Is your legal team working together or just “making it work”? 

Online technology has provided a powerful set of tools for law firms and legal departments. However, too often those tools don’t work together and that can make those tools less efficient. A new report from Thomson Reuters titled “Legal software should work together: how digital integration can optimise the practice of law” examines how the technologies that legal professionals use today can hinder collaboration — and how truly integrated systems can boost it.

The connection 

Lawyers work with a shared set of data that can include pleadings, case law, research, precedents, and other documents. They have a variety of systems that use this data in different ways. These can include filing rules, business processes, workflows, and court proceedings.

When two technologies are not integrated, it slows down the flow of work. This is true particularly when workflow depends on efficient cross-team collaboration with colleagues and clients. 

There are ways of ‘making it work’ that can overcome incompatibilities within digital legal processes. Sometimes solutions can be can patched together to create a ‘fix’ These are unlikely to prove a seamless solution that enables true partnering of systems. The approach taken by some is to add more and more tools creating additional fixes, resulting in a solution that is a compromise and does not result in seamless collaboration.

What is needed is true integration. These days, what more commonly exists could be called ‘superficial’ integration.

Truly integrated systems 

Superficial integration is more common because digital technology mostly comprises ‘point solutions’ that address a single type of use, such as e-disclosure or document revision. As digital technology becomes more essential to our lives and our professions, we need those points to connect.

Whilst it is true that connections between point solutions have been built these connections, in general, don’t allow their users to achieve much more than a modest reduction in time spent moving from one application to another. In practice, lawyers spend too much time adding attachments to emails or dropping files into virtual boxes. What true integration promises, and what it has begun to deliver, is deliverance from these kinds of necessary but unprofitable chores.

True integration builds more than a single bridge between two separate ‘point solutions’. It creates several interconnections that allow numerous technologies to communicate. This communication, in turn, means that legal professionals and their clients can truly collaborate.

An example is HighQ, a cloud-based platform that allows many different legaltech solutions to truly work together. On the tech side, HighQ brings together features like file sharing, team collaboration, document management, and client engagement. From a user perspective, HighQ provides lawyers, colleagues, and clients a secure environment to share information and work together. In terms of productivity, HighQ saves valuable time previously spent moving documents and data from place-to-place or system to system.

Simpler systems and smoother workflows 

In other words, one of the essential virtues of true integration is simplification. The HighQ platform simplifies many of the processes involved with legal practice. Using HighQ’s workflow automation, document automation, and its other capabilities, lawyers can elevate the delivery of their legal services and build a more productive and profitable relationship with clients.

Improve productivity with seamless integration

Work with colleagues, collaborate on projects, and engage with clients — all on HighQ