SimpleLegal: A Simple Approach to Legal Operations


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Technology is being adopted by businesses of all sizes – and each leader in the organization has a single place to go to understand and measure their department. Finance has Oracle and SAP, marketing has Marketo and HubSpot, sales has Salesforce, HR has Zenefits, customer success has Gainsight.

General counsel, chief legal officers, and legal ops professionals need a system of record that surfaces the quantitative metrics required to join data-led conversations with other business leaders. That’s where SimpleLegal comes in.

SimpleLegal is the first true legal operations solution to manage matters, associated spend, vendors, knowledge, and reporting. Easy-to-use and learn, it provides legal leaders with insights to make more informed legal and business decisions, while bringing automation and standardization to invoice and matter workflows.

While officially launched in 2013, SimpleLegal’s journey began nearly a decade prior as a professional services firm, helping financial institutions and insurance companies make sense of legal billing data from vendors. The firm worked with the existing software solutions, and while they did the job, they were too clunky and cumbersome. Knowing there was a better way, Nathan Wenzel (Founder at SimpleLegal) established SimpleLegal with the mission of reinventing the way legal teams achieve strategic business goals and deliver value—all while keeping things simple.

Exclusive Solutions and a Commitment to Customers

With key functionality in one intuitive solution, legal teams can streamline legal operations, increase productivity, and access data around their invoices and matters with a few clicks.

The platform stands out from its competitors by leveraging the latest technologies in its software architecture and continual investment in R&D to improve its functionality and usability. Moreover, SimpleLegal can be configured to meet the needs of many departments, regardless of their maturity levels, and can evolve as the legal department’s priorities change and they experience growth. Its features and functionality are designed with ease of use in mind because an intuitive solution leads to greater adoption by in-house teams and their law firms, quicker results, and reduced technology costs for customers.

The SimpleLegal team has also put a focus on their customers. In addition to weekly customer training webinars, the company has continued to release features and functionality based on feedback from the user base. This includes a native document management system (DMS) that makes it simple for legal teams to keep track of key documents related to open matters.

Overcoming Challenges

Like every successful organization, SimpleLegal faces numerous challenges. Presently, it is confronted with two main challenges i.e.—picking and choosing among several potentially attractive areas of growth and delivering that growth in an extremely valuable way, and understanding and planning for a post-COVID-19 workplace. The company has continued to innovate through a very uncertain situation to grow and reach milestones; however, it needs to factor in different ways of work that map to the varying needs of its workforce.

To cope with both challenges, SimpleLegal is systematically staying in touch with its customers and workforce. The company has purposefully redoubled its efforts to be more engaging, more available, and more innovative. It has experimented aggressively to optimize and over-communicate every step of the way to stay aligned.

Leading the Charge

As the founder of SimpleLegal, Nathan plays an important role in combating these challenges and ensuring the company’s growth. He regularly connects with SimpleLegal’s customers and the legal community to learn what projects and programs they are focused on and how they see the industry evolving.

“I have the best job in the world and get to connect with our customers daily,” he says. Most notably, Nathan has been doing a lot of work to help its customers promote diversity within their law firms to ensure they are getting all the benefits of a diverse point of view.

Exciting and Transformative Features

Our roadmap consists of transformative new features that help corporate legal departments prove their value to their organization and be better corporate citizens,” asserts Nathan.

SimpleLegal is working on AI-enabled invoice review to bring time and money savings through enhancing efficiency. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are emerging as tools that the legal team can rely on to regain time without sacrificing the quality of work. It will enable legal teams to reduce or eliminate repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus more on what legal does best—protecting and growing the company. AI is a supporting technology that—if combined with in-house resources—can yield the best results and facilitate highly efficient operations.

SimpleLegal is also adding task and event management to better track and manage legal matters, as well as advanced reporting capabilities. This level of data will help legal teams present a clearer picture of the health of the department to leadership while helping to more effectively measure and manage their law firms and matters.

Leveraging Technology to Scale Solutions

2020 has significantly changed how corporate legal teams (and the organizations at large) work. While many legal teams have started to implement technology and reap the benefits, the pandemic has accelerated the need for technology, specifically to unite processes and people spread across remote work environments.

According to Nathan, 2021 has immense potential for legal departments to leverage technology to scale solutions to core problems. Legal operations professionals and their in-house teams are resilient and continually demonstrate their ability to think outside the box, so while 2021 will not be the year when things go back to normal, legal will adapt with technology being core to their success.


Read full issue: The 10 Innovative Companies of 2021

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