Making progress with process in complex legal work

Graeme Johnston / 24 January 2023

If you mention ‘process’ to many lawyers, it tends to conjure visions of something handed down from above. Potentially imposing burdens upon you for the benefit of others. Possibly managed by people who don’t really get the realities of legal work.

It may in some contexts also have the connotation of something highly-specified and rigid. OK for highly repeatable things, closely measured, but not for anything complex, fluid and messier.

And traditional process documentation can be an effort to use. Reading process manuals and flowcharts is not compelling for most people.The natural tendency, anyway, is to focus on the interesting substance of a legal matter (all that lovely factual, commercial, evidential, legal and advisory stuff) and other pressing work (relationships, profile-building, recruitment, billing and much more). There’s quite enough to do already.

And as for precisely following every step demanded by a computer system. Let’s just say that most lawyers don’t seem to be fans. Help is always welcome, but not commands, particularly not ones which tend to be over-rigid, cumbersome to update and quickly out of date.

This can lead to a rejection of the concept of process, or its acceptance as only a necessary evil.

However, there is another kind of process, culture and supporting technology, focused on

  1. Primarily helping to improve the working lives of the people doing and immediately-managing the work. For example, the lawyers on a matter, those instructing them and working with them. The more progress you can make with that, the more that benefits for organisations (e.g. law firms, client organisations) will flow naturally. Better information and other benefits come out of that as a wonderful side-effect, as opposed to something demanded from on high (we all know how that’s worked out).
  2. Linking it up to other materials rather than trying to supplant everything. Documents, for example, aren’t going anywhere soon. 
  1. A focus on communicating and not missing or over-working things, as lightly, easily and flexible as possible. More like a map within which you can see possible routes, plus a set of helpful reminders, but also follow your own variations depending on your professional judgement. Definitely not a set of commands requiring you to ‘take the second turning on the left.’
  2. Something for which the materials can easily be developed and improved by the teams working on a matter. Of course you can call in other experts when you find it useful e.g. experts on a particular process. But it’s up to you.

You’ll have to bring the people, culture and the commitment to creating and refining that kind of process and achieving great things for your people and clients. We can’t do that for you.

But if you’re already going down that road, Juralio is technology that can help you make these things a reality in ways that just aren’t feasible in reality with complex legal work just using general purpose tools (e.g. documents, email, finance systems) or ‘heavy’ process-focused tools (e.g. project management tools designed for engineers and technologists).

And you can invite colleagues, clients and other people you work with into the system, with edit or view-only rights as you wish. Or send them downloaded reports on what’s happening. Whichever you prefer.

It makes your life better, in short.

And we really invest in design. Beautiful, not just functional.

But enough words. You can sign up for a 14 day free trial. No card required, no strings and no nonsense. Just a free trial.

Pricing after that for the self-administered (multitenant) version is reasonable and transparent – see the website.

We take security and data protection very seriously and are ISO 27001 (security) certified.

For larger organisations, we can also offer a dedicated software instance if desired.

And feel free to contact me through our website or via LinkedIn if you’d like more information, or to speak.

Image credit: Solen Feyissa on Unsplash



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