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Legal tipsSeptember 3, 2020

How Contract Management Software Contributes to Building A Legal Knowledge Culture

The far-reaching digital evolution has seized every industry, and the legal sector is no exception. Legal teams are being asked to do more for less. However, by implementing the right tools and technology, any field can make a radical shift from unmanageable backlogs to smooth operations.

With the integration of technology, legal knowledge is no longer considered “tribal” or reserved only for the inner circle. Today, it’s a part of comprehensive knowledge ecosystems. The days when best practices left the company with employees are long gone, and legal knowledge management has become a separate paradigm.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, legal knowledge management is a set of practices, methods, and approaches applied throughout a company. The legal expertise is contained natively in standard forms, tools, templates, as well as individuals’ minds.

With the integration of technology, legal knowledge is no longer considered “tribal” or reserved only for the inner circle.

To understand the importance of knowledge management, you should dig deeper into the essence of legal advice. Being an applied knowledge, legal expertise cannot be retrieved any other way than through practice. Therefore, employees’ wisdom is the most valuable and vital resource in any law organization.

Legal advice practices are often case-specific: sometimes they contradict the generally accepted guidelines but work for a particular case and company. At the end of the day, it’s the unique approach that makes a noticeable difference among legal service competitors.

For the reasons mentioned, it is so important to preserve and multiply legal knowledge. Security must also be considered as information leaks compromise a company’s stability, so it’s crucial to avoid any data breach risk.

Legal knowledge management involves multiple areas within the company, with the biggest piece contributed to document management. We gathered insights and what to look for to keep your best practices intact using the right contract management solution.

Procedural clarity

When new people join a company, they often feel confused by unorganized processes. To begin delivering value, new employees should clearly understand the workflow structure and grasp all the touchpoints in the document management flow. At the same time, the absence of an employee shouldn’t disrupt work processes - hence, all employees should be replaceable.

Adequate workflow automation software covers different scenarios and members while creating a clear and straightforward contract pathway. It also allows for managing team member roles and defining areas of responsibility, so employees will know who to address at any stage of the contract lifecycle.

Communication breakdown

Communication should be result-oriented, not a distracting and overcomplicated factor. And yet it often is. Without communication, there is no collaboration and, therefore, little progress.

Contract management software for the legal department is designed to solve the costly and painful problem of getting a contract made in the first place. It serves as a base for all document-related communication, so there’s no need to ponder over the channels to reach the right person or search for existing resources all over again.

Communication should be result-oriented, not a distracting and overcomplicated factor. Without communication, there is no collaboration and, therefore, little progress.

The main goal of legal ops is to establish steady communication across the departments without knocking on multiple doors. It serves as an unambiguous space where employees share their status, previous experience, cross-references, and case-by-case guidance.

Project library

Strong client relationships are vital for the reputation of any legal company. Understanding the client’s expectations gives an advantage in the process of meeting and exceeding their wishes. Without knowledge management, a company’s reputation may be at stake, especially if customer data is not available, is outdated, or if the key takeaways are not stored in one place.

At AXDRAFT, we solved this problem using projects containing data batches for each client, leaving zero room for mistakes or misinterpretation. Such batches include the history of all contracts and all customer data that is always up-to-date.

Enhanced search and metadata

Search software plays a crucial part in the workflow of legal advice. To deliver cost-effective services, lawyers need to access information quickly and within tight deadlines. Manual searches add plenty of redundant work, such as re-creating missing documents or parsing hundreds of records to retrieve data from contracts.

To deliver cost-effective services, lawyers need to access information quickly and within tight deadlines.

Legal department contract management software solves this issue, breaking down the key document components into searchable items. Employees can access relevant metadata from a growing and constantly shifting mass of information with ease and sufficiency.

Document template database

Although templates of contracts and other legal documents are vital company assets, they are often outdated. Keeping track of all versions of hundreds of templates is hardly possible, but contract management software can do it for you. With this software in place, your team will always work on the newest document version without spending extra hours updating old editions.

Summary

Contract management software coordinates and connects every person on every step of a contract lifecycle, establishing a digital hub for cross-department collaboration and document metadata. As a result, legal teams can build a coherent knowledge ecosystem and uplevel their value in the company, allowing companies to meet their clients’ expectations.

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