Make Technology Your Teammate ACC Article 2017

Make technology your teammate: Legal tech skills you need to stay in the game

With technology a key player in your legal team, you can deliver incredible value and legal service to your business whilst enriching your legal career and ensuring its longevity.

This article originally appeared in The Australian Corporate Lawyer, Volume 28, Issue 4 (Summer 2017). This post has all the links to the sources and technologies mentioned in the article. You can read the full article here.

Some of the links below are affiliate links, read about these here.


The title, Make technology your teammate, was inspired by Erik Brynjolfsson’s TED talk, The Key to Growth is to Race with the Machines (TED talk)

The Australian market for social media marketing spend was estimated at just under 16 billion dollars in 2017:  http://www.bandt.com.au/advertising/australias-ad-market-will-reach-almost-16-billion-2017-magna.

Tiny Tech Hacks

Electronic Signature Platforms

I’m very passionate on electronic signatures (I even wrote a book about it!). Start experimenting with different applications and see the potential impact they can have on your productivity and happiness.

DocuSign

DocuSign is easy to use and simple to get started. As your skills grow, you can increase the functionality and automate more.

Use this link to get a 30 day free trial and 10% off if you purchase.

Nitro

I have a real soft spot for this awesome Aussie start up challenger to Adobe and DocuSign. Lots of functionality above and beyond electronic signatures.

Use this link for 15% off and a free trial

Decision Trees and mapping

Zingtree: Zingtree is an incredibly powerful way to give guided advice or trouble shoot issues.

Coggle: Coggle is an amazing mind mapping tool.

Stationary: Or just use Post its or Pen and paper (from your drawer!)

Videos and Screen Capture

SnagIt: Screen Capture

Filmora: Very easy to use video editing software with a high powered mobile version.

Presentation of Legal Information

Canva: Great Australian company with really easy to use interface and lots of great templates for social media images. The entry level free version is really powerful.

Piktochart: This platform has a bigger focus on infographics, is also very easy to use.

Make Technology Your Teammate ACC Article 2017 Tech Skills Table

WHAT SKILLS WILL HELP YOU WITH TECH?

Digital first thinking

How to use iPads in the courtroom: Tips for litigators

Are virtual courtrooms around the corner? by Katie Walsh

Courtroom technology and the iPad by Ian O’Flaherty

‘If X, then Y’ mindset

Create automated workflows and reduce your admin time: IFTTT | Zapier | Microsoft Flow

Legal process analysis

The Future of the Professions, by Daniel Susskind and Richard Susskind (Read (or listen via audiobook!)

ACC Australia’s 2017 Benchmarks and Leading Practices report contains lots of interesting information on how legal teams use technology. One stat that blew me away a bit was more than half of in-house legal teams (63%) have no formal workflow management system.

KEY TECH TAKEAWAYS

Make Technology Your Teammate ACC Article 2017 Key Takeaways

  1. Make friends with tech | Your legal team can start seeing tech as a teammate, not the competition.
  2. Pick a pain point to patch | If you or your company have pain points at work, it’s likely there are tech solutions to help. Pick a problem you are passionate about solving to keep motivated during the legal tech learning curve.
  3. Tailor the way you tackle tech | Not all legal tech is perfect for all legal teams or business. Check the Legal Tech Type table to see suggestions on tech for you to try and some key tech skills to practice.

WHAT’S YOUR LEGAL TECH TYPE?

See where your tech abilities sit in relation to other in house lawyers and increase your tech-knowledge-y (see what I did there?) with some tailored tech homework.

Make Technology Your Teammate ACC Article 2017 Tech Type Table

For the TECH OSTRICHES

According to the ACC’s 2017 benchmarking report, the top 3 technologies used by in house lawyers were:

1.     Electronic legal libraries

2.     Electronic document repositories / virtual data rooms; and

3.    Document management software

Those are great places to start if you don’t want to be left behind.

Read this great article (Technology – Help or hindrance) by ACC member Catherine James for a balanced approach to technology opportunities and practical action steps for the technologically reluctant.

For the TECH CAUTIOUS

Test out the ACC’s SmartDocs Confidentiality Agreement builder

Read (or listen via audiobook!) Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind, The Future of the Professions

For the TECH RECEPTIVE

Read over this great presentation from Lexvoco at a 2017 ACC member event, Simplifying legals, identifying and reducing inefficiency in legal processes using lean theory. Consider the seven areas of waste and critically consider the work your legal team does in a different ways.

If you just love hearing about developments in tech, read over these ACC presentations on Drone Laws or Doing Business in a Digital Era: where is the law up to?

TECH CHAMPIONS

You might be a leader with tech in your team, can you go further? Perhaps it’s time for you to contribute your love of tech to social enterprises or not for profit organisations.

Try this basic automated letter-building tool, developed to help people seek a formal warning instead of an infringement in Victoria. Perhaps you could build something similar in an area you’re passionate about.

If you just love hearing about developments in tech, read over these ACC presentations on Drone Laws or Doing Business in a Digital Era: where is the law up to?

Amp up your out of office with embedded HTML coding…. It’s not that hard to write and the end result is helpful email template which your colleagues and clients will appreciate it.

 

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