Current Trends Affecting the Legal Industry
The legal profession lacks qualified providers, the amount of legal work that is not reserved to qualified lawyers and that forms a big part of their income. This is where, “Legal technology” (legal tech or ‘lawtech’) is playing its huge role. The new provider competes on equal or more favorable terms than the law firm. Lawyers are now able to provide reserved activities and black letter law better, which is known to be more efficient and cheaper. Legal tech has excited the imagination of lawyers and non-lawyers alike as to its possibilities. In the legal sector the potential to do the same thing at a cheaper cost and more effectively is extremely appealing. In this blog we are going to the analyze the trends affecting the legal industry, and how the future of law firms will look like with the progress in legal technology.
AI and Technology:
“Digital disruption all over the place”
According to the most recent research, advancement in AI and technology will have the most revolutionary impact. AI is not here to replace the lawyers but here to assist the lawyers to practice which will produce promising results, increase in productivity and efficiency. Attorneys now have more time and flexibility to advice their clients and negotiate deals because of AI. It saves Attorneys from the process of reviewing and managing from pile of legal contracts, which is a major part that law firms have to do for their clients. AI Is great with dealing with processes and repetitive tasks like these with the result of high expected results. At the moment legal technology such as machine learning and coding is the way to go, such as contract review for electronic declaration. The AI software in many of the law firms is the new trends, which enhances the daily practices. For example according to an article from Forbes last year AI ” is able to review and find documents used in particular case due to machine learning algorithms for several legal firms “.
Electronic Client Care Service
“Digitizing the client experience”
It was about time that the law firms have realized that lawyers are just trained to practice law, they don’t have much idea when it comes to other sectors of the firm like sales, marketing or business neither they are trained in them. As tables have turned law firms have now realized that they will have to turn their law firms into a business and think like a business man. For a businessman, his customer service is his most powerful weapon. It’s very important to constantly strive to amaze your clients. Therefore, lawyers have used electronic discovery to their advantage. They use electronically stored information such as e-mails, instant messages, voicemails, e-calendars, graphics and data on handheld devices located in taking the legal action and stay connected to their clients.
The Multi-Generational Workforce
“Creating Innovative workplaces by engaging Millennials”
For the first time the four generations are working in the same workplace together. Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. These four generations working together in the same working environment brings in many innovative ideas and presents new workforce goals and challenges to be accomplished. Most importantly as the baby boomers will retire or have retired, the entry of generation X, Y and Z has already taken over and has changed the work place with their own new innovations. According to the research law schools today offer education to build you hand-on skills and real world problem solving, millennials today have complete knowledge and awareness about upcoming legal technology.
Digital & Social Connectivity
“If you are not Social – you are out of game”
There is global pattern shift in the delivery model for legal services which is known as legal process outsourcing. This process transfers the work of any legal profession to external vendors located domestically or overseas. The advantages of legal outsourcing have helped achieved minimized costs, increase flexibility and expand their in-house capacity.
This is how law firms of the future will look like
Virtual Law Firms
“Quick, secure and seamless cloud-based service in high demand”
Consultation done anywhere, any-time? Yes, that’s how the virtual law firms will work in the near future. Virtual lawyers will be using purpose- built cloud- based practice management software which will be able to run as fully function law firm from anywhere or any device at a very little cost. Working remotely anywhere/anytime will benefit both legal professionals and clients. Legal professionals will get to balance their work/life where as clients will be able to fit personal consultation into their schedules and there will be no overhead costs or firms in house installations hassle. Collaboration with colleagues online will be easier because cloud-based case management software supports to secure online collaboration on cases and documents. ADAM Global has created a series to understand how to launch your own virtual law firm. See link below at end of post.
Court rooms of the future
“Virtual Reality defines the way forward”
Even the judges of the future will be dependent on help of legal AI technologies to extract the data to support their decisions. According to the research using videos in courts is known to be proven more effective and saves everyone to travel to the court centers. Experts predict that advanced e-filling options will be moving to a complete paperless system. Attorneys will be able to share images and evidence with judge and jury members through improved courtroom legal technology. Another exciting and anticipated innovations to hit the future court rooms will be use of virtual reality in litigation. Yes, that’s right virtual reality in litigation. Imagine the amount of possibilities of having jury virtually transfer to the actual scene of crime or accident. They will be able to be a part of the incident and result in better judgement. This will definitely transform the traditional court room experience.
“Digital Tags tracking legal documents”
In the legal world blockchain of digital information, are expected to take it by storm. Legal technology is not the only thing that lawyers will come in contact through their practice in different industries but they will also see blockchain that will impact their everyday schedule or the tasks that they do everyday. Contract data is stored and supervised on a network of blockchain computer. It saves more time and is more efficient when it comes to making negotiations, contract changes, and term enforcement. Blockchain will be able to track all physical and online movement of a document through the use of digital tags. Same tracker will also help establishing the chain of custody, giving access for the effective tracking of stored documents with no concerns like deletions. Blockchain has already made its way among law firms and other legal professionals.
Gareth Stephenson one of the three co-founders of Top 3 Legal London,UK. Top 3 Legal is an online platform that is redefining how businesses find external lawyers to work with and how they manage ongoing relationships, informed by knowledge and trust.
Gareth Stephenson Co-founder of Top 3 Legal (Former Corporate Partner -Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer)
“In my opinion, one area where all providers of legal services need to change is in how they market their services to clients. There is scope now for so much more collaboration between clients and law firms giving law firms the chance to get update credentials of their individual lawyers in front of clients at the time they are looking to instruct a lawyer. Those legal services providers who embrace the new technologies available will be the winners. “
In conclusion, looking at the trends of 2019 and how the law firms will look like in the future, its quite certain that the competitive nature of the law firms will remain. The main focus for the law firms is investing their money and time on legal technology. This promising feature will not only just give them access to the technology platform but will also monitor their progress and give them regular updates on their matters.
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Hafsa Ahmed (Connect with Hafsa on LinkedIn)
Hafsa Ahmed is an enthusiasitc Marketing and Research Intern at ADAM Global. Find out more about how it is like working with ADAM Global on email@example.com