Legal Technology, commonly called Legal Tech, is software and technology which is used by law firms or legal teams to facilitate their processes and improve their effectiveness. Legal Tech can be called ‘the driver of the legal industry’ to succeed in the process of digital transformation as it aims to simplify operations, optimize current workflows and improve the overall management of knowledge and information that exists in law firms or enterprises.
Legal Tech has transformed the legal landscape in recent years. Although riddled with criticism for being a ‘workforce killer’, it has greatly increased workforce efficiency. The objective of Legal Tech is to let the technology do the redundant work which doesn’t involve much intelligence but requires a lot of hours and a cautious approach. Technology’s inherent nature of being able to work long hours, working with precision, absence of fatigue and machine’s ability to learn and adapt to changing requirements. However, there are some unwarranted technological advances and the trend of doing everything the ‘Smart Way’ by using AI where it is not even required. However, Legal Tech isn’t one of those unwarranted tech movements and is definitely here to stay.
A survey was conducted among various international law firms by Altman Weil, Inc. Completed surveys were received from 362 firms (45%), including 49% of the 500 largest US law firms and 46% of the Am Law 200. Among the completed surveys it was found that 51% of the firms have invested in developing data collection and analytics services and a third of them have reported clear corresponding improvements in their performance. Nearly ⅘ firms use profitability data to assess partner performance, 60% use data to analyze the profitability of clients. Increasingly firms are using in house data to increase productivity and it is benefiting them immensely.
Contract Management Systems has also made a huge impact in the legal industry. A contract management system keeps track of important dates and sends out automated alerts and features that allow users to schedule notifications as needed. It has reduced the number of violations and has helped to comply better. It helps in risk mitigation and streamlines all processes and is crucial for auditing purposes as well. With greater data and analytics, forecasting has been dramatically enhanced. You gain more control and enhance process and workflow efficiency by eliminating manual processes and centralising your document repository.
Thus, Legal Tech is not a bubble but a foundation stone for many technical advances, yet to be embraced by the legal domain. Although Legal Tech is becoming an inseparable part of Law Firms, it still has a long way to go in terms of development. Compared to many other domains such as finance and healthcare, the law still hasn’t been much transformed by the wave of AI applications. In the current context, Legal Tech mainly deals with contract management and data analytics and in some measure, analyzing various documents which act as an aid to the advocate.
Legal Tech is the only way ahead for the legal fraternity. With the advent of Web 3.0 where users will be owners of their own data, there will be more pressing needs for fast and effective Legal Tech solutions which will settle disputes faster. Most of the leading firms are adapting to Legal Tech at a faster pace than ever. Thus, Legal Tech is as important today as the internet was a decade back. No one wants to miss out on this burst of opportunities and the features and efficiency it brings, and neither should you!
This blog has been authored by Anshika Tiwari during her internship with MikeLegal.