To embrace this new paradigm, in-house leaders must refocus their efforts on technology that enhances productivity and supports corporate objectives. This new era of legal efficiency is fueled by the promise of artificial intelligence and machine learning that anticipate the need to gather information, offer predictions and draw conclusions. Those who deploy these new tools will attain a competitive advantage over slower-moving companies.

The biggest issue most companies have is not knowing where to start. Here’s 4 recommendations on how to leverage artificial intelligence in contracts:

Artificial Intelligence: Don’t Jump!

There are many areas where technology can quickly and cost-effectively improve productivity. However, the use of applied AI technology requires preparation. Resist the temptation to simply dive right in and start using AI. For legal leaders, this means thinking about areas where applied AI can streamline operations and optimally reallocate staffing, and since AI is only as good as the data is has, be sure your data is good, clean and well managed.

Artificial Intelligence: Don’t be Scared of Audits!

artificial intelligenceIn order to appropriately introduce promising new tools, it is imperative for teams to understand their existing digital landscape to determine where these tools can be deployed most effectively and with maximum benefits. Be sure to audit internal technology use before implementing new tools to maximize enterprise investments in both legacy and newer applications.

Automation: Don’t Overlook Routine Tasks!

When looking to implement automation, start with routine tasks, as they are typically the low-hanging fruit. Then work your way up to more complex tasks that interact with multiple systems. Don’t overlook the addition of providing actionable insights with newly added automation. Newly discovered insights can add tremendous value to your organization.

Automation: Don’t Repeat Processes!

Standardizing routine operations drives efficiency and reflects your legal teams understanding of the needs of the supporting business units. Repeating misaligned processes delivers repeated results. In order to see growth in efficiency, and business outcomes, be sure to conduct an assessment of your organizations repeatable processes, in all business units, and develop systems to address them uniformly.


Will automation and artificial intelligence take away your job? No one can say with 100% certainty. Those who develop a new mix of skills, keep up with the latest technologies, and understand how to implement and harness their power, will prove more valuable in the future landscape of legal technology as companies are spending less on outside counsel and more on legal tech.


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