Legal Technology, what it means and the future
Law is as old as man itself, and it is the basis of human existence. From time immemorial, laws have been initiated to assist, oversee and superintend human behaviour. The global and contemporary advancement has redefined law; partly to flow with the trend. These changes and adjustment witnessed over time are imperative if laws must continue to maintain its pride of place in the preferences of things. With new situations, new laws are created daily to carter for them. At the moment, technology has found itself in the parlance of the law. The waves and pace of technological progress now possess a challenge to law; a severe one. Now, law needs to adapt hence the initiation of the buzz word legal technology.
What is Legal Technology?
Typically, legal technology is an innovation which eases the provision of legal services. It is used to describe the practice of using software in law firms to assist with routine operations and management activities. The insurgence of Legal Technology came to lime light since 2011 and known to be associated with startup law firms. The goal is to discontinue the traditional practice style of law by improving and allowing people to have access to legal services online, thereby reducing and obliterating the need to open communications with lawyers. In other situations, it links clients up with lawyers in manners that are more effective.
Legal technology seeks to provide and present lawyers and law alliances with contemporary ways to serve the clients; a trend that has been unheard of in previous decades. Adaptability is therefore key and beneficial to lawyers in many ways; more so because clients are progressively becoming technologically inclined as well. Legal technology came to a climaxed with the amendment of Model Rules of Professional Conduct by the American Bar Association, which now specifies the need for lawyers to be tech-savvy.
Why Innovate and Why Now?
There is a burning desire to innovate. The leaders in the industry are somehow not sufficiently motivated to disrupt the age-long status-quo while clients are not just pushing just enough for a change. There is a burning question, why innovate now? External and Internal factors within the firm exert great pressure for a transformation; one that is in line with the competition. How does the typical law firm desire to compete favourably and surge business profit using the current and Archie business model? The legal illuminants are being forced out of their comfort zones to re-align their skill portfolios. Though it seems, the legal process is slow and frustrating, the successes recorded in previous years is an attestation to the fact that operations can be made better, and changes as a result of a change can contribute positively to the baseline.
Legal technology is a plus to Law. The understanding that a lawyer is versatile with contemporary technologies can make the whole difference and can improve the chances of getting a Lawyer hired by a client. Legal technology is an attestation that lawyers are fully dedicated to discharging their responsibilities in the best and appropriate manner and with all resources available to them. In addition to surging the client base, here are other importance of legal technology.
- The role of Automation
With technology, Lawyers now have the options of choosing an appropriate tool for automating the business areas, including task, meeting scheduling, document filing, and time spent on cases, and the billing processes. The cost of hiring office assistance is drastically reduced, and time is used efficiently.
- Improve Customer Service
There is a growing need to improve clients’ satisfaction now, more than ever. Today, providing legal service has gone beyond giving a better shot but the client’s satisfaction. The customers’ needs to be happy with your services for a repeat of business; hence, clients satisfaction is paramount. Legal technology has the potential for improving clients’ satisfaction. Software’s and other useful tools assist you in reaching out to your clients to keep them engaged. With the live chat handle on your website, you can hang out with potential clients and translate them into actual customers.
- Makes Research Easy
Though research in law has been re-shaped by the internets, most lawyers still make use of print Media routinely. Most of these printed materials are not updated for decades. With the understanding that law is dynamic, there is always a need for continuous update. It is therefore imperative that an online legal research platform is initiated to assist lawyers in staying up to date with information which may not be provided in the print media as a result of its static characteristic.
- Adapting to change
Today, courts at various levels now apply an electronic court filing system. Many now envisage a time when court filings are mandatory to ease case transition. To do this, law firms and lawyers need to be conversant with litigation tools, innovation and software.