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Legal Geek 2023: Four Key Legal Operations Takeaways and Insights

23 October 2023

DWF’s Legal Technology Consultant Bhavya Rawal details her observations from Legal Geek 2023 in London.  

This year's iteration of Legal Geek was their busiest, buzziest iteration yet. Despite significant travel disruptions attendees poured into the conference venue in large numbers on both days of the conference. The combined DWF Legal Operations and Commercial Services team arrived by plane, strong human legs, tube, bus and in one instance (almost) by chartered Legal Geek boat.

Legal Geek remains one of the few conferences that brings legal technologists, legal operations experts, technology vendors and legal counsels all under one roof year on year. This year was no different, we spent two busy days jam packed with presentations and workshops meeting new people, exchanging ideas and handing out candy!

DWF had a Rubine Red booth with a candy shop and a buzzwire game that attracted a lot of attention and interesting conversations. Here are four key ideas from the event if you were not able to make it this year.

Key idea 1: Legal technology vendors are still creating a dizzying array of products

More than one GC spoke to us about how overwhelmed they feel when they come to events like Legal Geek and see the vast array of products on display. They do not know how to match their specific problems within their teams against the right solution, let alone get a head start on procuring, implementing and then adopting the said solution for their team. But looking at the options and talking to people is a good first step. Our Legal Operations, Tech and Consulting team at DWF can help you guide through the process of selecting and implementing legal technology. We horizon scan the market for the best new technologies all year round, not just at Legal Geek!

Key idea 2: People then process and then technology, in that order

This has become a cliché but it remains true. Legal operations problems are not going to get solved by buying an expensive piece of technology and throwing it at the problem. To solve problems, vendors and technologists must listen and listen carefully to their clients to truly understand their pain points. Look at the current processes to identify gaps, work with their clients to construct future state process maps and only then turn their attention to technology. Sometimes this may mean using your current technology stack more efficiently and other times it may mean bringing in a new product to fill in the gap but acting without understanding will always land you with overblown, derailed implementation.

Key idea 3: AI, AI, AI but finally with practical usecases

AI is still dominating the legal technology and operations conversations but finally we are seeing some more nuanced discussions around what AI can achieve for Legal today rather than in the future. Vendors recognise that many general AI applications are a black box wherein it is difficult for the end user to verify AI generated results and in some instance even repeat the results. For AI to turbocharge legal tech solutions the technology must be implemented in a more controlled way and that is fine.

Key idea 4: This is hard work, but worth it

Overall, there was consensus that legal operations, change management, technology selection and adoption - all of it is hard and made harder still by difficult world events. But Legal Geek does a great job of bringing people from different domains under one roof to ponder some of these problems and solutions together, to exchange notes and spark new ideas. This is hard work but truly worth it.

To learn more about how the Legal Operations team at DWF can help you on your legal operations and tech implementation journeys, contact our team below.