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Becoming a “yes man”: why your legal department needs to implement smart tools in its day-to-day operations

By Tina De Maere  – April 16, 2024

In 2023, 70% of legal departments indicated that they experienced an increase in workload. According to Reuters, most of these departments had to work with equal or lower budgets than in previous years. At the same time, 72% of law departments considered “using technology to simplify workflow and manual processes” to be a top priority within their legal team.

It should be clear from these numbers that implementing smart tools within your legal department and achieving a decrease in workload for your legal counsel have to be on top of your target list for the coming years. In this article, we explain how these goals go hand in hand.

Reducing the workload in your law department: legal research tools and contract management software

In recent years, lawyers faced an enormous increase in new legislation. Because the world is advancing at a rapid pace, all sorts of laws and rules (both on national and on European/international level) in many different fields of law have been or are being adopted. Consider the following evolutions:

For company lawyers, this has caused a multiplication of work, since they have to take into account all these measures when writing opinions, reviewing contracts, negotiating deals and during all of their other day-to-day operations.

AI software will help your legal team in reducing this deficit, by automating tasks that usually take up a lot of valuable time. Some examples:

All these features are designed to reduce the workload and free up more time for core legal tasks.

Speeding up core legal tasks in your law department with smart tools

In core legal assignments, too, AI systems can play a vital role. Contract review tools that flag high-risk clauses and propose alternatives, help your legal advisors in drafting contracts quicker and more precisely. Other tools can predict court cases and negotiation outcomes and help your team in deciding whether suing or mediating would be the better option.

Again, the objective of these tools is not to replace lawyers, but to assist them in completing their tasks more precisely and more efficiently.

Showcasing the value of your legal department with data

In some companies, the legal division finds it difficult to prove its importance to the rest of the business. Often, lawyers are seen as deal blockers who slow down the smooth course of business processes like contract negotiations and the implementation of new policies or projects.

However, lawyers play a vital role in ensuring compliance with rules and regulations in various fields of law. The goal of a company lawyer is always to prevent problems and mitigate risks before they can crystallize in acute legal issues.

Marketing the value of your legal department to the business by using data analysis can give your relationship with the rest of the company a boost. By showcasing important achievements, creating clear guidelines and presenting yourself as a listening partner to all other departments, the business will regard you as a team member rather than as an obstacle between them and their own objectives.

In this exercise, smart tools can also help you reach your goals. Analyzing data, creating graphs, finding patterns and monitoring compliance and success rates of your legal (and other) projects… for all these assignments, software is indispensable. In combining a human approach with the aid of technology, your legal department can create the visibility that it needs.

In conclusion: the use of smart tools frees up more time for core assignments

There are different reasons for why implementing technology should be a top priority for your legal department. As should be clear by now, the most important motive is decreasing the workload of your team members and freeing up more time for other essential responsibilities. Not only legal projects, but training programs (to keep your lawyers up to date on new legislation and emerging technologies) and even team buildings, too, are great examples of how this extra time could be used efficiently.

The ultimate goal of every legal department should be to help the business take smart, well-informed decisions and move forward as efficiently as possible. Once again, it takes time to get to know the business, learn about their priorities and strategies and adapt your advice to the needs and preferences of all other business entities. Becoming a “yes man“, instead of constantly being viewed as the killjoy who throws a spanner in the works, is a long-term process with various complex stages.

By using smart tools, however, your department will create its own breathing space to try and become a valued business partner and receive the recognition it truly deserves. Implementing these tools is the only way of moving forward in a world that is changing and becoming more complex at an ever-growing pace.

Need some help in digitizing your approach to legal consulting and recruitment? Contact us on and find out what we can do for your business!