3 Things We Took Away from CLOC 2023

CLOC 2023

We share our insights from CLOC 2023: An emphasis on adoption, AI’s impact, and the growing importance of intake and triage systems.

The dust has just settled in Las Vegas, where the CLOC CGI 2023 conference once again gathered the legal operations and technology community. And once again, we were happy to be a part of it. More than just a conference for legal ops professionals, CLOC felt more like a think tank, where experts converged to brainstorm the next steps in navigating our increasingly complex business landscape.

The central theme this year was the future of legal operations, and appropriately so. In the months leading up to the conference, there was no escaping the tidal wave of excitement around Artificial Intelligence (AI). Its surge into the business sphere has broadened our horizons, revealing new potentials and accelerating the pace of transformation in our industry, and setting the stage for some really inspiring conversations at CLOC.

Here are the top three takeaways that stood out from the conference:

1. Embracing the adoption reality

Legal tech is all about adoption — or so it should be. The conference confirmed what many of us have been suspecting for some time: Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) systems have an adoption problem. As Jenn McCarron, Director of Legal Operations and Technology at Netflix, boldly articulated in the opening session, it’s time for legal ops teams to develop the courage to say no. We need to shift our focus away from what’s not working towards what really needs attention to achieve our goals.

CLM implementation is challenging, and if the tool isn’t finding traction with its intended users, we need to question its efficacy. The reluctance to embrace a system could very well be the clearest indication that it might not be the right tool. Let’s take McCarron’s words as an invitation to reassess our focus and adopt tools that genuinely add value to our processes.

2. The AI avalanche

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was undoubtedly the buzzword of CLOC 2023. It was impossible to escape the discussions around AI, with vendors incorporating it into their messaging and updating their booth graphics to highlight its presence in their products. Packed sessions like “Three Practical and Impactful AI Use Cases: Exploring the Implications of Generative AI and ChatGPT” had people crowding around the walls and even sitting on the floor to tune in.

But what’s driving this fascination with generative AI? The answer is simplicity. The appeal of these systems lies in their accessibility – lawyers can easily experiment with the technology, get a sense of its potential, and feel inspired by its capabilities.

The key takeaway here is straightforward: Simplify technology, make it easy and intuitive to use, and adoption will follow.

3. The rise of intake and triage systems

Legal intake systems may seem like the logical starting point for legal operations. Indeed, many enterprise corporates in the US have been using intake systems built on traditional ITSM software for years. However, at CLOC 2023, there was a notable demand for systems tailored specifically for legal needs.

Terms such as legal and compliance “front door” and “Intake and triage” were trending topics throughout the conference. The growing interest in these systems is not surprising, given that Gartner predicted this development. Those currently without an intake and triage system are starting to identify it as a crucial area of focus for their roadmap.

Gartner: Legal intake is a priority
Source: Gartner’s 2023 Market Guide for Corporate Legal Operations Technology.

Wrapping up

CLOC continues to hold its place as the event of the year for the legal ops community. It’s not just the cutting-edge insights that make it a must-attend event; it’s also the authenticity, warmth, and supportive nature of the community that sets CLOC apart. We’re navigating a complex future filled with many challenges, but we’re navigating it together.

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