It’s August and that means three things: it’s very hot here in Texas, the Nebraska Cornhuskers have already lost a football game, and it’s time for my annual “Cool Tech” for in-house counsel blog post. As you can imagine, I am pretty excited about the last one. Not so much the first two. Regardless, this is the seventh year in a row where I will be sharing technology and tech-related ideas that can make life easier for in-house counsel (well, at least better). If you want to check out past editions (and I hope you do), you can find them here:
If you have followed this blog and my posts on LinkedIn, then you already know that I am a big believer in the power of technology to improve the capabilities of the legal department and, more importantly, help show the value generated by the legal team. That said, for my annual Cool Tech edition I generally try to discuss technology that is free (or very low cost) and adds immediate value. So, if you are looking for an evaluation of e-billing systems, matter management systems, document management systems, electronic signatures, and so forth, you’re at the wrong movie. If you do want to read about this type of “big tech’ (and all in-house lawyers should), I suggest the annual LawGeex 2021 contract technology buyer’s guide or Deloitte’s technology in the legal department guide. Packed with great information, they are both free! But, for today’s purposes, we’ll stay small and focused, i.e., technology you can buy and start using today, some of which is free. As usual, I received nothing for recommending this technology to you. I just think in-house lawyers will find the technology useful. I also realized as I was writing this that because I am spending so much time working from home (thanks Delta variant), a lot of my suggestions work especially well for your home office. And with that, let’s dig into Cool Tech for In-House Lawyers 2021 Edition:
Well, it’s that time of year again. Every August for the last several years I have devoted a “Ten Things” blog post to talking about super useful technology for in-house lawyers. Fortunately, there is always more cool tech to talk about and this year is no different. That said, if you want to go back and revisit some of the past cool tech blogs click here (2016, 2017, 2018). The ground rules are the same as always: (1) I receive no compensation for these recommendations, they’re just things I think in-house lawyers (any lawyers really) will find useful and helpful; (2) I try to focus mostly on free or low-cost technology – no breaking the bank for the most part; and (3) generally, everything I discuss should work for in-house lawyers anywhere in the world, not just the USA (if there is an exception, I’ll note it).
With that in mind, this edition of “Ten Things” discusses some of the coolest technology out there for in-house lawyers, things that will make your life a little easier and, hopefully, more productive:
I was a panelist at the 16th Annual Advanced In-House Counsel Course in San Antonio, Texas on August 18, 2017. I was joined once again by Jason Smith of Apttus and Jane McBride of Optimus Legal to discuss ways lawyers can work smarter and not harder – a worthy goal if ever there was one! Of course, one of the main ways to accomplish this is through the use of technology which we all touched on at some point during the discussion. If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I have recently written on the impact of artificial intelligence on in-house legal departments as well as ways to slay the “Email Jabberwocky.” Both highlight ways technology (and common sense) can help you do more in the same or less time. You also know that I enjoy writing about the use of technology generally by in-house lawyers. And now that I have gotten back in the General Counsel game after two years of private practice, I am focusing even more intently on ways technology can make my and my team’s lives easier. What all of this means is that it is time for my annual “Cool Tech” blog post. You can read my past posts for Cool Tech 2015 and Cool Tech 2016 (and I still recommend all of the technology mentioned there), but this edition of “Ten Things” will discuss an all-new list of cool tech for in-house lawyers. As always, I do not receive any compensation or anything to endorse these products, it’s just my opinion about technology I think in-house lawyers might find useful: