According to recent surveys, business and legal professionals are overworked more than ever before as organizations struggle with the pandemic's consequences and adapt to the ever-changing regulatory landscape.
Indeed, the workload in the legal field has never been so overwhelming. In an attempt to adapt to new business realities, companies have been pivoting their supply chains and paying increased attention to their legal entities to ensure their good standing. At the same time, transactions have been top of mind for most C-suite members, which requires a constant focus on governance and compliance.
Given the current demands and high rate of burnout among corporate paralegals, law firms and in-house legal counsel need new ways to address existing challenges and ensure high quality of legal services. Keep reading to learn more about sources of frustration for legal teams and how entity management software can be a game-changer for improving productivity, collaboration and workflow.
What Are the Primary Sources of Frustration for Legal Teams
According to the survey by the Canadian Legal Innovation Forum (CANLIF), most legal professionals are frustrated by:
- Lack of innovation.
- Increased workload.
Looking at these results, it is obvious they are closely interrelated. Lack of innovation causes inefficiencies. When corporate paralegals have to deal with inefficient practices, they try to compensate them by overworking, which leads to stress, anxiety and finally, to a burnout.
Let's have a closer look at the causes of these inefficiencies and try to find how to address them.
What Causes Inefficiencies In Legal Work
With the constantly changing regulatory environment, legal entity management becomes an area of focus for most law firms and in-house legal teams. Meanwhile, entity management is known as one the most time-consuming and laborious activities.
Legal work related to entity management includes many routine aspects, such as keeping legal records, updating corporate data, making filings, coping with technology, addressing security issues, and ensuring collaboration among team members and third parties, just to name a few. When these activities are not optimized for efficiency, corporate paralegals have to struggle to keep up with the workflow.
Repetitive Manual Work
According to the EY research, almost 90% of legal professionals have reported spending too much time on repetitive work and entity management procedures. Meanwhile, most of these repetitive tasks are related to using old practices and procedures for entity management, which do not allow coping with the increased workload, scaling up and collaboration.
The legal profession is known as an industry demonstrating the most historical resistance to technological change. Unfortunately, this resistance takes a particularly heavy toll on legal professionals involved in legal entry management.
Many corporate paralegals have confessed that they have been reluctant to release their grip on their spreadsheets even when offered the most advanced entity management software. They continue to use manual processes, spreadsheets and paper minute books, which lead to human error, lack of collaboration, inconsistencies, multiple copies of the same data, and, as a result, to overworking and burnout.
Today, law firms and in-house counsel manage hundreds and thousands of legal entities. Still, the reports have shown that 76% of legal teams have less than five team members assigned with entity management tasks.
At the same time, law firms are under heavy pressure to reduce costs. Moreover, legal entity management is often viewed as an area where savings can be implemented. When the attempts to reduce costs are combined with increased workload and ineffective practices, corporate paralegals are subjected to multiple pressures when fulfilling their daily tasks.
Struggling with Technology
Several studies have demonstrated that legal counsel struggle with acceptance and use of technology. In many cases, this situation is caused by using inappropriate solutions and a half-hearted approach to working with entity management software.
In a survey by Gartner, only 9% of respondents felt confident about their ability to create a viable plan for the digitization of their legal work. At the same time, the vast majority of legal professionals still struggle with the technology and keep loyal to old ineffective solutions.
How Entity Management Software Can Streamline Processes
If you feel that the above well relates to your legal work, it is time to think of revising old approaches to entity management and leveraging the technology to address the new challenges.
An advanced cloud-based entity management software, like Athennian, can go a great mile in cutting the time on routine tasks, improving the quality of legal work and helping corporate paralegals have more billable hours.
Automation of Routine Tasks
When corporate paralegals migrate from spreadsheets to cloud-based systems, they are relieved from a great number of repetitive, time-consuming and tedious tasks, like keeping track of disorganized data, aligning databases among themselves, correcting inconsistencies, or creating templates.
An effective entity management software can assist legal professionals in meeting important deadlines for annual filings, providing helpful reminders. It can populate certificates, registers, custom documents and corporate summaries within seconds, allowing legal teams to focus on more productive and important tasks.
Virtual Minute Book
The benefits of keeping corporate records in cloud storage cannot be overestimated. Shifting from a physical minute book to a digital one saves an immense amount of time for record-keeping and updating information, which happens within seconds when performed on the cloud.
With virtual minute books, corporate paralegals have all their data always secure, organized, and accessible. Thanks to eSignature, important corporate documents no longer have to sit on someone's desk or wait for a courier before being signed.
With entity management software, all corporate records are stored in a secure place instead of being scattered among corporate servers, laptops and email boxes. Centralization of data ensures that all corporate information is up-to-date and that all team members have the same information on file.
When assisted by an effective entity management software, corporate paralegals no longer have to exchange files by email or search for information and send it to lawyers. All team members and authorized third-party users have all corporate data at their fingertips, immediately accessible with restricted access rights.
Legal work can be tedious when old methods are used to meet new challenges. Just throwing more people or more hours at legal entity management only leads to more inconsistencies, human error, management issues and burnout and doesn't help scale up and ensure high quality of legal service.
On the other hand, a modern cloud-based entity management software like Athennian can help law firms take their practices to a whole new level. If you are interested in learning more about leveraging technology for your legal work, reach out to one of our digital entity management experts today.