Tech in the legal sector has brought many benefits to the law profession. Even though some firms are hesitant to adopt new technologies, others are reaping the rewards of automation and cloud solutions, leading to lighter admin loads and more agile working. These firms have found ways to leverage the latest technologies to cut costs and boost productivity, giving them a competitive advantage. But just how important is tech in the legal sector?
What are the benefits of legal tech trends?
Legal firms have achieved many benefits as a result of harnessing the latest tech, not just for their operations but also for their clients. The legal sector now offers greater flexibility, better transparency and lower fees as a result of automation and AI, for example. Online case management systems also reduce human error and allow clients to interact with their law firms 24 hours a day as their case progresses.
Here are some of the key tech trends for law in 2018, plus the benefits they could bring to your practice.
- Cloud computing
The cloud has influenced almost every industry, and law is no different. With cloud computing, lawyers can work remotely and still access highly sensitive documents, as long as they have Internet access. Being able to work flexibly helps lawyers attract and retain clients and improves cost efficiencies in chambers.
- Artificial intelligence
Many lawyers worry about the impact of AI and machine learning. However, the fear of “robot lawyers” putting humans out of jobs is, for now, unfounded. Legal AI solutions are helping lawyers work more efficiently with computers using predictive algorithms to carry out routine administrative tasks. This technology can be used to reduce time spent on admin and document entry. It’s also helpful for research and filing purposes, where AI will rank documents according to relevance so lawyers can find the information they’re looking for more easily.
- Big data
Data is rife in the digital age. As a result, many law firms now have a wealth of information at their fingertips, even post-GDPR. This data can help lawyers through advanced research tools by looking for trends for outcomes in previous relevant cases. Big data is also helpful when it comes to optimising marketing campaigns for law firms.
Automation has brought significant benefits to almost every industry. Now that billing, administrative and research processes can be automated, many law firms save on staff costs – whether they are large firms looking to ease operational challenges, or smaller independent firms who want to free themselves up to spend more time facing clients.
Tech in the legal sector: what are the challenges?
Legal tech developments come with many benefits for law firms, most of which need to change their traditional working practices to thrive in a digital age. However, legal tech also presents challenges and obstacles to overcome.
For example, the flexibility afforded by modern technology could raise the expectations of clients and put smaller firms in jeopardy, whilst also disrupting the work-life balance of human lawyers as they are expected to be “on call” 24 hours a day. There is also the concern that legal fees will drop and lead to a loss of earnings for legal professionals, disrupting the work-life balance. Data privacy is another major concern, particularly in the post-GDPR world.
With the right IT management and support services, however, your legal tech will be efficient, reliable and secure. City Business Solutions create IT and cloud-based solutions specifically for the legal sector, and we’ve supplied services to over 40 Barristers’ chambers. For more information on how we could help enhance productivity and manage costs for your law firm, contact us today.