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3 Ways Legal Technology Can Help Government Agencies

Published July 13, 2022

For legal teams at federal, state, and local agencies, there’s a constant struggle to perform necessary tasks and meet important responsibilities with limited resources–without having to rely so heavily on IT for help.

Fortunately, there are plenty of technologies available that enable legal teams to automate processes and get the most value out of their data resources. Here are three examples of how technology can help transform government legal departments.

Read this white paper to learn other ways legal technology can benefit government agencies.

Information Archiving

Government legal departments need to have an effective way to store data. By being proactive and reducing their storage footprint, they can more easily access data relevant to a PRR or other internal investigation. They can also decrease the likelihood of a security breach.

Once the proper tools are in place, legal teams can handle information archiving requirements on their own–without leaning heavily on IT.

When considering tools for this function, decision makers should look for key features such as the ability to archive defunct and rarely accessed files, then automatically delete expired information. In addition, because proprietary archiving systems are a hindrance to long-term freedom of data, an open architecture combined with vendor neutral file formats is vital for ensuring data will always be easy to find–and readable.

Legal teams should be able to easily access archived data, whether it is to prepare for a compliance audit or potential litigation or to retrieve old emails. They should also be able to granularly enforce retention policies against applications, roles, groups or individual users, and target specific content or file types.

Compliance

Technology can also help government agency legal teams ensure compliance with various regulatory requirements as well as federal and state data security and privacy rules. In many cases, legal departments help IT in ensuring compliance with regulations, because legal has a better understanding of the changing requirements for data compliance.

The key to staying on top of compliance is to add automation capabilities to classify all data and remediate it, not only for compliance purposes but also to decrease the risk of data breaches that can expose sensitive, personally-identifiable information.

Deploying the right technology tools can make the difference between failure and success in compliance initiatives.

One of the most important capabilities is being able to locate vital documents within the agency. It is much easier for legal teams to protect content when they know where the content is being stored.

Teams need to take advantage of tools that make it easy for them to gain control over growing data resources including unstructured data, so they can analyze, remediate, and monitor all locations, both on-premises and in the cloud.

It’s vital to have capabilities such as artificial intelligence (AI)-based classification for personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI), because it can help departments automatically search for and preview hundreds of file types. This enables them to take needed action regarding compliance requirements.

Investigations

Conducting investigations is one of the most common activities for a government agency legal department. This can include investigating theft of funds, workplace harassment and discrimination, data breaches, employee violations of leave policies, employee fraud, theft of trade secrets or intellectual property or other areas.

Legal investigations can be diverse in terms of subject matter, but all present a common set of challenges for legal teams. These include short timelines, discretion and secrecy regarding an investigation’s subjects, an unclear scope, cross-departmental responsibilities, cross-border data privacy issues, and managing the overwhelming volume of potentially relevant data.

To address challenges, legal teams can deploy a number of tools to manage investigations as well as eDiscovery. This includes technology-assisted review, entity search, and relationship analysis. Both eDiscovery and investigations require the ability to quickly and accurately search through lots of data, discard unhelpful or irrelevant data sources, and identify important facts and hidden patterns. Tools developed for eDiscovery are therefore applicable to investigations.

These include automation tools designed to eliminate extraneous data files or organize messages into related threads, or allow investigation teams to find live data relevant to their search through Live EDA; and context tools that can quickly detect concepts such as persons, places, and things and then group like topics together.

Legal leaders and teams at government organizations face many challenges, and the assortment of tools such as those offered by IPRO can help them reinvent the way they interact with their data and accomplish everyday tasks.

Learn more about IPRO solutions for government agencies.