a digital document lifecycle toolkit for tomorrow’s hybrid legal working model


Does legal business have all it needs in place for fee earners and others to collaborate effectively from the ‘comfort’ of their own homes across the many different stages of a document’s lifecycle? What should be included in a digital toolkit fit for 2021 to secure a happily productive and cohesive hybrid working workforce?

These were the questions up for discussion at the latest in our Briefing Knowledge Leaders 2021 series of ideas-exchanges. Briefing editor-in-chief Richard Brent was joined by Abhijat Saraswat, vice president of international sales at Litera, and many leaders of the function at a wide range of firms to hear about shifting challenges and opportunities for improvement or change.

Firms must carefully monitor and assess where all their many assets are stored and shared, of course, even at the best of times. But efficient and productive document lifecycle management and collaboration also calls for as intuitive and frictionless a user experience – moving between potential repositories, tools and activities – as possible.

That experience – from efficiently signing into systems, to successfully finding what you’re looking for and rapidly verifying its relevance – will also impact on the adoption of new processes, and therefore consistency, at a time when people potentially have more autonomy within working days. Knowledge experts must therefore continue to consider how documents and other resources are best sifted, sorted and served up for timely consumption. The group heard there’s some opportunity for machine-learning and analytics technology to make a measurable difference here, and also when it comes to monitoring and informing specific documents’ use patterns and lifecycles.

But law firms can’t rely on technology solutions alone to drive the right collaborative behaviours to keep thriving through the current period of uncertainty and change. Making better use of a digital document toolset may need a corresponding transformation in training, communication and the mechanics of change management.