The entire world has felt the impact of the latest technological advancements, and the legal profession is no different. Deeply intertwined with education, finance, and various other business branches, legal professionals and law firms everywhere have felt the changing tides coming with tech innovations. The vast majority of them have embraced them readily. That said, the realm of law still has some catching up to do, to reflect the most progressive updates that technology has brought us, from the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI for short), to all-encompassing automation.
Much like so many other aspects of our lives, how we practice law in the modern era has changed significantly thanks to these tech inventions. In order to understand them better, let’s take a look at some of the most noticeable, profound changes that are still reshaping the legal profession in more ways than one.
Once upon a time, the main way to get a lawyer was through word of mouth, as personal recommendations have always been considered the most trustworthy method for such serious matters. However, as so many of our spending decisions have moved to the online world, it was only a matter of time before legal joined in.
Now, law firms freely advertise over social media, get in touch with their clients in the same manner, and utilize SEO practices to rank better for their modern customers. They may not have fully adopted the e-commerce approach, but they are certainly getting more comfortable with doing business online.
AI steals the spotlight
Legal teams working on sensitive cases and dealing with hundreds of pages of information understand how even one or two missed words can ruin months of preparation and knock down an entire case. In fact, the outcome of some proceedings may rely on witness testimonies and similar details, and the defendant’s life may be at stake. Simply put, there is no room for human error.
Luckily, by using AI in legal transcription to ensure the accuracy and completeness of information available, we can eliminate the margin of error altogether and have access to an abundance of data to build strong cases. From telephone conversations, testimonials, all the way to hearings, AI helps retain vital bits of information that will later determine the success of a case.
Law firms dealing with complex cases spanning over decades of research know how essential it is to utilize their resources wisely. Coordinated research projects within the same office can be a grueling job even for the most skilled legal minds, but technology and the big data allow for a high level of automation.
By utilizing data mining in the legal profession, hours of research and guess-work, spotting valuable bits of information and putting them together in meaningful networks of data can be handed over to clever algorithms instead. This tech move alone will enable firms everywhere to cut labor costs drastically, invest in even better innovation of their offices, and focus on building strong cases based on well-researched data.
Greater contract security
Legal cases aside, the inner workings of a law firm will also be affected positively by tech innovations such as blockchain. This technology will allow legal experts to simplify and add a more secure way of executing contracts in a digital format, as the blockchain doesn’t allow any form of third-party tampering.
Replacing a pile of paperwork and hours of complex administrative processes will save hours of every lawyer’s time to devote it to more pressing issues and legal matters. Not to mention the added layer of safety that will allow lawyers and their clients a peace of mind they currently might lack.
International law firms, as well as those with such aspirations, can now easily and efficiently conduct their meetings no matter where they are and where their clients may be at any given moment. As cloud storage options allow legal documents to be safely stored and available to those who are authorized to access them, not a single long-distance meeting has to suffer due to a lack of information or preparation.
Virtual assistants have been a popular option for many professions, while working in different time zones is no longer an issue among law firms that count hundreds of employees scattered across the globe. In so many ways, legal professionals can truly delegate minor tasks and eliminate the need for a vast majority of them through the use of the Internet, from administrative work, to sharing information and handling sensitive meetings.
It’s not just the in-house information within law firms that benefits from being transformed into a digital form. As many modern libraries are in the process of digitalization, there will be relevant documents, educational literature, and similar files available in their digital format to legal experts all over the globe. The research process for each case will be all the simpler, and easier to conduct.
With nonstop availability of digital libraries and their global access, lawyers will save countless hours on sifting through piles of paperwork to build a case. Instead, they can conduct an online search and rely on digital libraries that are soon to emerge.
Considering the speed at which technology advances, we can safely say that the changes we are now experiencing are still in their infancy. However, with new ideas constantly emerging, we can rest assured that the legal profession will soon begin applying new methods to transform their processes even further and become more efficient than ever.