ACC and DISCO report shows legal professionals “falling behind” in implementing transformation initiatives

A majority of corporate legal professionals say they are falling behind when it comes to implementing crucial transformation initiatives, according to a survey report released today (21 September) by The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and listed eDiscovery vendor DISCO (NYSE:LAW).

The “2022 Trends in Legal Transformation and Technology Report captures analysis from over 270 law department leaders and legal operations professionals. Legal departments that have prioritised adopting technologies for improving internal investigations say they are realising the benefits, but 70% of legal departments and in-house teams say they have not prioritised adopting technologies for improving key automation and data management processes.

Interestingly and worryingly, budgeting concerns have become one of the main barriers to transformation. Among departments that have prioritised transformational change, 35% indicate that rising costs and lack of budget is a primary concern, with the number quickly rising.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • Information governance and data management are top transformation initiatives departments are investing in today – 65% of departments reported these as the most important, followed by 47% of respondents indicating legal project management initiatives as an investment priority.
  • Departments are split on tech-related decision making – 45% of legal professionals feel their departments are not sufficiently prioritising technology-rated decisions.
  • Talent and technology interoperability are keys to success – 76% percent said that getting the right mix of talent is the most important area for departments to serve the growing demands of the business.

“Over the last couple years, legal departments have had to deal with numerous pressures impacting both the scope of work and how they are meeting these additional demands,” said Blake Garcia, senior director of business intelligence at ACC. “It’s no secret that technology is playing a key role for many professionals, and this report takes that idea a step further by providing specific insights into how tech is being leveraged and deployed, its keys to success, and which specific adoption challenges remain. I appreciate our collaboration with DISCO to develop this useful report so law departments can benchmark their technology approach and identify an appropriate path forward.”

“The legal industry continues to make progress towards embracing change, and the study shows that while many agree on the key imperatives, there continue to be discrepancies when it comes to priorities, budgeting, and internal decision-making,” added Andrew Shimek, chief revenue officer at DISCO. “This research points directly to what we’ve been hearing from our Fortune 100 clients, namely that legal departments are faced with increased pressure to reduce costs and generate greater operational efficiencies. The data makes clear that by prioritizing transformation investments and initiatives, it can have a tangible impact on teams and their ability to drive better legal outcomes.”

To learn more or to download the full report, click here.