GARTNER 2018 STATE OF THE LEGAL FUNCTION SURVEY
In-house legal spend shifts toward technology
- For the first time, legal departments spent less on outside counsel than on their in-house teams in 2018.
- Outside counsel spend still accounted for 49.8% of spending, down from 55.2% two years ago.
- More than 70% of legal departments expected their spending on outside counsel to remain relatively flat or decrease over the next three years — even as budgets increase.
- More than 40% of respondents expected the legal tech expense to go up by 10% or more over the next three years.
- 27% of the respondents already had a technology/innovation counsel — with 19% of them having a data analytics expert. [Gartner, Dec 28]
INSIGHTS FROM LEGALTECH INNOVATION EXPERTS
Wendy Butler Curtis, Chief Innovation Officer, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
- On Orrick’s New Investment Initiative for Legal Tech Startups: First, we focus on three sectors – energy, finance, and tech and innovation. Second, we have a portfolio approach that includes our Global Operations Center, Orrick Labs, which is our skunkworks department where we can develop internal technology if it’s not available in the market, and we have Orrick Analytics. This opportunity to invest in technology companies that we think are going to be successful will give us a chance to beta-test technology early and accelerate the pace with which we can bring those technologies to our clients.
- On Aligning Various Innovation Initiatives Under a Single Effort: It is important that innovation does not become bureaucratic. Although we are a centralized group, our job is not to be the sole generator of ideas. Rather, we need to have a thousand seeds in the firm within a lot of different areas developing. We encourage that by giving innovation credit to our associates and allowing those seeds to develop.
- On the Evolution of Innovation in Law Firms: The idea of multidisciplinary teams is critical, and the contribution of technologists and business professionals is huge. We are seeing new career paths within the law and also different skill sets that are needed. I hope that the changes in predictability for work, cost, and resources, as well as developments in technology, will allow lawyers and other team members to focus on more complex tasks, which will improve both career and client satisfaction. [ABA Journal, Jan 3]
Kate Orr, Senior Innovation Counsel, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
- On Innovation in Law Firm Operations: Innovation is taking on the incredible role and incredible challenge of delivering the highest-quality services to our clients at the metrics and price points that they expect.
- On How Orrick Creates a Culture of Innovation: First, we involve everyone within the firm in innovation. We have an annual innovation prize, host hackathons and other events, and try to encourage people. Second, we actually execute on the ideas. Third, we really recognize and measure the successes of our innovation, which includes measuring tangible impact. [ABA Journal, Jan 3]
LEGALTECH EVENTS AND CONFERENCES
LegalTech New York 2019
- The LegalTech New York 2019
event (29-31 January 2019) will provide the law firms and legal departments to get hands-on practical information for improving their law practice management.
Future Legal Technology Forum
- The Future Legal Technology Forum will be held in November 2019 in London, U.K. Decision makers and technology experts will unite at the event to showcase the opportunities of law tech.
Podcast: Getting Law Students Familiar with Legal Tech
- In this podcast, Greg Lambert & Marlene Gebauer talk with Kenton Brice, the Director of Technology Innovation at the University of Oklahoma School of Law, on how the university leverages the advances in technology to expand upon its commitment to not only teach students but also have a grasp of skills needed to practice law efficiently.