Most law departments not increasing investment in tech says report

New research reveals that a significant number of in-house legal teams have not ramped up their investment in and use of technology since the onset of COVID-19 and also do not have complete confidence in their ability to report on document, matter and spend management.

The 2022 Thomson Reuters Tech and the Law survey – conducted by Momentum Intelligence in December of last year – received completed responses from 826 legal professionals, including 670 private practice lawyers and 156 in-house lawyers.

The survey explored attitudes, perceptions and priorities towards legal technology and a respondent’s organisation’s challenges and priorities for the upcoming year.

As already reported by Lawyers Weekly, private practice lawyers are prepared to leave their firms for employers that are more innovative.

Investment in technology

The research found that just over two in five (41 per cent) of corporate counsel have seen their law departments increase their investments in technology since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, with 25 per cent saying the investment went up “moderately”, while only 16 per cent said investment went up “significantly”.

Large law departments (i.e. 20 or more professionals) were found to be more likely to ramp up their tech investments, with 56 per cent indicating as such, compared to 40 per of mid-sized teams (6-20 professionals) and just 29 per cent of small teams (1-5 professionals).

While only 8 per cent of law departments of all stripes indicated that their investment in technology had actually decreased in the last two years, more than half (51 per cent) of respondents said that their departments’ investment levels had remained the same amidst COVID-19.

This was especially true for small law departments, with over three in five (61 per cent) of respondents indicating that their teams’ investments hadn’t changed. Mid-sized departments weren’t too far behind at 53 per cent, while just 35 per cent of large departments hadn’t amended their investment in tech.