Our Highlights of the Year 2019 in Legal Tech

Oh my, 2019, what an amazing year it has been! With all its ups and downs, people, completed plans, surprises, people, new tech solutions, innovations, people, stronger emphasize in accessibility, developing automation, and did we mention people!

It’s impossible to make a comprehensive summary of the year not to mention a decade. But here are the highlights of five golden pieces of advice we’ve learned, strongly believe in and want to share with you:

1. Set Your Goal

It’s OK to dream big. But be serious about it. Goals shouldn’t be too distant, otherwise motivation might be lost on the way. There’s no need to fear being different, since that’s an integral part of being innovative. And most importantly in a business, put the client at the centre of your goal and firmly keep it there in every process and project you set for the company and yourself.

Contract Mill exists for making Access to Justice easier with the help of automation. And we can’t wait to tell our clients about the new launches coming up next year to serve their goals even better.

Of course, we are not doing this alone. It’s always valuable to involve your community. Share your knowledge and experience and don’t hide the challenges either. You don’t have to make all the mistakes personally; you can also learn from the mistakes of others. Find synergies, build networks. People with wide networks tend to feel happier and luckier. So do people who are optimistic by the way.

When the positive enthusiasm and creativeness starts to spread, the more people can jump on board and it gets easier to overcome common challenges together. You can also for example find a mentor and/or be a mentor in your area of expertise. Our contact info can be found online as well as great networks for legal tech like ELTA, Legal Geek and Finnish Legal Tech Forum. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

2. Progress gradually

Everything does not – and doesn’t have to – happen all at once. So, take small steps. You can set milestones. This advice also works for activities other than running a marathon or eating an elephant.

Change takes time whether it’s about a work culture or personal mindset. Innovation takes time, adaptation takes time. When you change too many things at once it’s also hard to tell how different changes actually affected your goal and processes to get there. You don’t have to start using every new tool at the same time to keep up with digitalization. People can only process a certain number of things simultaneously.

The most important part is to take the first step. Just start. Ideas don’t often have much value. Only an implemented idea turns into profit in value creation. When we noticed that professionals are missing a real easy-to-use tool for automating their repetitive document creation, we took action and created one. If you are interested in saving the valuable time of your team and scale your business, we’re happy to show our solutions. Start by scheduling a demo with us at https://calendly.com/contractmill/online-demo-45-minutes?month=2019-12

3. Prioritise

You might have found Parkinson’s law pretty accurate: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Prioritizing helps you to focus. Since we naturally couldn’t attend to all the interesting events there was in 2019 (so great it was indeed plenty!)  we needed to choose the ones supporting our networks and customers. These were, for example Legal Geek and Slush. Besides time you also want to prioritise resources including financial and HR.

We recommend starting change from those processes that are valuable for your business but require repetitive work steps. Lawyers and other highly trained professionals naturally find these unpleasant since it takes time away from more rewarding, challenging, creative and empathic tasks; the real work. This is the point where you can make the most out of automation, and it sure does not mean replacing lawyers with tech. Quite the opposite, digitalization can be used what it’s best at and people can quit doing the jobs of machines and concentrate for example on the importance of personal connections.

4. Measure and Analyse

Take good care of your data. Collect it with care and respect, analyse it, reflect, draw conclusions and act on them, change what needs to be changed. Do not fear for mistakes, find out the root causes for them and then learn and grow from there. Data is one of the points where quality is crucial.

Do the groundwork well. Whatever you are doing, careful preparation will increase your chances of success. Concrete indicators are important, and they also concretize the goal.

We offer pilot workshops for all our customers and people interested in getting forward with automation. We’re using Onboarding by Design model where analysing and iteration is comprehensive. Clear stages of defining the needs, ideating, prototyping, testing and supporting is all included in the process facilitated by our dedicated team members.

5. Enjoy and repeat

Learn. Train others in your team. Learning cannot be delegated as some other tasks often can. Everyone is responsible for their own learning. But the desire to learn can spread. In a changing world learning really is the crown jewel that needs to be polished.

The great thing is that our industry in changing every day. This is what it did through 2019 and this is what it will continue to do in 2020. That means every single day is just as good for starting to drive change and doing it in the way it eventually shapes the industry.

Keep dreaming, keep renewing. Experience cannot be copied. It brings with it not only knowledge but also a sense of proportion and better ability to forecast what will be important in the near future. And what’s awesome about life – Experience can always be gained!

And this is what we really got this past year.

Let’s do great things in 2020, Happy New Year!

Further information:

Sari Korhonen, [email protected]  and Kaisa Kromhof, [email protected]