4 Ways To Improve Your Legal Team’s Toolkit

Your legal team has a ton of critical tasks on their plates. From negotiating and writing contract language to filing suits on the company’s behalf, the group keeps busy. In the midst of constantly running on all four cylinders, there’s not much room for error. To do their jobs well, the group relies on the collaborative efforts of everyone invested in the business.

Assisting your legal team can include giving them all the background information they need to iron out impending deals. It will likely also entail providing them with enough support staff. But arguably the most impactful thing you can do is make sure the team has all the necessary tools at their disposal. Here are four ways to improve your legal team’s toolkit.        

1. Contract Management Apps

If there’s one thing lawyers and their staff do, it’s manage contracts. The process involves back-and-forth negotiations, document revisions, and final signatures. While emails and courier services may be OK for managing a few outstanding docs, this system can fall apart. When you’ve got a pile of contracts to handle, you need a better way of organizing the paperwork.

Otherwise, documents waiting for approvals and signatures will fall through the cracks. Revisions become tedious, with employees backtracking through emails full of updates. There’s also the issue of storing completed contracts in the right place. Ideally, you want to be able to effortlessly distribute copies and save one in a centralized location simultaneously.  

Providing your legal team with contract management software removes these common barriers to efficiency. The group gets a single tool that manages documents from inception to completion. They don’t have to chase down bits and pieces of contracts in progress. Your team will be able to automate simple, repetitive tasks while improving collaboration with all stakeholders. Mistakes and the time it takes to finalize contracts will also go down.

2. Legal Research Software

A survey of lawyers shows 75% say they spend 20 hours or more each week on non-client-facing tasks. Those tasks include research. Before representing clients in court or filing paperwork, attorneys and paralegals must get their ducks in a row. Research, including case law and legal precedents, forms the basis of lawyers’ arguments. Legal teams can’t help advocate their companies’ positions without getting the facts of each case straight.  

Legal research obviously comes into play when a vendor relationship goes south. However, gathering supporting facts is essential for several different business activities. Examples include building new facilities, establishing infrastructure like cellular networks, and creating non-disclosure agreements. When legal teams must use several sources to gather enough research, it can turn into a frustrating, time-consuming hunt.

Legal research platforms help centralize the information sources teams rely on to get the ball rolling. Instead of wondering where they can find what they’re looking for, employees can pull up one interface. Legal research software may not eliminate the need for further investigation, but it can reduce wasted time. For already busy teams, a streamlined source of information lays out the breadcrumbs they have to follow.  

3. Project Management Tools

Your company’s legal department doesn’t work alone. Collaboration with others across the organization is part of their daily tasks. Yet even under the best circumstances, communication between departments suffers when it comes to shared projects. Coordination within the legal team might also be challenging if they don’t have access to project management tools.

While employees may have good intentions, tracking multiple projects in one’s head is impossible. Manual methods, such as spreadsheets, aren’t much better. It’s a chore to keep them clean, organized, and up-to-date. In addition, spreadsheets aren’t dynamic enough to manage task reassignments, feedback loops, and real-time collaboration.

Project management apps help staff keep on task and improve collaboration. Individual contributors don’t have to wonder where someone else is at with an assignment. They’ll know when it’s time for them to step in and whether another team member needs their assistance. Project management software’s capabilities make it easier for cross-functional teams to plan initiatives and meet deadlines.

4. Electronic Discovery Platforms

Unfortunately, breach of contract scenarios are possible when companies work with vendors. Sometimes breaches occur because of miscommunications or honest mistakes. While there are alternatives to litigation in these cases, going to court may be the most viable path forward.

Legal teams will be busy trying to gather relevant documents when a lawsuit is necessary to resolve a contract dispute. They’ll have to secure all related evidence and records. More than likely, this paperwork will come from multiple sources, making it difficult to organize without a good system.

Electronic discovery software provides in-house legal teams with the capabilities needed to do this work well. These platforms let employees review each record while tagging it as supporting evidence. They can instantly categorize documents into various evidence categories, such as failure to execute contract duties. Electronic discovery apps also separate records for legal teams that deal with litigation matters involving multiple vendors. As a result, there are fewer chances of mixing up documents.

Better Tools for Stronger Performance

You wouldn’t expect someone on a bike to get as far as a person driving a car in the same amount of time. Likewise, legal teams without adequate tech resources can’t make as much headway. They need better ways of organizing, collaborating, and creating task efficiencies. 

Don’t create more obstacles for the group with insufficient tools. Give your legal team access to the right toolkit for the job, and you’ll improve their chances of success.    

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