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Navigating Legalweek 2024

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Legalweek kicks off another year in New York City. Attendees are in for amazing keynotes, educational sessions, supplier booths, networking opportunities, and more.

With nearly 100 sessions to join throughout the week, there is truly something for everyone. Data privacy, eDiscovery, (or, eDislcosure in the UK), digital transformation, emerging technology, knowledge management, information governance, and ethics are just a few areas speakers will explore. The legal and business communities should expect to gain key insights to take away and use now and in the future.

Four of the hottest topics to dive into during the conference are generative AI, knowledge management, change management, and data governance. Here are some expected themes involving those topics.

Generative AI: Reshaping Legal Work Now and in the Future

Generative AI is significantly impacting the legal sector, enhancing the practise of law with innovative and efficient solutions. The lawyer’s work is dominated by language, and generative AI’s unparalleled power to create fluent text coupled with its ability to capture nuanced concepts from plain wording makes for a perfect match. Corporate legal departments and law firms are actively engaging with these tools to gain efficiency. This year, expect adoption trends to pick up as more use cases materialise and confidence in the technology grows.

When deciding to integrate generative AI into legal practice, consider how it can foster more flexible and proactive legal services. From contract drafting to document summarisation, these tools create vast potential that will allow lawyers to focus more on the strategic aspects of their work. Immediate applications will vary depending on an organisation’s strategic legal objectives and client expectations. Regardless, accounting for data privacy and compliance will be necessary to remain compliant and safeguard data.

Knowledge Management: Proving Pivotal for the Business of Law

Knowledge management unearths the latent value of work product, data, and "know-how" that can support and accelerate the practise of law at scale. With the growth of generative AI and other modern tools, knowledge management has never been more important to the success of projects, and strategy discussions.

Implementing effective knowledge management plans that enable legal professionals to harness the full potential of their available data and facilitate a culture of excellence is key. However, a data-driven approach can be time-consuming if knowledge is difficult to access and not integrated into daily legal workflows.

Understanding how the legal team works and what tools can enhance that work is critical. Data-driven narratives must be tied to real outcomes and access to easily understandable insights will draw attention to where action or a deeper dive is warranted. Creating a knowledge management roadmap provides a strong foundation. Identifying data that can be put to work and delivering actionable insights to lawyers is critical to long-term success.

Change Management: Breeding Successful Legal Transformation

It is now common for corporate legal departments to be tasked with driving digital change and transforming their internal processes to meet market demand. However, transformation projects often fall short. Reimagining change management efforts is pivotal to maximising investment in legal technologies and helping departments effectively accelerate operational transformation. 

Change management is not a new topic, and a standard and simple methodology with well-documented success has taken shape since the McKinsey 7-S framework was developed nearly 40 years ago. The pitfalls of business process transformation initiatives can typically be bucketed into three categories: inconsistent communication that fails to consider the human change element, lack of ongoing commitment to making improvements, and failure to obtain stakeholder engagement at every level.

Tapping into industry insights, talking to colleagues, and partnering with change management experts are all ways to get value from these efforts. Defining KPIs at the beginning of the project and measuring success after project completion is crucial. Ongoing improvement requires creating an operational plan to incorporate stakeholder feedback and monitor and measure success.

Data Governance: The Importance of Having an Effective Framework

Organisations create an increasing amount of data daily from many different sources in many different formats. Data may hold a company’s most valuable assets but can also be a liability. Data governance practices supply a framework companies use to maintain high-quality information while eliminating redundant, outdated, and trivial data. With technology at the heart of most core business processes, a robust and effective data governance framework has become essential to ensure compliance, security, and efficient decision-making. This is essential for managing the quality and risks of a business’s information assets.

Organisations that successfully implement data governance practices employ cross-functional groups, with legal being a key stakeholder in the process and guidance from experienced outside partners. When lawyers play a strategic role, legal risks and requirements will become apparent. Outside partners can offer fresh perspectives on internal workflows, maintain knowledge on industry best practices, and help develop metrics to measure a company’s progress toward improving their governance. It is also important to factor in downstream effects such as enhancing decision-making capabilities and how emerging tech like generative AI can influence data governance.

We Hope to See You This Week!

Epiq is moderating four different sessions (Eastern US time) covering the themes discussed above:

  • Leading Successful Change Management Initiatives in Your Organisation (Tuesday, Jan. 30 from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.) This session is part of the digital transformation track. It will be moderated by Kayleigh Bedolla, Senior Consultant, Legal Operations Intelligence and Advisory at Epiq.
  • Harnessing the Power of Data Governance: A Strategic Guide for Legal Professionals: Tuesday, Jan. 30 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.) This session is part of the information governance track. It will be moderated by Anne Costello, Senior Information Governance Consultant at Epiq.
  • Generative AI in Action: Dynamic Strategies for Today's Legal Landscape (Tuesday, Jan. 30 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.) This session is part of the emerging technology track. It will be moderated by Richard Robbins, Managing Director, Applied Artificial Intelligence at Epiq.
  • Leveraging Knowledge Management for Legal Excellence: Strategies and Tools (Wednesday, Jan. 31 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) This session is part of the next generation knowledge management track. It will be moderated by Eric Anderson, Practice Lead, Search, Data, AI, at Fireman & Company, an Epiq Company.

If these sessions are of interest, open your Legalweek app for more details and join us. The conversations will be both educational and thought-provoking. We hope you have a great Legalweek full of insights and lasting memories.

The contents of this article are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions.

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