Legal automation has gained a lot of traction in the past year with the introduction of the corona measures, when everyone was forced to work from home. This has led to a significant acceleration in innovation. Last week, a practical example was presented at the ECLA seminar How to innovate in your own legal team: examples from UiPath and Deloitte legal’s first legal automation partnership.
Traditionally, lawyers have not been at the forefront of the introduction of new technology. However, the introduction of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) at Deloitte Legal is a good example of what can be done with automation. According to Simina Mut of Deloitte, there is enormous potential because the daily work involves so much repetitive work. She emphasized that it is not the answer to all questions, but it will take you a long way.
Certain processes in particular, such as compliance, can very well be made more efficient with the help of robots. Deloitte uses UiPath for this. The introduction of software robots has started slowly, with a few practical use cases. The advantages were already apparent from the first process in which a robot was used: work that took a person four hours to complete in a few minutes. Deloitte has also implemented a chatbot based on RPA that allows users to interact with the content in a more natural way.
RPA turned out to be incredibly flexible, in addition to being able to do the job better. It turned out to be possible to gain efficiency quickly. A tip that was discussed during the webinar was to demonstrate the potential of automation internally with concrete examples that can be used as a basis for building a business case.
After that thorough preparation, the actual construction of the robot does not have to take that long at all: for some processes it turned out to be possible in a few days. Incidentally, the testing took a few weeks, to be completely sure that the robot functions properly.
An important challenge in such processes is maintaining the required knowledge. Another issue is finding the right resources, such as people with the necessary legal knowledge. In addition, there are issues that play a role in all change processes, such as the question why work processes that have existed for a long time should change.
So the human factor is essential. It is important to show people what the benefits are for them, with demonstrations, pilots, and the opportunity to experiment with them. One of the biggest challenges is communication, which requires a lot of attention. Finding the right partner can help with that. The UiPath Immersion Lab has played an important role in bringing people along.
And of course the question is always whether robots will replace humans. That is not the case, but the initial hesitation was indeed there and must be overcome by clear communication. When that happens, people can focus on work that adds value and leave the boring, repetitive tasks to a robot.
The webinar can be found here