Top 3 objections to migrating from legacy legal tech

Alex Aceves | October 1, 2019 | Articles

Legal operations has emerged to challenge the legal department standard. The function is overhauling departmental processes and identifying modern legal tech solutions with advanced capabilities that have the power to truly transform the way the legal department operates.

Yet, the idea of replacing a system that the legal department has used for years with a more modern alternative is sometimes met with resistance. To help legal operations and forward-thinking legal departments make the case for a legal operations platform that better aligns with the needs of modern teams, here are the most common objections to migrating from legacy legal tech and some strategies for overcoming them.

Objection 1

“We can’t migrate to another platform because we’ve been using our current solution for years and are entrenched in it.”

While legal technology has garnered a lot of attention among legal teams the past few years, legal solutions for e-Billing and matter management have been around for decades. In fact, it’s not uncommon for in-house professionals to share that they’ve been utilizing a solution for five, even ten plus years – and feel trapped or entrenched by their technology.

In some cases, legal has become accustomed to the “quirks” of their legacy tech and created workarounds that are time consuming, but get the job done. On the other side of the spectrum, there are teams who are extremely frustrated by their technology and its inability to offer the level of functionality needed to align with the company’s business processes. But years of platform customizations that would need to be untangled and (correctly) re-implemented make it seem impossible to move to a new solution.

The path of least resistance might be to continue with the status quo, simply dealing with the solution that’s in place. But what’s really at risk? In addition to wasted time from inefficient workflows, legacy solutions limit a department’s ability to modernize. While legal has visibility into their spend, they might not have the advanced financial management tools to handle allocations, accruals, and AFAs to their satisfaction – all of which must be tracked and managed to ensure continued spend optimization and demonstrate that legal is a fiscally responsible business unit.

Objection 2

“Going through another implementation will be a nightmare. In addition to needing resources, it will be time consuming and tedious.”

We’ve all experienced a poor implementation whether due to a lack of resources, miscommunication amongst internal and external teams, or a poorly executed plan of attack. While a distant and albeit bad memory, it shouldn’t prevent you from reaping the benefits that modern legal operations platforms provide.

It’s important to have a reputable and trusted vendor who can help guide you through the process – and why you should start planning in advance. Ask vendors about their implementation process and what their experience is with migrating legal teams from legacy platforms, specifically keeping an eye out for:

  • A structured, defined, and repeatable process for migration
  • Expert teams and resources to help lead the migration
  • An implementation timeline to better understand expectations and required resources
  • Available training programs to assist with user onboarding

You’ll also want to identify a point of contact who will own the migration project. Having a dedicated project manager who can help facilitate meetings will be instrumental in making sure there’s a smooth transition and that both your team and vendor are on the same page.

At the end of the day, you’re not just investing in a platform, you’re investing in a vendor – a partner that will be an extension of your team to help achieve your business goals. Vendors who share your values and understand that a successful implementation is key to overall customer success can help overcome the challenges of implementation and ensure a smooth and efficient process.

Objection 3

“My vendors are already trained on our current solution. I don’t want to annoy them by switching providers and force them to learn and use a new system.”

Law firms bill their clients through a variety of different solutions and are likely familiar with a number of platforms on the market. If you’re concerned that your firms and vendors will have a difficult time picking up a new solution, reach out to your:

  • Law firm billing contact to see if they’re currently billing through other solutions and what those solutions might be. It also never hurts to ask which solutions your firms prefer – you might be surprised by their response!
  • Prospective legal tech vendor to see which law firms already submit invoices through their solution. Simply compile a list of your vendors, send them to your prospective tech vendors, and ask that the list be returned with a yes or no next to each firm.

In regards to vendor training, the right software partner will have training programs and resource materials for both your legal team and your law firms. Don’t shy away from asking a potential legal tech vendor how they manage law firm training and what support they offer to law firms.

Legal Technology for the Modern Legal Department

If you’re thinking about migrating from an outdated legacy platform to a more modern legal operations platform like SimpleLegal, download our white paper “Your Definitive Guide to Switching from Legacy Legal Technology” and learn the risks of becoming entrenched in a legacy platform, a general timeline for migration, and 3 simple steps for migrating your legal tech.