Burnout, breadth of work top list of in-house team challenges
New research from LawVu details the headline challenges and barriers facing law departments at present.
Matter and contract management software provider LawVu has released its 2023 In-house Legal Technology Report, which surveyed almost 300 in-house professionals across the United Kingdom and the United States between December 2022 and February 2023.
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The purpose of the report was to better appreciate the various trends surrounding the use of tech by law departments and the impact on workflow efficiencies and business objectives as a result of said use, as the market emerges from a global pandemic and potentially enters a recession.
While Australian in-house legal professionals were not surveyed for the report, it contains pertinent findings for law departments here.
It found that the top challenges generally facing in-house teams, whose headcounts range from those with less than 10 professions to those with more than 75, were: workload and burnout, regulatory and political pressures, and risk management.
“Interestingly, legal teams with 31-75 employees suffer the highest number of challenges compared with both smaller and larger teams,” LawVu wrote.
The report listed the major challenges/barriers facing legal teams, with the following being the most commonly selected by respondents:
- Breadth, complexity and volume of work (22 per cent experiencing this);
- Workload is too high (22 per cent);
- Regulatory and political pressures (22 per cent);
- Risk management (21 per cent);
- Exhaustion and burnout (21 per cent);
- Under-resourced legal team (20 per cent);
- Inefficient workflows (20 per cent);
- Increasing concerns about a recession (19 per cent);
- Introduction of new legal technology (18 per cent);
- Lack of legal technology (18 per cent); and
- Legal technology not living up to expectations (18 per cent).
“In-house legal is no stranger to challenge, but with the current economic climate and post-pandemic pressures, issues such as exhaustion are heightened concerns for teams,” it said.
The findings around burnout and workload also correlate with the musings of Who Gives a Crap legal beagle Kate Sherburn, who — recently on The Corporate Counsel Show — reflected on how many in-house lawyers limped to the finish line at the end of 2022 and how a realignment of workflow and priorities in line with business needs is necessary for the year ahead.