Enterprise legal teams struggle to make time for lunch, much less contract review. They’re turning to automation, not just to get their lunch break back, but to address risky clauses automatically. Here is how COVID-19 made contract review automation (CRA) a risk-management must.

CRA monitors contract activity based on predefined internal legal policies to protect against risk in contracts under negotiation​. The technology helps companies mitigate risks that are tough to spot, even by trained legal eyes.

The efficiencies of CRA have proven popular in the Covid-19 economy. 

LawGeex, the pioneer and global leader of CRA, recently raised $20 million, cementing the NYC based startup as the de facto standard for legal teams looking to do more with less during uncertain business times.

What do firms like Corner Ventures see in CRA? They see a lot more than a risk management tool.

CRA’s Benefits Beyond Risk Management

Despite its recent funding boost, LawGeex began developing CRA in 2014. It’s since released six versions of the technology, earning it recognition by Gartner and HBO as a legal innovator.

“Each version incorporates customers’ requests and supports a rapidly growing demand,” says Judi Crimmins, LawGeex’s director of global marketing.

LawGeex leverages AI and machine learning to review, redline, and fix contractual issues during negotiation. Thanks to those innovative technologies, CRA is scalable and adaptable. Beyond mitigating risks, it cuts legal costs and shifts labor-intensive tasks away from legal teams.

“CRA doesn’t just work faster than people; it completes the work with greater accuracy,” Crimmins explains. “It helps future-proof and mitigate risk in contracts by ensuring all contracts are reviewed consistently.

CRA does more than reduce risk and save money. By optimizing and accelerating the contract review process, CRA can also help organizations attract and retain young, talented lawyers. “Today’s law graduates aren’t eager to spend hours reading through contracts and discovery documents,” Crimmins notes, “They want to know they have a clear path forward.”

Ultimately, CRA offers a trio of benefits: Legal teams can increase enterprise capacity while retaining talent and maintaining control over risk mitigation. In doing so, CRA tools deliver sustainable business growth at scale​.

Remote Work Has Fueled CRA

Contract review is an ongoing business need. So why are venture firms betting so heavily on CRA in 2020?

In a phrase, remote work. Legal teams need to do more with less, and they need to do it all digitally.

“Videoconferencing for meetings and court appearances is now commonplace, as is the use of cloud computing software to facilitate remote work,” explains Nicole Black, a New York-based attorney and MyCase legal technology evangelist. Black points to CRA as a “next level” solution for remote legal teams that spend large amounts of time on contract analysis and drafting.

The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated both the development of and interest in AI-based technologies like CRA. Gartner research suggests that nearly 75% of enterprises will be in the “full operations” stage of AI implementation by 2024.

“Companies are looking for solutions that provide rapid results and can be operated from anywhere,” adds Crimmins. “CRA is a must to stay on pace with the new normal.”

In 2014, when LawGeex created CRA, it was a nice to have as a bonus. These days, Contract Review Automation is a must for cost-effective, high-quality legal services. And unlike human attorneys, CRA never needs a lunch break.

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.