In a rapidly evolving business environment, in-house lawyers and their legal ops teams must constantly adapt to new challenges. These professionals navigate complex legal landscapes while simultaneously coordinating with various cross-functional stakeholders within the organization. To ensure the smooth operation of this collaborative approach, legal intake, triage, and automatic workflow software, such as Streamline, has become an indispensable tool in the in-house legal tech stack, offering an array of benefits, including enhanced collaboration, audit trail documentation, and key metrics tracking.
Improved collaboration and visibility top the list of legal intake and workflow software benefits. The software acts as a central platform uniting all cross-functional stakeholders. With dynamic, conditional forms, legal teams can ensure that their sales, marketing, HR, procurement, and other cross-functional partners submit the correct information in their request tickets, and the request is intelligently and automatically routed to the right place. Whether it’s a trust and safety report, contract review, marketing compliance request, or other questions for legal, Streamline can efficiently manage and prioritize requests and significantly enhance seamless communication across various teams.
Picture this: A marketing team is preparing for a product launch, requiring marketing compliance review. Requests for legal review may come in via email, Slack, or more. But, these requests may not contain everything needed for legal review, resulting in additional back-and-forth to gather the information needed. Without a centralized system to triage, prioritize, track requests, and follow up on status, there’s potential for miscommunication or overlooked tasks. Now, introduce legal intake and workflow software into the equation. Suddenly, the legal team can easily track, prioritize, and fulfill each request. Real-time visibility allows all cross-functional teams to be on the same page, preventing confusion about task statuses and due dates.
Moreover, in-house legal team leadership often needs more visibility into team capacity, project status, and how to optimize staffing. Without insight into who is handling what, it’s easy for tasks to be duplicated or fall through the cracks. Workflow software presents an efficient solution for the entire legal team — chief legal officers, general counsels, associate general counsels, commercial counsel, product counsel, and legal operations managers — by offering real-time updates and maintaining transparency throughout the project lifecycle. This fosters trust between team members and boosts efficiency and productivity.
In the realm of legal affairs, the phrase “if it wasn’t documented, it didn’t happen” can ring true. Legal intake and workflow software aids in documenting every move, providing a chronological record of all actions and approvals taken on a specific task or project. This comprehensive audit trail is an invaluable asset for any legal team.
Consider, for instance, the process of reviewing a contract on third-party paper. This task involves multiple stages and stakeholders, from reviewing to make sure the correct terms are captured, providing comments and revisions, and finally gathering sign-off from the correct approvers — finance, IT, procurement, sales or more. Each stage is documented in the Streamline’s software, providing a step-by-step breakdown of the matter’s journey. If a dispute arises later, this audit trail serves as concrete evidence of who did what and when, offering clear answers and potentially saving hours of investigative work.
But it’s not only about dispute resolution. The ability to capture an audit trail also facilitates compliance with regulations and internal policies. It ensures every action is traceable to a particular individual, promoting accountability and reducing the chance of unauthorized activities.
Beyond its role as a collaboration and tracking tool, legal intake and workflow software also doubles as a powerful metrics capture and analysis tool. Key performance indicators like the average Service Level Agreement (SLA) fulfillment, the percentage of requests within SLA, and the number of in-progress requests are all easily tracked and analyzed.
Let’s take a real-world scenario to illustrate this: A legal team receives hundreds of requests each month, but without a way to measure their performance, they have no idea whether they’re meeting their SLA targets or if there are bottlenecks in their processes. Introducing legal intake and workflow software changes the game. By keeping tabs on SLA fulfillment and tracking the progress of requests, they can instantly identify any issues and adjust their operations accordingly.
This data-driven approach can be a game-changer for legal teams. If you consistently see a high number of requests unfulfilled within the target SLA, it might indicate a need for more resources or a change in the workflow process. Conversely, consistently meeting or exceeding the SLA target indicates that your team effectively manages their workload.
Moreover, these metrics aren’t just beneficial for internal performance evaluation. They can also be used to advocate for additional resources. Rather than relying on gut feelings or subjective assessments, legal teams can present concrete data to upper management demonstrating the need for further headcount or investment.
In the era of digital transformation, implementing legal intake and workflow software is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. It is revolutionizing how legal teams operate, fostering better collaboration, visibility, and efficiency.
When implemented correctly, the software can bring about a new level of productivity and effectiveness to the legal team. It can help reduce bottlenecks, ensure compliance, provide valuable insights into the team’s performance, and even help secure necessary resources.
At the end of the day, what matters most is the value that the legal team brings to the organization. By harnessing the power of legal intake and workflow software, in-house legal teams can better fulfill their role as strategic advisors, providing better service to their organization and ultimately contributing to the organization’s success.
The beauty of this software is that it doesn’t just generate data — it transforms data into actionable insights. Legal teams can make informed, data-driven decisions to optimize their operations and deliver better results. In the digital era, these capabilities are no longer optional — they’re vital to remaining competitive and successful.