Over the past years, lawyers have been embracing technology at an increasing pace, which as a result has been facilitating digital transformation of the legal sector. Earlier, the sector was reluctant to any change, and found solace in its traditional practices, however, the pandemic of 2019 was a key factor in accelerating the adoption of legal technology by this sector. In 2020, the Gartner research predicted that 40% of corporate legal departments intended to increase their spending on legal IT systems or software by least 10% by 2023. If we observe the current legal market, the prediction has so far been true.
Among the reasons which drove this change was the need of lawyers remain in touch with their clients, keeping in mind that physical mode of communication was seemingly impossible during the pandemic. Hence, to meet the clients’ needs and their expectations, technology allowed various methods for the same. If we consider the benefits which legal tech brings, one of them is faster data processing. Technology allows lawyers to spend less time on routine administrative task, as a result of which they can work on tasks which require high-quality and impactful legal work for their clients. With rising inflation, clients cannot pay blindly to their lawyers. Hence, legal tech also allows in bringing billing transparency of legal services. It can help clients in tracking the day-to-day progress of their cases hence providing an efficient way of rating the pay for their lawyers. Among other benefits which legal tech brings is the reduction in the risk of error. AI systems can be used to monitor and store critical data and reduce the risk of human error breaches in law firms.
Let us now consider a few predictions which will shape the future legal world.
as of now, metaverse is more of a concept than a single thing or a place. Scientifically, it refers to virtual reality platforms where users can interact in complex and immersive ways, from casual interactions with friends, to purchasing land or building an office or opening a virtual law firm. A prime reason why law firms might be willing to operate in the metaverse is to set them apart from the competition. This would allow them in promoting their firm as a tech-forward law firm. Moreover, metaverse could also just be guided by their excitement to introduce exciting opportunity for their business. One often faces the concern, that will working from such virtual spaces affect the working quality? The answer is simple. Take example of the 2022 Legal Trends Report, a highlight from the report stated that working from a home office has negligible influence on a client’s decision to hire a lawyer. Additionally, most clients, about 25% of them prefer meeting virtually, while the rest did not have any such preference while meeting their lawyer, hence depicting they are positive with any kind of adaptation. Along with all of this, metaverse is a way of establishing an online presence of our firm, which can also be considered a thoughtful social media strategy.
2. Cloud-native platforms
According to the 2022 Wolters Kluwer’s ‘Future Ready Lawyer’ survey report, 36% of attorneys believe that their company needs to be well-prepared to tackle the most significant trends that will influence them in the coming three years. with cloud platforms becoming a necessity for businesses, about 2/3rd of lawyers believe that the threat of cyberattack makes them reluctant to using cloud. However, it is important for such lawyers to note that big cloud storage companies have comparable or better security than many corporate data centres. In the same report, it was also reported that the enterprise IT spending on cloud computing will also surpass spending on traditional IT (spendings on networking hardware desktop computers and enterprise application software solutions, etc) by 2025. Among the advantages which these cloud-based system will bring, includes rapid development cycles, serverless functions, and resilient automated tech.
Wherever technology is introduced, the threat follows. Therefore, with increasing tech in the legal sector, the vulnerability to fall under cyberattack will also increase. Cybersecurity will become a necessity for legal practices to protect and store sensitive client information. Moreover, legal departments and other law firms will have to be hyper attentive and cautious about the ways they handle, transfer and store data. The importance of using the right tools to share data within the organization and also externally with clients, witnesses and the court will increase.
The adoption of technology in the legal sector will increase. Even a report from the LawtechUK indicates that the increased use of digital technology by legal service providers could result in productivity gains worth up to $2.1 billion annually. With the usage of technology in the legal sector, not only the law firms, but the clients will also be favoured. But with all the benefits that it brings, there will also be a set of risks, including cybersecurity and regulatory risks, driving the growth of the sector. With all of this, it will be under the hands of the lawyers to automate their functions while keeping in mind the growing risks which technology will pose.
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