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Gartner: What’s Next For The Legal Industry

Future legal industry trends with increased tech adoption, department evolution, and emerging non-specialist technology integration.

May 19, 2021

Like most industries, the legal industry has taken the route to transformation, to answer the demands of the pandemic and its global economic impact. After a year of major disruptions, it is time for organizations to think about how these have affected them and get back on track. The understanding that the changes made during the past year need to be strategically incorporated into everyday operations is certain to redirect the trends in 2021 and beyond.

Among the many changes 2020 brought us, the most significant is the acceleration in using technology, which has become a savior across all industries during a time where everyone needed to be physically distanced from each other businesses had to stay afloat by utilizing Artificial Intelligence, cloud technology, and data analytics.

There are sure to be uncertainties ahead that will not slow down. As a result, it is safe to say that legal technology will have a major part in the new normal of the post-pandemic world. To guide legal industry leaders in what’s ahead, Gartner has published its Top 2021 Legal Tech Predictions.

1. Significant Increase in Legal Tech Spend

For the past years, legal tech adoption has been slow, but the pandemic fast-tracked the digital transformations of law firms and legal departments. Legal tech solutions have made it possible for them to adapt to the drastic changes and operate effectively. However, this has not been easy for businesses that do not have the right structure to accommodate their employees to do remote work. Covid-19 made us realize the significance of digitalization.

Responding to the unprecedented challenges of 2020, corporate legal departments have to cut costs while resolving problems of efficiency. A huge burden the pandemic brought to in-house legal counsel is a larger workload. This has put pressure on them to improve processes and workflows, legal technology implementation, and digitalization plans. It is anticipated that by 2025, legal departments will increase their spend on technology threefold and that by 2024, legal departments will have automated 50% of legal work related to major corporate transactions.

The image shows a bar chart titled "Legal Tech Budgets Are Growing Amid Crisis." The chart shows the percentage of the legal department budget allocated to technology over the years, from 2017 to projected values in 2025.

Starting a tactical plan for selecting the best legal technology and identifying which solutions will not only benefit the department or the firm but will also create better results for clients, should be top of the list of in-house legal leaders. But this is no small feat to achieve and many companies have wasted money on the wrong technology. The best way to stay one step ahead is partnering up with tech companies and experts to ensure a successful implementation and adoption.

2. The Evolution of Legal Departments

The corporate legal department is a complex part of a business that handles legal matters and ensures that the actions of everyone in the company are in compliance. Through adopting rules and regulations, they have to work closely with different departments. In their organization. Through the coming years, their role will continuously evolve. According to Gartner, three years from now legal departments will replace 20% of their generalist lawyers with non-lawyer staff.

The best example of this shift is the expanding functions of legal operations, which have grown across all industries from 34% in 2018 to 58% in 2020. This means that due to new challenges, legal departments need to prioritize and make crucial strategic decisions to survive the competition.

In addition to providing critical technology advice, InfiniGlobe helps optimize legal department processes. We specialize in creating solutions to make the technology smart. Our team of tech experts creates custom systems and views that use Artificial Intelligence for embedding and centralizing attorneys’ knowledge.

3. The Emergence of Nonspecialist Technology

Over the years, legal tech companies have helped corporate legal departments with document management and matter management, to name a few. It is hard to imagine now how legal professionals can work on a daily basis without these platforms.

However, the demand for non-legal-specialist technology is rising and it is expected that by 2025, at least 25% of spending on corporate legal applications will go to non-specialist technology providers. The market will be more competitive as more innovative startups exploit artificial intelligence (AI), ML, advanced analytics, process automation, and other emerging technologies.

InfiniGlobe is a trusted provider of technology and professional services for the corporate legal departments. As a full-service consulting and software company, it specializes in systems integration and the optimization of the performance of legal department technologies. For more information, reach out to us at or at (833) LGL-TECH.


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