We saw the rise of technology during the pandemic. We worked from home, and nobody needn’t go to offices, most colleges and schools operated online, and business meetings and contracts between parties were also discussed and signed through online meetings as such even legal practices had to change their traditional ways. Trials in the courtroom were also done online means. Come to think of it, most legal research depends on the online method. Official government websites publish journals, reports, newsletters, and cases. Case status as well. In this article, we discuss in what ways technology has changed the legal profession.
“Online research databases have substituted law books, digital contracts have replaced hard copies, and numerous other developments have transformed the legal industry. From artificial intelligence and automation to blockchain and big data analytics, all these new tools are the future of law practice. According to the 2022 “Future Ready Lawyer” survey by Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, 88% of U.S. lawyers said that the complexity of information is driving a greater reliance on technology.”
WHY EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY?
Society and technology are ever-changing and law as such needs to adapt with the times. As stated earlier, technology helps make life easier from law firms to courtroom clerks. New technology has changed the way certain industries work and even newer technology are created to ensure better productivity and efficiency. Certain trends that have taken place in the legal profession due to technology are as follows:
- Automation:Experts say 23% of a lawyer’s work can be automated. Automation can be used to reduce time-consuming and administrative tasks, by using email templating for example. Document automation is common in the industry, and there are tools in workplace automation to organise and track progress. Other areas which can be automated include data collection, reporting, daily tasks and billing.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): While still relatively unexplored in the industry, there are some firms taking advantage of this technology that mimics human behaviour. It can be used to carry out repetitive tasks like checking contracts for missing clauses which is often very time-consuming.
- Internet of things (IoT): this emerging technology allows objects used in our daily lives to be plugged into the internet to provide real-time data which can be used as evidence in legal cases.
- Virtual Legal Assistants (VLAs): these are AI-based chatbots and remove the need for a human reply. While they don’t replace humans, they can cut the need for a human response and increase operational capacity.
- Voice technology: Because people can speak faster than they can type, voice dictation and other voice assistants increase productivity. Technology can also be used to automatically transcribe voicemail messages which can then be sent to email to allow for a prompt response for urgent clients.
The technology on which the legal field extensively relies is in-house documentation software, cloud-based technology, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Word processors and e-discovery solutions, Time Tracking and billing technology solutions, Blockchain-based smart contracts and payment solutions, Augmented and Virtual Reality, etc. it is important to understand and learn what kind of technology you need to first invest on for your law firms. Technology also ensures that you are on equal footing with your competitors. Making your work simpler and easier.