Data management: an important legal technology solution for general counsels

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Contract Management

In the legal industry, compliance and risk concerns often require a cautious approach to the adoption of new legal technologies. However, as nascent technologies mature, in-house legal teams are embarking on digital transformation journeys that incorporate data management, legal tech, and outsourced legal services into the practice of law.

Given the vast amount of business and legal data available to in-house teams, data management is emerging as a key priority for in-house legal teams. Yet, the prospect of using data as a catalyst for digital innovation presents several key questions for general counsels:

  1. Which processes are most ripe for data management improvements?
  2. How can in-house legal teams best leverage legal technology to make better use of their data?
  3. What steps should in-house legal teams take to ensure the security of legal and business data when implementing such legal tech solutions?

By addressing these questions and gaining greater clarity about data management best practices, in-house legal teams can lay the groundwork for the secure and effective use of data as a business asset.

AI-enabled legal tech solutions create new opportunities for in-house legal teams

Artificial intelligence (AI) provides a key to unlocking data management opportunities in the legal space. When routine tasks are offloaded to AI-powered applications from outsourced legal services, attorneys can better maintain focus on core responsibilities. Ultimately, these AI-human pairings make legal workflows more efficient and accurate.

The automation of historically manual and routine compliance processes can reduce the potential for human error and ensures that protocols are followed. For example, automated solutions can alert attorneys to take action upon the occurrence of certain events, such as when a contract contains a restrictive covenant or a critical date is approaching.

Some of the data-based processes that are ripe for digital transformation through the use of legal AI and other legal tech solutions include:

1. Document abstracting 

In the past, document abstracting has been a manually intensive process, making it both inefficient and prone to human error. When paired with experienced and specialized attorneys, AI-enabled technologies streamline the document abstracting process by summarizing key terms and verifying their accuracy against contractual provisions. With Ontra’s solution, the key terms of a finalized agreement are entered as data points, linked to specific language in an agreement and then turned into an easy-to-reference scorecard. From there, companies can tap into scorecard data to create interactive reports and data visualizations.

2. Data-driven insights

Legal departments generate vast amounts of business and legal data that can be harnessed to uncover insights capable of generating value for the firm and its clients. With a contract data extraction solution, corporate legal teams can leverage analytics to unearth key trends. Private equity sponsors, for example, are often interested in analyzing terms of their stock purchase agreements. Collecting data points on indemnity caps, baskets, and survival allows them to negotiate future agreements more effectively. As a result, they are in a better position to achieve better outcomes at a lower cost and in a faster time period.

3. Real-time negotiation tracking

In most in-house legal departments, simply monitoring active negotiations requires a herculean effort and there are no guarantees that leaders have ongoing visibility into important matters. Advanced data management solutions track the status of the active negotiations in real-time and ensure constant visibility into the status of material issues.

Data security best practices for in-house legal teams

While in-house legal teams stand to benefit from utilizing AI-enabled legal technologies to improve their data management practices, they need to ensure that any outsourced legal service contains an enterprise-grade security infrastructure. With cybercriminals increasingly targeting businesses of all sizes, it’s more important than ever for decision-makers to re-evaluate their legal team’s ability to protect business and client data from unauthorized access.

Partnering with a data management service can bring significant benefits for in-house legal teams. When evaluating the flow of data both internally and with legal process outsourcing partners, it’s critical to assess the security of existing systems and to identify vulnerabilities. In some cases, additional legal technologies or strategies may be required.

Additionally, firm leaders need to gain clarity about the security status of the firm’s legal technology solutions. For example, at Ontra, we provide data encryption, redundant storage and backup, certified ISO27001 and SOC 1/2 data center hosting, regular security audits and testing, and other capabilities within our robust security infrastructure.

Taking the next step in improved data management

Learn about Ontra’s end-to-end outsourcing solution to automate routine legal processes. We combine a software platform with comprehensive data management features and a network of expert attorneys to help hundreds of companies operate more efficiently, better manage compliance obligations, and gain valuable insights about their business and the broader market. 

Learn more about our solutions