Legal services are moving faster and faster as the pandemic accelerates the procurement process

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It’s never a good idea to say “putting death and human misery aside”, but by putting death and human misery aside, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused far-reaching positive changes in business and daily life that we will grapple with for years. Yes, even after typing it, it sounds awful, but you get the idea. Courts have redesigned tedious court appearances, companies have leaned into video conferencing instead of unnecessary travel, lawyers have started imagining a hybrid work-from-home model… the little tweaks we all made to this tragedy still resonate .

Many of these changes are due to the adoption of technology, but it is too simple to say that “people finally started using technology”. The workflow and cultural changes brought about by technology carry much more revolutionary potential.

With access to over a billion contracts, the gigantic digital contracts platform Ironclad can unravel contract transformation throughout the pandemic. And that’s the case ! With its new Digital Contracts Data Trends Report!

“Every business decision requires a contract, and because of that, contract data can give companies a holistic view of not only their legal obligations, but also their operations,” said Jason Boehmig, CEO and co-founder of Battleship. “It allows businesses to create a layer of data that reveals insights into how teams are performing, how quickly deals are closed, how much business is spending, and more.”

Of a ton of ideas, perhaps the most important is that legal services are changing faster than ever.

Decreased cycle times Fig1A + Fig1B

This is the average time it takes for companies to complete a contract and it has fallen from 16 days to 6 days. TEN DAYS!

For one thing, Ironclad’s data mirrors the contracts in their system, so there’s a self-selection issue. Ironclad customers have the technology and the courage to speed things up… not shockingly so. But it takes two to tango, and this acceleration suggests that there are faster-moving counterparts as well.

How are things going so much faster? The pandemic has made people comfortable with faster digital deals, which certainly helps, but the explosion of digital collaboration seems to be the most important factor.

Augment Editor for Drfating and EditingFig4

Editing tools like these aren’t just useful, they’re safer. Negotiating through a multitude of emails is not as seamless as a system that keeps everything in one place.

And it’s not just about internal cooperation – people also bring quid pro quos into direct collaboration.

Growing Editor for Trades and Trades Fig5

There’s a lot more to this report – including the unsurprisingly but terrifically amusing massive spike in “force majeure” searches every time a new variant is released – and you should check it all out. But I keep coming back to this massive acceleration of the process. This is the kind of progress that is revolutionizing the way the legal process is viewed and accepted within a business. A faster and more efficient process earns the trust of company employees and it trickles down.


Head shotJoe Patrice is an editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email tips, questions or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe is also Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.

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