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The tech that legal teams want and need

New research offers insights into the most desired technological solutions for in-house law departments, together with the tech tools that have the most impact on such teams.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 15 February 2022 Corporate Counsel
The tech that legal teams want and need
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The 2022 Thomson Reuters Tech and the Law survey – conducted by Momentum Intelligence in December of last year – received completed responses from 826 legal professionals, including 670 private practice lawyers and 156 in-house lawyers.

The survey explored attitudes, perceptions and priorities towards legal technology and a respondent’s organisation’s challenges and priorities for the upcoming year.

As already reported by Lawyers Weekly, private practice lawyers are prepared to leave their firms for employers that are more innovative, as well as which tech solutions are having the most impact in law firms.


In the in-house realm, many law departments are not increasing investment in tech and lack confidence in reporting.

Challenges facing law departments

Improving operations and workflows through technology was identified most commonly as a top-three challenge facing law departments at present, with nearly two in three respondents (63 per cent) pointing to this as something their team will have to grapple with.

Other challenges that respondents pointed to included providing strategic business advice (57 per cent), managing and/or mitigating compliance risks (43 per cent), communicating the value of the law department internally (28 per cent) and attracting, retaining or upskilling talent (28 per cent).

With technological hurdles the most pressing of concerns for law departments, it is pertinent to better understand which solutions the legal counsel making up those departments are seeking and also gleaning the most benefit from.

What legal teams desire

Document automation solutions are the most desired technological solutions for law departments, with an overall desirability rating of 71 per cent (33 per cent currently using it and 38 per cent desiring to implement it).

“Document automation, which saves time and reduces the burden of processing documents manually, has become a desirable solution for many legal departments,” Thomson Reuters wrote.

This was followed by know-how and precedent solutions (desirability rating of 67 per cent), legal research and document drafting solutions (61 per cent each), reporting and dashboard solutions (57 per cent), risk and compliance solutions (54 per cent), matter and spend management (50 per cent) and legal operations management solutions (46 per cent).

What has the greatest impact

When asked which technologies have had the greatest positive impact on the ability of legal counsel to succeed in their roles, nearly one in four (24 per cent) pointed to legal research tools.

One in five (20 per cent) also identified reporting and dashboard solutions and document automation solutions. Elsewhere, 19 per cent pointed to risk and compliance solutions.

Other technologies included: know-how and precedent solutions (18 per cent), document drafting solutions (14 per cent), matter and spend management (13 per cent) and legal operations management solutions (12 per cent).

“Technologies that appeal to one legal department may not to another,” reflected Thomson Reuters.

“In-house counsel from small departments valued risk and compliance solutions the most, while mid-sized legal teams favoured legal research tools above all.

“Large legal departments, on the other hand, singled out document automation as the technology driving the greatest impact.” 

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