Technology is acting as a catalyst for disruption across industries, the legal industry is no different. With the widespread digital and telecommunication infrastructure, lawyers who once referred to their books for legal are now increasingly making use of the digital resources to leverage legal research databases. Given the pandemic made cyber courts a reality, judgments and litigations are also digitized now.
So what are the leading technologies accelerating transformation in the legal sector, to deliver superior, quicker, and equitable justice?
1. Artificial Intelligence - Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all set to dramatically change the way the legal industry functions, it’s not going to replace human lawyers. However, AI will enable legal departments to work faster, cheaper, and without compromising on quality. For example, Machine learning can be used for legal research and also accurate for the prediction of litigation outcomes. However, it’s difficult to predict how AI can evolve within the legal industry once the large-scale rollouts start happening.
Below are some of the predicted applications of AI within the legal industry:
● AI in Due Diligence - AI in due diligence can go a long way in protecting the best interests of lawyers and their clients. Lawyers can customize AI to search for information through the complex documentation and also extract key points from it.
● Litigation Prediction - Often lawyers constantly think about the outcome of their case. They arrive at conclusions depending on their year of experience and expertise. However, prediction through AI is a notch higher. AI can easily analyze the facts, figures, and also compare it with cases with similar merits, it then goes on to provide a statistical figure of the litigation outcome. This further allows lawyers to advise their clients better on the next steps.
● Contract Management - Lawyers deal with contracts all the time, whether an organization’s legal attorney or a lawyer practicing on his own. AI helps by providing an efficient method to sort, track, and even negotiate contracts. AI is also very useful when it comes to collecting data, drawing conclusions, negotiating future contracts, and discovering insights within existing contract terms. There have been instances where AI has been successfully able to predict the time it takes for a contract to be signed.
2. Cybersecurity – With the definite push towards adopting digital technologies, protecting and securing the information stored online is paramount. Creating a comprehensive cybersecurity plan, implementing proper protocols, and developing an incident response plan will help prevent cyber threats. These steps will help law firms/lawyers make the best use of technology to win cases in favor safely and securely. Moving ahead, cybersecurity will definitely be a key element in the success of a law firm.
3. Automation - Automation as technology is set to transform the legal industry. It’s being regarded as a revolution by legal experts. They claim that automation is one of the ways to improve efficiency and profitability in the legal business. Automation can be both, business process automation or document automation. Certain administrative tasks that fall under business processes such as billing, matter management, contract management, and financial management can be easily automated. Document automation on the other hand is the most sought-after automation tech at the moment. This can include, document management, assembly, and automatic transformation of daily documents into legal templates. This can help lawyers focus on their core strength and better identify their client’s needs.
4. Blockchain - The majority of the world’s population today is deprived of cost-effective legal solutions. Traditional lawyers turn out to be quite expensive and their services are hardly affordable. Blockchain is said to bring about a change in the entire legal order across the globe by lowering the cost of legal services and making justice more accessible. Lawyers can use blockchain technology to simplify their transactional work by digitally signing and storing legal agreements. By using scripted text, smart contracts, and automated contract management lawyers don’t have to spend excessive time preparing, personalizing, and maintaining standard law documents. All of these result in cost savings, the benefit reaped by the common man. Additionally, blockchain helps standardize access to the judiciary by cutting down on the complexity of the law and lowering hefty legal fees.
5. Virtual Law Practise - Virtual law practice is a concept where lawyers operate from their homes or satellite offices and provide their legal services via teleconferencing or other methods of digital communication. During a pandemic, this ensures business continuity and also reduces the cost of operating for lawyers. Lawyers can easily stay up to date with their workload by handling litigation matters and signing documents digitally. This also allows lawyers to extend their legal expertise to any remote corner of the world.
6. Legal analytics - Legal analytics is the science of drawing great insight buried under large sets of data. These tools help lawyers make data-driven decisions to base their legal strategies. Lawyers can pick from a menu of analytic tools that best suit their requirements. Predictive analytics for instance as a tool can help lawyers predict the future and make an educated guess. Highly powerful visualization tools can help incorporate data analysis and reveal powerful connections between entities or uncover valuable links. Legal analytics will continue to encourage lawyers to adopt a more technology-based driven approach, thus slightly changing the image and functioning of a lawyer.