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What’s the Role of Technology in the Legal Sector?

By Prateek Saxena
March 19, 2020 8. min read
Last update on: September 11, 2020

Over the last five decades, the legal industry has undergone a significant transformation. What was once seen as a closely-knit profession has now become a global enterprise market projected to be worth USD 1,011 billion by the year 2021.

legal market size 

But, what made this possible? 

What are the key drivers of disruption in the legal sector?

While there are various factors behind the unprecedented shift in the legal market, the one that has made great strides in the last few years is legal technology. The one we will discuss in detail in this article.

But, before we dig deeper into the industry and get a comprehensive knowledge of the role of technology in the legal sector, let’s look into what exactly this term means.

What is Legal tech?

Legal technology (usually called Legal tech) refers to technologies and software that substantially changes the way we use legal services in our daily lives. In broader terms, it represents the set of technologies that –

  • eases the practice of law for attorneys and legal professionals, and
  • enables customers access legal competence or justice.

With the terminology clearly defined, let’s take a closer look at the set of advantages of technology in the law industry.

Benefits of using technology in Legal industry

1.  Automated processes

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. 

Now, legal software like word processors and eDiscovery software, in this case, takes over the tasks and perform automatically. This not solely enhances the pace of operations, but also gives attorneys enough time to focus on other productive tasks.

2.  Ease of research

Though legal professionals have become accustomed to the Internet and other such resources for their research method, they are still clung to the print products. They take a printout of everything including the revised laws and regulations and refer to them while working on each case. This adds to the time required for research work.

Legal research solutions, in this case, helps lawyers remain updated with each and every change in the regulations even when not at their desk. Besides, these platforms avail a vast range of tools and functionalities like ‘search’ that might not be available with print products.

technologies for legal research

3.  Better resource management

Earlier, junior attorneys were recruited to perform odd jobs like gathering, storing, managing, and processing titles, or informing lawyers about their daily schedule. This not only makes them disinterested in the process, but also makes senior attorneys wonder how to use their potential in a better way. Something that legal tech solutions help with.

The legal title management and calendaring applications perform all the tasks associated with titles along with giving them quick insights of what all tasks they have to do on that particular day. This gives senior attorneys an opportunity to use the resources (here, junior attorneys) in a better and effective way. Consequently, resulting in better outcomes.

4.  Decline in risk of errors

Another benefit of introducing technology in the legal sector is that it cut down the risk of errors that might be possible because of overlooking or misinterpretation of any fact and figure, ultimately bringing a drastic change in the judgment.

Here, the technological solutions eases the access to all the details. Also, it adds the facility to use the raw power of analytics in the processing, making it easier for legal practitioners to look at any fact/evidence from different angles and utilize it in a better and effective manner.

5.  Increased transparency

Even today, many lawyers showcase the issues faced by clients in a complicated way to earn more profits. They do not disclose that the problem they are facing is as simple as using a DSLR. Besides, the law practices are also confined to offline sources. This makes clients doubt every lawyer they connect with.

However, this situation can be improved with the help of the finest legal practice management solutions and other such offers. These tech solutions can create a marketplace where clients can come across the profiles of the best legal professionals in the industry. They can chat with different attorneys and remain in touch in real-time, along with getting acquainted with the basic law requirements. This can further help them partner with the right professionals and enjoy higher perks, in addition to trustability and transparency in the process.

6.  Introduction of new legal products/services

Another advantage of considering new technologies in the legal market is that they bridge the gap between lawyers and others. This gives lawyers a clear understanding of what issues are clients facing in common these days and comes up with relevant solutions. 

quote on legal-tech by Tom Wilson

7.  Higher convenience

Legal-based mobile apps and software adds convenience to the processes in the law industry. On one side, these tech solutions help common users connect with the top law professionals even without stepping out of their home. While, on the other side, these software can provide lawyers an opportunity to maintain communication with other attorneys and clients, update them in real-time, perform research work efficiently, and more.

This, as a result, makes the complete legal ecosystem highly convenient for all.

8.  Enhanced customer experience

Gone those days when offering the finest legal services was all required to gain limelight in the industry. Today, it has become equally important to keep your clients satisfied and happy. 

In this case, AI can enhance your customer experience strategy by delivering customized services. It can gather heaps of consumer data in real-time and help you to know your clients better. It can also send personalized emails and other messages to keep them engaged all the time.

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Now, while these are the advantages of legal tech, it is advisable for you to take a glimpse of the future prospect before taking a decision. So, taking the same thought forward, let’s take a look at how the future of the legal technology market will appear.

An outlook of future of legal tech market

 legal tech market infographic

As you can depict from the infographics shared above, the legal tech market is evolving slowly and gradually. Both law practitioners and associated people in the industry are showing signs of embracing the idea of introducing technology in the legal sector. Meaning, it is a profitable decision to connect with reputed legal software and app development service providers.

However, before you look ahead to exploring and embracing the legal technology trends, it is recommended to be familiar with the challenges you might encounter during or after the process. So, with the intent to aid you in taking better precautions and build a profitable business, let’s wrap up this article focusing on what challenges are related to legal technology developments.

Challenges hindering the path to Legal disruption (& how to mitigate them?)

legal tech market challenges

1.   Lack of understanding

The foremost challenge the legal tech market is facing is that even today, many legal professionals do not have an in-depth understanding of what technologies to use and when so as to derive better and effective outcomes. Also, they are living with the fear that the growing relationship between law and technology will result in a higher rate of unemployment in the industry.

In fact, it has been found that 36% of lawyers are unaware of the set of technology used in law firms for better purposes.

2.  Organizational issues

The emergence of technology in the legal sector has brought a 180-degree transformation in its business model. It has completely changed the way they attract new clients, process, and earn money. Because of this, various law firms are also facing several organizational challenges like acceptance of technology and software for daily tasks, ease of determining the scope of varied types of legal technology, practice as per the yet not proven business model, and more.

In actual fact, over 34% of organizations do not look ahead to enter the LegalTech market because of organizational problems.

3.  Financial barriers

Last but not least, the expenses associated with considering technology in the future of law such as legal software development cost is also impeding attorneys from getting inclined to this idea.

In fact, it has been found that 30% of the organizations are overlooking the impact of technology on the law industry because of financial issues.

[Also Read: A Brief Overview of the Evolution of Legal Technology Sector]

Frequently asked questions

Q.  How is technology changing the legal profession?

When talking about the impact of technology on the legal profession, it is offering a wide range of advantages like:-

  • Soaring global outlook,
  • Higher transparency,
  • Effective use of resources,
  • Faster gathering and processing of information, and
  • Decline in errors and other hidden issues.

Q.  Why is legal technology important?

Legal technology solutions, designed by reputed legal app development companies, are providing lawyers and other legal professionals with ample benefits, such as – 

  • Streamlined communication,
  • Automated eDiscovery process,
  • Simplified case management procedure,
  • Ease of access to analytics, and
  • Exposure to online legal communities.

Q.  What technology do law firms use?

Some of the technologies that law firms relies upon are as follows:-

  • Inhouse documentation software,
  • Cloud-based technology,
  • Artificial intelligence,
  • Internet of Things (IoT),
  • Word processors and eDiscovery solutions,
  • Time tracking and billing technology solutions,
  • Blockchain based smart contracts and payment solutions,
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality, etc.

Prateek Saxena
Prateek Saxena
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