How technology is shaking up legal firms

Summary –

Technological advancements and facilities have changed the legal landscape drastically. Law being one of the oldest professions and practices has many traditional working methods even today, however new software’s make them much easier, error free and time saving.  Technological progress has enhanced attorney – client relationships as well with instant updates, transparent and ongoing communication and options for clients to choose from while seeking legal counsel. Artificial intelligence has helped in gaining accuracy and details about witnesses and case details which was not possible in earlier times.

Additionally, it came as a boon for the legal industry during this pandemic. Online hearing of cases has helped in reducing the backlog and delay in judgements.  Virtual offices during this period have not only ensured the smooth flow of work but has also reduced the overhead cost of working from actual office spaces

The legal industry has undergone some major changes over the last five decades. While there are several factors involved in this change, the effect of technology over the last few years has completely transformed the legal landscape.

Legal technology – also known as ‘legal tech’- is defined as the use of technology and software used to provide legal services and help individual lawyers, firms and small businesses. It is a set of technologies that eases the practice of law and makes it more accessible to customers.

Effects of technology on legal industry

Technology has increased the efficiency and production of work in law offices and has helped remove the chances of human error in documentation and research-related work. Some of the major effects of technology on the industry are the following:

  1. Automation of processes – The traditional practice was to perform all in-house legal work manually which is mostly repetitive and fact based. Now, with the help of newer software and processes like E discovery, these tasks can save lot of time.
  • Ease of research – Legal research solutions help law practitioners stay updated on changes in regulations and search options on the go.
  • Better resource management – Traditionally, junior employees and trainees were mainly assigned with the documentation and clerical work which is essential but time consuming. Now, with the help of technology, resources can be better managed and their potential harnessed in a much more constructive and interesting way.
  • Reduces the risk of errors – The chances of errors and omissions of any nature has gone down which in turn results in better judgement.
  • Increased transparency – By using the best legal practice management solutions, a marketplace can be created for clients to choose from legal advisors and communicate with them to seek counsel and legal assistance.

6.  Bridges the gap between clients and lawyers – With the help of AI, Client data can be stored and processed to find customized solutions and enhance transparency at every stage. Law-based mobile apps and software help the operations become a lot smoother and more efficient. It enables legal attorneys maintain intra-team communication and with clients. Also, it helps clients seek out the right legal advisors from their homes!

  • Enhanced research on the witnesses – Attorneys put in a lot of time and effort conducting background checks of their witnesses. Unfortunately, despite all the thorough work put in, there’s always an off-hand chance that certain important details will be missed. Thankfully, there are software to keep this information updated automatically. One such platform is Expert IQ.
  • Use of Artificial Intelligence – The use of AI by lawyers in contract creation and review helps them make full use of their time. AI greatly enhances the quality of research too.

The onset of pandemic in 2020 brought the legal industry, like most other sectors, to a standstill for a while. But the technological advancements in the legal community already in use have helped in its revival. Online hearings have helped reduce the backlog of pending cases and have helped this pillar of the Nation survive and run smoothly during these unnatural circumstances.

Not just hearings; online consultations, meetings and negotiations have helped many firms and clients to continue working without hassles. It has become easier for legal firms to operate from their homes with the help of technology. The use of communication apps and document-sharing software has made coordinating and working seamless for professionals.

 Virtual offices have also helped legal firms save on unnecessary overheads. Legal process outsourcing services in India has been enabled with the help of these technological developments and well-qualified and efficient resources from India can now work globally for legal firms and add value and growth of their respective teams.