How to build your best legal stack and avoid the common pitfalls
By Emma Flack from Access Legal
Any law firm or legal department must build a solid legal tech stack to ensure successful and affordable operations. You must understand which components your firm requires to build a custom tech stack for the present and future that puts you one step ahead of the competition and helps your firm operate as effectively as possible if you want to realise the potential of legal technology fully. This blog explores the options available and how to avoid common pitfalls.
What is a legal tech stack?
A technology stack, often referred to as ‘legal tech stack’, is a comprehensive set of integrated legal software applications, tools and systems specifically designed to optimise the workflow of legal professionals and law firms. It encompasses various aspects of the legal practice, including case and document management, legal research, contract management, e-discovery, billing, communication and collaboration tools. By leveraging technology, legal professionals can streamline their workflows, reduce manual tasks, minimize errors, ensure compliance, and increase productivity, enabling them to focus on providing higher-quality legal services to their clients.
Essential components of a strong legal tech stack for a law firm
The legal tech stack aims to provide solutions to the following aspects of a law firm;
- Case and matter management
- Document storage
- Legal research
- Communication & collaboration
- Contract management
- Billing and Time-tracking
- Compliance and risk management
- MI and reporting
- HR and employee engagement
- Onboarding & identity verification
Legal technology has advanced significantly in recent years, especially with the introduction of AI, machine learning and data analytics. As a result, adopting a reliable and robust technology stack has become essential for law firms to remain competitive and deliver top-quality legal services to their clients.
Considerations when building your ultimate tech stack
To avoid wasting time or resources on pointless components or solutions, a clear purpose and aim is critical before constructing your legal tech stack. The following are some typical elements you should think about:
How will new technology interact with technology already in use?
You may already use a document management system or CRM platform and want to continue using it. Before investing in a new platform, finding out how it can integrate with your existing tools is important.
How does the platform keep information secure?
The last thing you want is a data breach at your firm. Ensure all client data, documents, and sensitive information are secure within all platforms you use and adapt. Understand how the system keeps information safe and train employees regularly on data security best practices.
What are other legal professionals using?
Don’t forget to leverage reviews during your software search. Find out what other legal professionals are using, their challenges, and what solutions best fit their needs and why. When doing so, make sure you focus on reviews from firms that are similar to yours in terms of size for the best results.
This is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other considerations; for example, you may want to consider whether you’ll want to integrate. Your legal IT stack’s components should work together through native integrations or third-party platforms. The term “all-in-one” refers to technology that can handle many business needs in the legal sector, such as case management, client management, document management, calendaring, and billing.
The fewer the solutions, the better results
As we look to the future of your legal tech stack, the next phase will be all about automation. How can we connect disparate systems so that they work together and streamline the entire legal workflow from start to finish? Improving legal operations, efficiency, and effectiveness and building the right legal tech stack is a journey; the complexity of the end-to-end process will take time as the impact is firm-wide, but it’s important to get it right first time.