2020 brings significant opportunities for law firms to take advantage of the surge of legal newtech. The industry has accepted the importance of implementing useful technology, so now is an exciting time for forward-thinking firms ready to improve their competitive advantage and use newtech to grow their practices.

The range of technology available can be overwhelming. But by researching effectively, you can identify the right software for your firm, boost productivity and internal processes and improve the service you provide for your clients.

The future of legal newtech

Firms looking at introducing new technology will wrestle with the age-old conundrum of balancing the needs of the business vs those of their clients.

Client expectations have risen sharply, thanks to service improvements introduced by retail companies such as Amazon. Clients now expect the same seamless, fast, customer focussed service across all industries, including the legal sector.

Newtech allows law firms to provide this service at the same time as improving their own internal processes and procedures and boosting their bottom line. Below you’ll find five newtech trends to look out for in 2020, as well as the advantages of introducing them to your practice.

Client self-service

Client self-service will become more widespread in 2020, allowing clients to submit and receive documents and access legal advice through client portals driven by AI, which will speed up service delivery.

For example, firms will be able to provide a suite of standard legal documents for clients to access and fill in online. And chatbots can provide answers to simple legal questions or direct clients to resources which answer their queries.

Practice management systems

The legal sector will see an increase in use of practice management systems in 2020. These platforms allow users to manage cases, clients, billing and documents in one central system. They also offer several benefits.

Not only will streamlining procedures improve productivity, but automating processes will also reduce error rates and improve accuracy. And rather than dealing with mountains of paperwork, staff can concentrate on client relationship management, improving service levels.

Improving cybersecurity using the cloud

The legal sector deals with highly sensitive information, and firms must ensure their IT security is watertight. Smaller firms, who may not have the same resources as larger firms, may be more vulnerable to security breaches.

An increase in firms transferring to cloud-based storage solutions will go some way to addressing cybersecurity issues in 2020. The cloud offers enhanced security and anti-theft protection as well as allowing you to scale up your storage requirements as your business grows.

Simplifying compliance with automation

Compliance can be time-consuming and complicated for law firms. Automating compliance procedures such as Know Your Client and Anti-Money Laundering requirements can speed up client onboarding and improve risk management. They will also provide you with an audit trail of activity and give you greater visibility of your onboarding practices.

Using machine learning and intelligent automation to speed up research

The legal sector will also see an increase in the use of software for research purposes. Machine learning algorithms will review and analyse documents to find relevant information for different cases. AI will recognise trends and highlight similarities in documents, so your lawyers can focus on analysis rather than identifying relevant information for their cases.

Adopting legal newtech is essential if you want to remain relevant to your clients and satisfy their growing customer service requirements. Anyone looking to grow their legal business needs to make sure their technology can support their goals and objectives for the foreseeable future. Firms need to take action now or risk being left behind.

To keep up to date with IT developments in the legal sector, read more from CBSIT’s Intelligence Centre. Here you’ll find all the information you need on the latest IT trends, including cybersecurity, AI and the cloud.