While the legal sector has traditionally been less open to change than some other industries in the UK, recent years have seen a marked increase in investment in legal tech. Tech has been an instrumental tool in many industries in the last two decades, and this trend can easily be seen when comparing the growth of the likes of Amazon compared to high street shops. In the legal sector, investment is already having a transformative effect on the way that law firms do business, but how is technology likely to improve the industry?
Many law firms are now embracing technology and using it as a collaborative tool.
The increased investment in tech has enabled legal innovation, broadening the scope of services offered and allowing for cross-sector collaboration. While the use of tech can speed up many tasks (with AI providing quicker and more reliable data processing, for example), it also fosters diversity in the workplace – law offices today encompass many more competencies and roles than they did previously, from process designers and data analysts to project managers. We have even seen innovation hubs in universities designed to prepare students for the newly ‘digitized’ legal sector.
Legal clients have higher digital expectations in modern society
While the use of new technologies like Blockchain can provide extra security in terms of data and payment processing, the growing use of technology also enables law firms to meet the increasing expectations of their clients and become more ‘customer-centric’ in general. Businesses can use tech to improve the experience for their clients, whether it be 24/7 portal access for case and file monitoring, progress notifications or direct messaging with solicitors. This is all increasing the value that law firms can offer their clients while still being able to operate at manageable costs. If other industries are anything to go by, this factor may well prove to be pivotal for the long-term viability of many legal firms should they shun technology adoption.
Technology will improve case management and free up more time for over endeavours
There is no doubt that the use of AI and intuitive tech can dramatically speed up time-consuming legal processes, increasing workflow and efficiency. This is especially true when it comes to digital case management systems, which eliminate the requirement for antiquated paper filing systems. This enables lawyers to spend less time sifting through/organising caseloads and more time getting results for their clients – as we move further into new tech investment, it seems as though speed and organisation are likely to improve.
The use of technology will help when making data-driven decisions
Perhaps the most important change in the sector that has been attributed to technology is the leveraging of big data. Legal firms can now analyse vast quantities of data in order to help them make key decisions, improve the experience of their clients, increase speed and efficiency, keep up with competitors in the market and even devise data-driven strategies for the future.