How to talk to your GC about investing in legal operations technology

David Chai | February 4, 2019 | Articles

Some legal professionals may feel apprehensive when approaching their GC or Chief Legal Officer (CLO) with requests to fund new legal operations technology. But, with a solid case in hand and an understanding of how to speak their language, you can broach the topic with confidence!

State the Challenges

When building your case for legal technology, it’s important to identify any challenges your team is facing and clearly state how they affect the business.

For example, your legal team might be struggling with time management because information is missing from a number of legal requests and excess time is spent hunting down the information. Or maybe you notice that your billing guidelines are being ignored or bypassed by vendors which increases cost and decreases productivity.

Being able to articulate the issue and the cost to the legal department and overall company helps your GC or CLO understand the day-to-day issues that your team faces as well as their short- and long-term impact.

Demonstrate How the Solution Provides Value

Often times, people think of technology as a means to solve a specific use-case, but don’t fall into the trap of selling your technology short. There are many far-reaching benefits that go beyond your department. For example, a legal operations platform doesn’t just help you with streamline the invoice collection process, it help can help you:

  • Increase productivity and save time from manual tasks
  • Better collaborate and strengthen your relationship with finance
  • Provide visibility into legal spend and matters
  • Help your legal and executive team make powerful, data-driven decisions

See a Product Demo

To build the strongest case, schedule a demo to see the solution that you’re evaluating in action. Doing this type of due diligence before meeting with your GC or CLO helps ensure that the solution you’ve selected has the functionality to solve your department’s stated challenges and will provide the value you and your team expects.

Stephanie Lamoureaux, Legal Operations Lead at Square, weighed in on the evolution of legal technology and shared how legal teams need to be cautious when seeing a product demo. Because it can be easy to get dazzled by all the bells and whistles of a product during a demo, scope your feature requirements and have a clear understanding of “must haves” vs “nice to have”. This criteria then acts as your baseline for evaluating technology, guiding you towards the best solution for your needs.

Gather the Numbers

When speaking with vendors, don’t be afraid to ask for a sample customer case study that show how the specific legal technology has yielded benefits for a company of a similar size or industry. These can be compelling in justifying your request with examples from your peers.

If you can quantifiably demonstrate how the proposed legal technology will yield benefits, this will inevitably strengthen your case. For example, “An internal study conducted across SimpleLegal customers of all sizes, industries, and product tiers show they save an average of 8.4% on legal spend just from SimpleLegal enforcing billing guidelines and vendor discounts.”

Schedule Time to Have an In-Person Discussion

With this preparation and strong case in hand, find some time to connect with your GC or CLO. You can initiate the conversation with an email (if you don’t know where to start, check out our Making the Case Email Template) but be sure to schedule some in-person time to effectively pitch your legal technology and discuss any questions that may arise.

Ready to Build Your Case?

Download your copy of our Making the Case white paper for additional tips and templates to guide you through this process!