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Key tips and legal tech trends for the in-house lawyer of 2024

The dose of innovation that has been expected for years to bring in-house lawyers up to the level of other departments in the company seems to have taken off like a rocket in recent months. The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) has marked a before-and-after in the legal sector, driving the digitisation of legal advice like never before. In this blog post, we look at the next key legal trends in the coming year and what in-house lawyers should be doing about them. We will also analyse the best tips for navigating these trends and staying on track. Let's get started!

In-house lawyers in suits walk outside their office. Bigle Legal article on legal tech trends.

What are the key legal trends for 2024?

  1. Surfing the digital tsunami
  2. AI: two letters and no fear
  3. The focus on legal cybersecurity
  4. Stepping up, side by side with business

Emerging legal trends for in-house lawyers

Surfing the digital tsunami

Digitisation is no longer an option, it is an unstoppable force that is redefining the practice of law. For in-house lawyers, surfing this inexorable wave is more than just adopting technology; it is a cultural and operational transformation.

The automation of legal operations, which in turn leads to the reduction and automation of all kinds of routine tasks, frees up time for lawyers to focus on the strategic and creative aspects of their work. The key is not only to embrace digital technologies but also to cultivate an agile mindset that allows lawyers to adapt and thrive in this new legal environment.

AI: two letters and no fear

Artificial intelligence (AI) is often perceived as an intimidating force, but for in-house lawyers, it is a powerful ally. It is, in large part, a catalyst that has kick-started digitalisation in the legal sector. Integrating AI and other technologies into legal practice means recognising their transformative potential, which is already evident in a wide range of studies and use cases.

Contract drafting and review, traditionally a time-consuming task, becomes efficient and accurate thanks to legal-specific AI. Not only that, but many other tasks are affected by AI, leaving no one indifferent. In-house lawyers who embrace these two letters will not only improve the efficiency of their work but also open up new frontiers for more strategic decision-making.

The focus on legal cybersecurity

In a hyper-connected world, with the growing abundance of technology and new processes associated with it, legal cybersecurity is becoming a critical priority. In-house lawyers must lead the defence against digital threats that could compromise confidential corporate and client information. This involves understanding and applying advanced security practices, from implementing preventative measures to effectively responding to potential data breaches.

A proactive approach to cybersecurity not only protects the integrity of information but also builds client and business partner confidence in the legal team's ability to protect critical assets.

Stepping up, side by side with business

It is well known that the role of in-house lawyers goes beyond providing legal advice. The advent of technology enables them to become even more closely aligned with business objectives and challenges. And why? Because it gives them more time (an increasingly precious commodity) to understand the business, engage in strategic discussions and actively contribute to decision-making - essential elements of being a valuable partner to the business. 

In-house lawyers who take this step forward will not only be more effective in their work but will also become key drivers of business success, making a difference beyond purely legal issues.

Silhouette of in-house lawyer consulting his mobile phone. Bigle Legal article on legal trends.

OK, so we've looked at the big trends that will emerge in the coming months, but what about tips on how to stay ahead of them? In-house lawyers have a sea of opportunity ahead of them, but they need to get their bearings to stay ahead.

Key tips for the in-house lawyer: how to stay ahead in a competitive environment

Efficient resource management

Efficient resource management is a constant challenge for in-house counsel. The pressure to do more with less requires innovative strategies and the implementation of technologies that encourage the automation of manual and unscalable processes, not only to streamline processes but also to enable smarter allocation of human resources.

Creating efficient workflows and adopting collaborative tools facilitates more effective management of legal resources. In addition, regularly assessing workloads and identifying areas for improvement helps to optimise operational efficiency and boost team productivity.

Adapting to change

The ability to adapt to change is crucial in a legal environment that will undergo remarkable change in the coming months. In-house lawyers need to be prepared to face new challenges and adapt to changes in the legal landscape that will be driven by technology. Among other trends, keeping up to date with AI regulation is a necessary step, not just an interesting one.

Developing an organisational culture that encourages flexibility and continuous learning is essential. Creating multidisciplinary teams that approach problems from different perspectives and include more technological profiles will facilitate this adaptation. In turn, fostering a growth mindset and openness to new ideas will not only strengthen the adaptability of the legal team but also stimulate innovation and ultimately improve the quality of work.

Keeping up to date: the need for continuous learning

Continuing education is the backbone of professional development in an increasingly technological world, and in-house lawyers are no exception. Keeping abreast of the latest legal and technological trends is fundamental to providing effective advice. Attending refresher courses, seminars and conferences provides an in-depth insight into changes in legislation and legal best practice.

You should know that at Bigle Legal we have an extensive resources section and we are periodically organising technology events, so follow us on LinkedIn to keep up to date with developments in the legal sector.

Lawyers' innate ability to learn is a valuable asset in an increasingly changing and dynamic legal environment. The ability to absorb information, adapt to new circumstances and apply new knowledge to complex situations makes in-house lawyers highly versatile and resilient professionals. An innate trait that will become an essential pillar in the coming months, in the context of the legal and technological changes that have already arrived in the legal sector.

So much for today's post! We hope you have found inspiration and ideas for the future of your legal department, and we hope to see you here again soon!