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Principles of Cooperation Between Law Offices and Legaltech Providers

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This interview is part of Loio series of interviews with legal enthusiasts about the ins and outs of the legal industry.

The following is the interview with Sharan Kaur, ex-Thomson Reuters, legal technology and innovation consultant. Sharan is an industry expert and thought leader in legal technology with many years of experience in the legal industry as Corporate Counsel and Management Consultant to the top and mid-tier law firms and in-house legal teams. She helps companies drive operational excellence via digital transformation. 

The accelerating adoption of technology for law firms is drastically transforming the way these firms operate in modern times. This trend finds its essence in the coupling of law with technology — laws are becoming more sophisticated by the day, leading practitioners to adopt tech interventions to augment their tasks and ensure adequate efficiency. 

In the following article, we shed light on the importance of legaltech adoption, the challenges and misconceptions surrounding its implementation, and, importantly, how it can drive a competitive edge for law firms, big or small, based on the expert opinion of Sharan Kaur, ex-Thomson Reuters, legal technology and innovation consultant. Sharan discusses the best practices for integrating technology in law firms, the role of legal technology consultants in this process, and how to measure the success of their legaltech adventures.

“Law firms should remember that business process reengineering requires an objective assessment of the present process, gap analysis, risk management, and exploration of different solutions to plug the gap. That may be with or without technology. If adopting technology, you cannot insert technology into a business process and expect that it will be adopted immediately. It has to happen alongside change management.”

Sharan Kaur, legal technology and innovation consultant 

Legaltech: The Main Purpose

Though legaltech gets adopted by a growing number of law firms, the core thing one should understand is that legal tech is not a cure-all.

It only has one main purpose — to help lawyers perform their roles more efficiently and effectively. It augments what lawyers can do in their professional routine. 

Benefits of using legaltech

Increased efficiency: Through automated processes and machine learning, legaltech can drastically reduce time spent on tedious tasks, such as the manual review of hundreds of documents. This allows law firms to process high volumes of work quickly and accurately.

  1. Competitive advantage: As the use of sophisticated technology becomes the norm across industries, law firms that adopt legaltech are better positioned to stay ahead of the competition. It’s no longer an added bonus but an expectation for firms to be technologically advanced.
  2. Attract talent: The emerging generation of legal professionals expects to use the latest law firms technology in their practice. Firms that have embraced legaltech are more likely to attract these tech-savvy lawyers, as the use of advanced tools and software is now a significant factor when choosing an employer.
  3. Collaboration and communication: Legaltech solutions enable better coordination and communication within law firms. These tools can improve teamwork by providing shared access to case files, streamline communication across teams, and enable remote work.
  4. Accuracy and compliance: Legaltech software can help law firms minimize the risk of errors and ensure compliance with laws and regulations. Tools that include features like auto-fill can significantly reduce the likelihood of legal mistakes.
  5. Cost-effectiveness: Although the upfront costs of adopting legaltech might seem substantial, the time and resources saved in the long run make it a cost-effective solution. It enables law firms to handle more cases more efficiently, which may lead to higher profit margins.

Legaltech for Small and Medium-Sized Law Firms

Lealtech is widely implemented by law firms irrespective of their size. However, some firms may find the process of adoption and implementation slower and more complex than others. 

Generally, adoption is harder and takes longer in law firms. Lawyers have billing and time recording targets to meet: 2000 hours over the year. That’s why they don’t necessarily have the time to expand on adoption training and learn new things. They prioritize spending time on billable tasks.

“Some firms incentivize their associates by crediting 20% of their billable time to innovation projects. However, this is not common practice. The more forward-thinking and digital-first law firms appreciate the value of innovation.” 

Sharan Kaur, legal technology and innovation consultant 

Full-scale adoption is the hardest to get right in larger law firms. As a rule, small and medium law firms are more agile and quicker at deciding which team, department, or practice area to roll out first and how much time they can allocate to implementation and adoption. However, in larger firms, it’s a whole different world because of the bureaucracy involved in getting sign-off, managing the rollout in global offices, and simply having competing priorities. 

In-house is yet again a whole different issue. They have different challenges. Most lawyers do not have enough hours in the day to do much other than supporting the wider business, whether that is answering questions, providing advice, or producing documents and contracts. 

Legaltech adoption: How to measure success? 

  1. Research existing technologies: Know the law firm technology used by your peers, in-house departments, and General Counsels. Understand the successful tech implementations in these firms and assess which might suit your firm’s needs.
  2. Understand your needs: Prior to engaging with legaltech providers, ensure you have a clear understanding of your firm’s specific needs and requirements. Avoid the temptation to try and retrofit a product you love to your process if it doesn’t naturally align.
  3. Evaluate your existing tech stack: Before exploring new tech investments, thoroughly understand the capabilities of your current tech stack. Sometimes, existing tools like Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 may already offer the solutions you need.
  4. Set clear expectations: Formulate a detailed implementation and adoption plan and timeline. Ensure alignment between your expectations and what the vendor can realistically deliver.
  5. Learn the best practices: Leverage the expertise and experiences of your tech provider. They should advise you on best practices and caution you against approaches that might not work or have been ineffective in the past. Make informed decisions to avoid starting initiatives that may not be appropriately suited to your firm’s needs.

