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If you're an in-house lawyer -- particularly for a large company -- you'll know the pain of endless juggling of contracts. It is estimated that the average Fortune 1000 company maintains between 20,000 to 40,000 active contracts. Yikes.
Smaller companies of course deal with contract numbers that are much smaller, but it would be wrong to say that in-house lawyers' lives in those companies are much easier. How does an in-house for a small company deal with it all?
Technology Does the Heavy Lifting
Technology can and should help when human beings might fail. And when it comes to having to keep track of dozens or maybe even multiple dozens of contracts, human beings are just bound to screw up. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.
Fortunately, contract management software can make the process much easier. It's not just coincidental that contracts are increasingly becoming more and more electronic as time passes. By now, you've already seen dozens and dozens of fillable PDFs.
The Old Ways
Back before technology became significantly more interconnected and graphics heavy, in-house lawyers used to streamline the contracts process by saving drafts, old versions or physical copies in some on-site or even off-site facility. Very little attention was paid to the idea of transparency and traceability.
Electronic contracts and fillable PDFs are becoming standard. Contract management software abounds today so there really is no problem of choice. We suspect that the only real issue to deal with is price, but considering the extent to which the software can potentially make your life easier, this isn't the best area for penny pinching.