Enterprise legal teams struggle to make time for lunch, much less contract review. They’re turning to automation, not just to get their lunch break back, but to address risky clauses automatically. Here is how COVID-19 made contract review automation a risk-management must.
Contract review automation uses artificial intelligence to process, develop, manage, store, and share contracts between businesses and their clients. CRA helps companies mitigate risks that are tough to spot, even by trained legal eyes.
CRA can’t replace an in-house legal team, though. Think of tools like LawGeex like firewalls: They identify and block common threats, but they’re no substitute for data security pros. LawGeex simply allows security experts to focus on things like advanced persistent threats, rather than run-of-the-mill malware.
The efficiencies of CRA have proven popular in the Covid-19 economy. LawGeex recently raised $20 million to build out the technology in a funding round led by Corner Ventures.
What do firms like Corner Ventures see in CRA? They see a lot more than a risk management tool.
CRA’s Benefits Beyond Risk Management
Despite its recent funding boost, LawGeex began developing CRA in 2014. It’s since released six versions of the technology, earning it recognition by Gartner and HBO as a legal innovator.
“Each version incorporates customers’ requests and supports a rapidly growing demand,” says Judi Crimmins, LawGeex’s director of global marketing. She cites AI and machine learning as driving forces in the tool’s development.
Thanks to those technologies, CRA is scalable and adaptable. Beyond mitigating risks, it shifts labor-intensive tasks away from legal teams.
“CRA doesn’t just work faster than people; it completes the work with greater accuracy,” Crimmins explains. “It helps future-proof and mitigate risk in contracts by ensuring all contracts are reviewed consistently.”
CRA does more than save money. The technology monitors contract activity in real-time, based on predefined internal legal policies to reduce risk in contracts under negotiation. With these tools, legal teams can diagnose, redline, and remedy contractual issues throughout the contract process.
By taking those tasks off legal teams’ shoulders, CRA can also help organizations attract and retain young, talented lawyers. “Today’s law graduates aren’t eager to spend hours reading through contracts and discovery documents,” Crimmins notes, “They want to know they have a path forward.”
Ultimately, CRA offers a trio of benefits: Legal teams can increase enterprise capacity while retaining talent and maintaining control over risk mitigation. In doing so, CRA tools deliver sustainable business growth at scale.
Remote Work Has Fueled CRA
Contract review is an ongoing business need. So why are venture firms betting so heavily on CRA in 2020?
In a phrase, remote work. Legal teams need to do more with less, and they need to do it all digitally.
“Videoconferencing for meetings and court appearances is now commonplace, as is the use of cloud computing software to facilitate remote work,” explains Nicole Black, a New York-based attorney and MyCase legal technology evangelist. Black points to CRA as a “next level” solution for remote legal teams that spend large amounts of time on contract analysis and drafting.
The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated both the development of and interest in AI-based technologies like CRA. Gartner research suggests that nearly 75% of enterprises will be in the “full operations” stage of AI implementation by 2024.
“Companies are looking for solutions that provide rapid results and can be operated from anywhere,” adds Crimmins. “CRA is a must to stay on pace with the new normal.”
In 2014, when LawGeex added CRA to the menu, it was a nice to have as a bonus. These days, Contract Review Automation is a must for cost-effective, high-quality legal services. And unlike human attorneys, CRA never needs a lunch break.
Image Credit: august de richelieu; pexels
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