The role of the General Counsel (GC) has changed dramatically in recent years. No longer simply a provider of legal advice, the General Counsel is expected to be a business leader and strategic partner. They must use technology and data to help their organizations make informed decisions and mitigate risk.
The historical role of the GC in a law department in days past was primarily responsible for providing legal advice to the business, especially the leadership team. Additionally, they led the handling of tasks like drafting and negotiating contracts, compliance with applicable regulations, and the company’s governing structure and supporting documentation.
As businesses grew in both size and complexity, the GC role took on more responsibility for not just day-to-day legal work, but also more higher-level and strategic work pertaining to the business’s long-term strategy. This entailed the GC becoming closer to the leadership of the business and eventually becoming a member of the leadership team. However, to gain that seat at the leadership level demanded that the GC not just have and apply legal acumen, but business experience and expertise as well.
Now, the GC role is one that is primarily a strategic role focused on blending legal and business expertise to deliver value and help guide the business forward through increasing dynamic and uncertain environments. Additionally, technology has enabled the wider use of data and analytics to help inform decision-making. The GC now is expected to be fluent in the language of business, which is data, and be able to use that fluency to collaborate with other business leaders on a myriad of activities.
The changes experienced at the GC level are a microcosm of the changes now being experienced by the legal industry as a whole. For many years, the legal industry relied on the past as a guide to its future. This is no longer the case, especially for general counsel. For the legal industry, technology has outpaced the ability of the industry to adapt, largely due to its resistance to change.
The recent emergence of generative artificial intelligence, however, turbocharged the rate of technological change, and its impacts on the practice of law likely came as a shock to a system steeped in history and tradition. A recently published book, The Handbook of Legal Tech, edited by yours truly, is here to help those general counsels looking for help navigating the turbulent waters that they find themselves in thanks to technological advancement.
The world of legal tech is no longer a world that only some need to be aware of. All lawyers, regardless of role or background, need to be aware of technology and its impacts on the legal industry. For me, personally, learning about technologies to help me better manage contracts, create better contract review workflows, and facilitate faster drafting and reviewing of contracts has been invaluable. The value of learning about this type of technology has shown its value not just by allowing me to be more productive with my time, but also to use data and analytics to drive better decision-making and counseling for those businesses I have worked for as a member of the legal team and/or leading their legal team.
The Handbook of Legal Tech: Your Comprehensive Guide to the Legal Tech Landscape
Amidst the rapid changes reshaping the legal landscape has emerged an invaluable resource to help General Counsels and legal professionals navigate this new terrain: "The Handbook of Legal Tech," a book I had the privilege of editing.
This comprehensive guide is designed here to help you harness the power of technology in the legal field. Whether you're a seasoned General Counsel or a lawyer at any stage of your career, this book offers indispensable insights into the dynamic world of legal tech.
Let's delve into what it has to offer:
- Identify the right technologies for their organization. The Handbook takes you on an engaging and personal journey into the world of legal tech. Its approach is a systematic one examining key sectors of the space as told by respective leaders in each area. The goal is for General Counsel and other legal professionals to learn the foundational elements of distinct types of legal technologies that can be used to aid in resolving specific problems.
- Be well-positioned to evaluate the potential benefits and risks of new technologies. The goal is for the reader to be left with the knowledge to make informed decisions about how different legal technologies can help you and, importantly, be able to evaluate the benefits and limitations of each type and the vendors offering them.
- Leave with a more nuanced understanding of the legal tech world. Going beyond just discussing types of legal tech, the Handbook offers a look at what the present and the future of legal tech will look like. It is aimed at helping you be prepared and adapt to the legal world of today and that of tomorrow.
- Guide you to adopting the right technology for your organization. The Handbook’s chapters are written by leaders in the field. The book provides the reader with an overview of different legal tech types, but much more. The book is filled with anecdotes and practical advice learned from years on the front lines regarding how to best integrate legal tech seamlessly into your organization, minimizing disruption, while maximizing benefits. You will be left better equipped to create a roadmap to a longer-lasting and successful technology adoption of technology.
"The Handbook of Legal Tech" is more than just a book; it's a valuable companion for those seeking to leverage technology to transform the legal function. By delving into its pages, you'll learn how to harness technology's power to enhance efficiency, boost effectiveness, and elevate your decision-making capabilities.
The legal profession is at a crossroads, and technology is shaping its future. "The Handbook" is your guide to embracing this change, ensuring that you not only keep pace with the evolution of the legal tech sector but also be a part of driving its evolution. Whether you're a GC striving to lead your organization through these transformative times or a legal professional eager to stay ahead of the curve, this book is your key to unlocking the potential of legal tech.
Take advantage of this invaluable resource—grab your copy of "The Handbook of Legal Tech" and embark on a journey toward a technologically empowered legal future.