Workflow Automation Trending with US Law Firms

We share our insights from two days spent at the Legaltech Hub and EY Automation Conference in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Five years ago you wouldn’t see no-code or workflow automation on an agenda, let alone have an entire conference dedicated to the topics. Things have changed, and this change was palpable at the inaugural Automation Conference hosted by Legaltech Hub and EY in New Jersey. The growing community of legal innovation, knowledge management and IT professionals came together to talk about workflow automation, document automation and the emerging role of Generative AI.

Here, we recap some of the key learnings coming out of the conference.

Workflow Automation Takes Center Stage

The first day of the conference emphasized the increasing relevance of workflow automation in the legal industry. Participants acknowledged that workflow automation, coupled with the advancements in Generative AI, has become one of the most widely used categories in legal operations. Experienced users showcased their expertise and shared insights on how to maximize the potential of automation tools. The discussions revolved around the myriad applications of workflow automation, spanning from intake systems and intake-focused use cases to decision-focused scenarios that support legal reasoning. The movement in the Generative AI space only amplifies the potential of workflow automation, opening doors to even more use cases at firms.

Focus on Business Models and Use Cases

The market has evolved from thinking about the technology, to building business cases and processes to leverage that technology across the firm. The very informed discussions centered on how to create digital legal products, building business cases, and how to add value to a legal service portfolio offering with workflow automation. The discussions touched on how this impacts pricing, billing, how to run projects, and how to select vendors.

Adoption remains the biggest challenge

Throughout the conference, it became evident that while technology continues to advance and procurement and implementation processes improve, adoption and ownership remain significant challenges. Automating workflows and creating document templates still happens in central functions and dedicated teams, limiting its widespread use across various roles within firms. The concept of democratizing automation was a central discussion point, acknowledging the need to expand access and usage beyond a select few. Although progress has been made, it was agreed that there was still more the industry could do to achieve this goal.

Read more about how to plan for a smooth adoption of legal tech here.

In conclusion

The conference shed light on the ever-increasing importance of workflow automation, document automation, and the potential impact of Generative AI. Discussions around business models, use cases, and the challenges of adoption underscored the need to bridge the gap between automation capabilities and implementation.

As the legal industry continues to navigate this journey, embracing automation and democratizing its use will be key to unlocking the full potential of these powerful technologies. We look forward to seeing how the landscape has changed this time next year! Kudos to the Legaltech Hub team for hosting a carefully-curated event.

Pictured here: Michael Grupp, CEO & Co-founder, BRYTER | Nikki Shaver, CEO & Co-founder of Legaltech Hub | Chris Ford, Co-founder of Legaltech Hub

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