We’ve met with over 400 legal teams over the last 3 years to discuss in-house legal operations. Many teams we meet often use Sharepoint, or are told to consider Sharepoint on the direction of their IT department.
We always think this is a little odd. We think legal should be provided an operations system like every other business unit in the organisation. All other business units use a system or systems to help with their day to day work and to provide better outcomes for their company:
- IT has Jira, Confluence and GitHub
- HR has Workday, Sage and Bamboo
- Finance has Xero, SAP and Oracle
- Sales has Salesforce and Zoho
- Marketing has Hubspot and Marketo
- Right now, legal departments are often given Sharepoint for their operational needs by their IT departments. This generally doesn’t meet the needs of the legal team, as Sharepoint is not designed to manage matters. Sharepoint doesn’t collect matter information, nor does it provide transparency or reporting dashboards.
The business outcomes are clear for a legal operations system like Dazychain:
Faster turnaround times for legal work
Legal is often perceived to be a roadblock in the organisation. Using Dazychain, the business receives legal advice faster because a legal operations system makes the legal team more efficient and organised.
Better quality legal advice
The business will receive higher quality advice. A legal operations system ensures the right lawyer is working on a matter or that senior lawyers are not busy with low value/low importance work.
Reduced law firm spend
The easiest way to put a dollar value ROI on a legal operations system like Dazychain is to demonstrate the day-today financial management of external law firms. Increasing transparency of the budget estimates, budget actuals and invoice amounts can reduce spend by up to 15%. Legal tech can also help free up time for the internal lawyers to focus on overflow matters that would have previously been sent to a law firm.
Analytics help make better business decisions
Legal operations systems provide critical data to support business decisions. An example of this is using Dazychain data to determine what type of matters are being worked on by external law firms and their associated cost. The General Counsel can then hire an internal lawyer with that specialty, for half the cost. Further, GCs can identify law firms who overcharge by creating transparency between quoted estimates and actuals. When the data is clear, business decisions become much simpler.
Manage risk and keeping clean records
Documents or emails are frequently misplaced or are difficult to find. Lost documents or lost communications create poor consequences for legal affairs, for example, when a lawyer leaves the team. A legal operations system provides a central register and repository for all matter information that is comprehensive and simple to search on.
The question that inevitably comes up from IT is why can’t Sharepoint provide this level of support for the legal process? Sharepoint provides document management and can be partially configured to manage other processes too.
The problem with Sharepoint is that it is not a legal operations system. Sharepoint was not designed specifically for corporate legal departments and as a result, fails to help lawyers where they really need it. All of the legal teams we have seen go down the Sharepoint path end up with a system that is used for document management only, with ongoing, unaddressed problems.
The Dazychain team has prioritised and perfected the functions that in-house lawyers will need. At the heart of the system is simple and comprehensive matter management, with document and email management working beside the Microsoft Office Suite.
Sharepoint does document management already?
While Microsoft Sharepoint provides document management, they do it with a “wide net”. Sharepoint is purpose built to be generic and as such is often clunky for legal teams that require intricacy. Many business units look for purpose built tools like Dazychain to fill the gaps the generic tools leave. Dazychain provides legal the same type of functionality increase as Salesforce does for the Sales department, or JIRA for IT or Xero for finance.
Dazychain’s central repository – everything related to a matter, all in one place
Lawyers love that Dazychain provides a central repository and single source of truth for all their matter information. This mitigates risk and ensures you can always find matters, documents, emails and matter details when using our global search. Our system provides a clean interface for everything related to a matter.
Data for better business decisions
This one might be the most important point. Reporting and analytics in Dazychain provide unprecedented insight into the legal function. Expertise, number of matters, external costs, geographic workload, workload by business unit, or anything the company wants more insight into can be customised and reported on within Dazychain.
The Dazychain team supports you during the process
Our implementation, configuration and ongoing support is world class. We work with lawyers day in, day out and have trained and guided legal teams around the world for many years. A Dazychain licence is not just for a software tool. Legal teams buy our wealth of experience working with teams that were facing the same challenges. Our knowledge of legal workflows and reporting is unsurpassed.
Legal is the last business unit in an organization to receive this type of operations system, but the business case is clear. It is a new market and Dazychain is the current market leader globally.
We look forward to helping you service your businesses legal needs soon.
Chief Operating Officer
Head of Sales