Legal teams face ever-increasing volumes of legal work and struggle to achieve goals without enough in-house resources to complete the evolving complex demands of the legal function. General Counsel is now acting as an internal business advisor and strategist, leaving paralegals and legal assistants to lead the charge in a legal operations role that improves productivity and legal services quality, leverages technology to gain new insights, drives efficiency through automation, increases security, and decreases risk. When it seems like there isn’t enough time in the day to reach your organization’s goals, the path to better document management can be found with the right legal filing system.
The Plight of the Paralegal
A manual approach to in-house legal document management typically includes spreadsheets, stacks of paper, filing cabinets, shared drives, and outdated legal management systems. This antiquated strategy leads to costly human errors that can result in compliance issues and fines, damaged or misplaced documents, increased security risk for files containing sensitive information, lack of collaboration and storing functionality, and long contract assembly-to-execution rates.
Manual document management simply takes up too much of a legal team’s day, leading to undue stress, too much time being spent on routine tasks that don’t add value, and increased spend on external counsel. Paralegals are left in a position where they are unable to stay effectively involved in all phases of contract lifecycle management or guide the legal department on the best way to meet critical objectives.
The Flight of the Paralegal
Paralegals and legal assistants have an unprecedented opportunity to take legal contract administration from routine daily tasks to a value-centric process their organizations will appreciate. The first step is to assess how documents are currently being managed within the legal department and throughout the entire organization to reveal the specific challenges that need to be solved.
Common challenges include missed key dates and renewals, lack of document version control, cumbersome contract drafting, negotiation bottlenecks, too many clause revisions, contract inconsistencies, process inefficiencies, and more.
From Manual Legal Filing to a Legal Filing System
A legal filing system provides centralized technology that includes legal document management software and document assembly software that can help legal departments manage all phases of the corporate contract lifecycle from pre-execution to post-execution steps, including:
- contract requests
- document assembly
- document storage
- contract tracking
- and more
When your corporate legal department is ready to invest in a legal filing system, consider the solution’s ease-of-use when uploading legacy contracts to the system, employee role-based access options, implementation set-up time, depth and breadth of features, and the best strategy to get buy-in from management.
The result of successful legal filing system implementation will be improved document security, an easy-to-access central repository, document version control, audit trails for improved compliance, workflow automation for process efficiencies, alerts, reporting, and user-friendly dashboards for transparency, and fast ROI.
Legal filing system software can help legal departments improve legal spend against budget, decrease contract cycle times, and increase the volume and accuracy of contracts managed. The right legal filing system will help the legal department meet objectives of identifying, monitoring, and mitigating risk, while increasing the actual value, and the perceived value of the legal function.
CobbleStone’s Legal Filing System
CobbleStone has been providing industry-leading legal document filing systems since 1995 and is considered a staple of effective contract management among legal professionals. CobbleStone’s legal contract management software is a robust, user-friendly solution that benefits thousands of users in large and small organizations throughout the public and private sector. See CobbleStone in action with a free demo of Contract Insight®!