“So, it’s necessary to understand the milestones, what to expect, what the next level of adoption will be, what the training will look like, and how long it will be. Create milestones to calculate the return on investment (ROI) so you, at least, cover the cost of the investment.” 

Sharan Kaur, legal technology and innovation consultant 

The Role of a Legal Technology Consultant 

Engaging a legaltech consultant is time and cost-effective. It’s not a new concept but one that continues to evolve as we see more tech platforms with different functionality targeted at legal professionals. Legal consultants work well because they understand the technology law firm ecosystem. 

A consultant is someone who understands the range of products used, is rounded, and understands how the different types of products knit together. For example, someone who understands the types of legal tech products used by a typical law firm, e.g., document generation platforms, document review via AI and ML, CRM, IA, matter management platforms, time recording tools, etc.

The problem is that a lot of lawyers and legal teams don’t know where to start. There is so much choice in legal tech, and it is not always easy to differentiate between the products.

“Having a legaltech consultant is a good starting point. At a high level, this is what I do with clients: I quiz them to understand what their current process looks like, what their pain points and gaps are, and what an ideal solution looks like. Everyone’s got some far-out must-haves on their list that very quickly become inconsequential when explored further.”

Sharan Kaur, legal technology and innovation consultant 

Based on that, one should put together a project plan focusing on the priority list, propose different solutions, and engage with relevant technology vendors as required. One should ensure that the solution is the correct one and will meet the clients’ requirements. If it doesn’t get past that qualification, there’s little point in engaging the lawyers. 

Principles of Cooperation Between Law Firms and Legal Tech Providers 

Collaboration between law firms and legal tech providers is a mutual journey that holds a significant impact on the successful adoption of legal technology. The building blocks for this partnership are an intimate understanding of mutual expectations, effective communication, and the commitment to a shared vision. Below are crucial steps for fostering this successful collaborative endeavor:

  1. Clearly identify firm requirements: Law firms need to identify and express their specific needs, objectives, and challenges to the tech providers. The clearer the firm’s outline of their desired outcomes, the more effectively the tech provider can customize their solutions.
  2. Demonstrate capacity to meet demand: Legal tech providers should present their ability to deliver robust, user-friendly solutions that meet the needs of the firm. They should exhibit their capacity not just in terms of technology but also in understanding the legal industry’s unique workflows and demands.
  3. Prioritize high-quality solutions: Providers must prioritize delivering high-quality solutions that integrate seamlessly with the firm’s existing workflows, aiming to enhance rather than disrupt ongoing operations.
  4. Provide robust training and support: Successful legal tech adoption is boosted by comprehensive training and ongoing support from tech providers. They should deliver sufficient assistance to ensure the smooth integration of new technology into the firm’s daily operations.
  5. Foster honesty, transparency & shared vision: The relationship between law firms and tech providers must be grounded in honesty and transparency. Both parties should be committed to a shared objective: accelerating the adoption of legal tech and leveraging digital transformation benefits in the legal sector.

How Can Law Firms Take Advantage of Demos with Legaltech Providers? 

As an end-user client, be sure to speak to other firms or in-house teams who have signed up for the provider’s offering. You should ask whether any clients have realized the benefits that were pitched and if the ROI stacks up. If they’ve been using the solution for a reasonable amount of time, have they seen any benefit? You may have been told during the sales conversations to expect 80% ROI within the first six months. On paper, that looks great, but is it realistic? Speak to the provider’s clients who have achieved that ROI. 

Here are a couple of other questions I would ask a provider: “Who am I going to be working with?” and “How do you stack up against your competitors?” 

If your provider claims to do everything and you sign on the dotted line, you’re reliant on them wholesale. If your relationship breaks two years down the line because they want to apply an uplift to your license fee of 50%, etc., and you say “No,” what happens if they pull the plug on all your systems? You are 100% reliant on them. 


To successfully compete, you’ll need to have the right tools and the right innovative mindset. Technology has a tremendous part to play. Law offices may not immediately understand the full potential of tech platforms, and there may be some hesitancy. However, if law firms clearly understand how legaltech providers can satisfy their needs, this can turn into a very effective collaboration that will completely transform the legal sphere.

Article by Yevheniia Savchenko

Yevheniia Savchenko is a Product Content Manager at Lawrina. Yevheniia creates user interface copies for Lawrina products, writes release notes, and helps customers get the best user experience from all Lawrina products. Also, Yevheniia is in charge of creating helpful content on legal template pages (Lawrina Templates) and up-to-date information on US law (Lawrina Guides). In her spare time, Yevheniia takes up swimming, travels, and goes for a walk in her home city.

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