The legal landscape is changing with in-house teams and private law practices alike seeking to transform ways of working through the use of technology and new efficient processes.
While technology does not equal innovation, it most certainly plays an important role in supporting it.
This can mean reducing firm costs, offering better value to clients, and improving the day-to-day workflow and processes of staff.
Examples of how tech is helping to drive legal innovation:
Often a starting point for innovation and modern business practices. Cloud Computing enables flexibility through remote working and a collaborative approach. In turn, this can increase productivity and improve employee satisfaction - which will ultimately have a positive impact on the value delivered to clients.
Traditionally, all the in-house legal tasks are performed manually. While lawyers focus heavily on interacting with non-lawyers and other business professionals, they also have to invest some time in operating the associated tasks. Of which, 63% are found to be fact-based and repeatable.
By monitoring data left in systems regarding meetings, phone calls and document work, artificial intelligence can automate billing processes. Compared to the lengthy process of drawing up invoices manually, this drastically increases efficiency.
Even judges are expecting that eventually they will have to depend on the help of legal AI technologies to crunch data to support their decisions, or otherwise lose credibility with the parties they are judging.
Analysis of data can provide you with insight on average timings and work required for specific tasks. This then informs workflows, allocation of resources and pricing offered to clients.
Robot Lawyers and Legal Chatbots
It used to be enough for law firms to have an attractive website to compete for the new generation of tech-savvy customers, but now the ‘digital born’ people want a lot more. They increasingly expect to be in contact with their lawyer 24/7 and be serviced immediately.
Internal Management Systems
Increasingly case and practice management systems are being embraced by lawyers, as they have become more of a facilitator to their work than a burden. Access to data and reports on performance can give Practice Managers a live picture on demand.
The other big technological unknown is how far the security inherent in blockchain technology will eat into lawyers’ traditional sources of income. At the moment consortia of big law firms are exploring common standards for blockchain-backed smart contracts which ‘self-activate’ when verifiable milestones are reached.
Legal Tech for Operational Efficiency
Software developers focused on the smooth running of law firms have been busy in recent years. There is a bewildering range of applications aimed at improving case management, marketing and similar law firm internal operations and services.
With the right software, the data that law firms collect and process about their clients and their legal matters can be ‘mined’, subject to complying with data protection laws. Other data about the firm’s functioning can be used too. There are signs that law firms are already exploiting this information to better serve their clients and stay ahead of the competition.
Innovation and technology adoption are related, but do not necessarily occur at the same time. The explosion of tech-based innovation within the legal sector, internally and in services to clients, is only likely to accelerate as non-lawyers snap at law firms’ heels. So varied are the developments already taking place that only a glimpse of what is happening at any one time is possible.
How Blue Car Technologies can help
With more than 20 years of experience providing customised software solutions and expert IT advice to professionals operating in the professional services sector, Blue Car Technologies’ products and services can be your firm’s competitive advantage.