More than 7 in 10 legal administrators say that funds from their firms’ operations budget must be allocated to activities related to electronic discovery, and more than half are investing in outsourcing some or all of their eDiscovery functions, according to the 2016 Report on Trends Impacting the Legal Industry.
Novitex and the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) conducted the survey. They worked together to evaluate survey responses from more than 800 legal professionals, examining current challenges, emerging opportunities and how firms are adapting to evolving expectations.
The survey found that eDiscovery is the second-most common operational function for law firms to outsource. More than half (55%) of law firms reported using a mixed model of in-housing and outsourcing eDiscovery and related functions, second only to Marketing (62%) on the list of most popular functions to be fully or partially outsourced to expert providers.
The survey report notes that certain functions – such as IT, eDiscovery and risk management – have been fully or partially outsourced due to “growing pressure to optimize costs, along with increased complexity” of certain technical activities.
“Law firms continue to bear significant financial burdens in order to meet the demands of keeping up with their clients’ eDiscovery requirements,” said Steve Ashbacher, vice president of litigation solutions with the LexisNexis software and technology business. “Many of them are discovering that new eDiscovery software technologies have emerged to reduce the costs and inefficiencies in the eDiscovery workflow.”
When also polled regarding how much of their operations budget, excluding staff salaries, is allocated to a variety of functions, law firm managers reported the following with respect to eDiscovery activities:
- A great deal – 1%
- A lot – 6%
- A moderate amount – 30%
- A little – 36%
- None at all – 27%
Ashbacher noted that new software tools – such as Lexis DiscoveryIQ, an eDiscovery enterprise software platform from LexisNexis – have made it easier and more intuitive for litigation professionals to use powerful technology on cases of virtually all sizes.
To download a complimentary copy of the 2016 Trends Impacting the Legal Industry report, please click here.