Technology has touched every facet of life and work, from businesses and industries to services, such as legal services, healthcare, communication, education and more.
Lawyers and attorneys are able to serve their clients better and faster because they can optimize the processes and workflows at every stage of delivery or service. Digital transformation helps them to be more flexible and offer more value to their clients, improving their business impact and revenue.
Technology ups the level of service law firms can provide their clients. They are able to access necessary information whenever they want it and wherever they are from the available devices they have at their disposal. Technology allows them to digitize and automate their manual processes. Embracing technology is one way for law firms to win new businesses and extend their services into other markets.
The services of law firms will be more comprehensive. They can assemble a better portfolio of services like commercial contracting support, litigation and partnership with consultants and other firms. Adopting technology will help them to efficiently create documents, legal forms and contracts. They will be able to collaborate with other team members internally or with outside counsel faster.
By integrating some of the more laborious processes, they will be able to focus more on their clients.
Technology adoption in legal services
Although the digital transformation in legal services is not rapid, the obvious benefits that can be gained when they apply technology to their internal processes makes many more legal firms realize how technology is capable of improving their services.
The issue of privacy is one of the things that hinder the application of technology to their legal business. Server and computer hacking serves as deterrent. However, using trusted security applications can help convince legal firms to adopt technology to support their workflow processes.
Technology is a time saver
When working on a case, a large part of the lawyer’s time is spent on research. Even if there are exaggerated depictions in movies and films, it is true that lawyers and their paralegal staff have to scour through volumes of data to locate relevant and valuable information. If there is going to be a trial, then it is critical for the legal team to spend hours searching for supporting evidence, examples of cases and rulings similar to the one they are handling and other information that may help their client. The task is laborious and extensive. With technology, they can reduce the time they use to find information and focus more on preparing for the case.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can help law firms to carefully search through volumes of data much faster than the capacity of a human. Machine learning can help lawyers and paralegal staff locate critical information and facts from historical data and legal texts from different offline and online sources.
Faster settlement of minor cases
Several offenses and cases are considered trivial. With digital technology, it is possible to settle minor and non-criminal cases without making a court appearance. For example, a vehicle parking ticket case can easily be settled out of court. Phone apps for contesting parking tickets can help a driver contest the parking ticket by finding out if the parking violation is valid or not. With such an application, the workload on every agency involved is minimized. It also saves time and money. Drivers can download the app and follow the instructions on how to send the information to their lawyer so the citation can be processed quickly.
Legal firm can up their legal services by providing clients with legal advice on simple matters and help them understand the legal process better. They can employ it to improve their customer service and provide answers to basic questions, which can free up their time. Law firms will then be able to use the skills of their employees productively and efficiently in more pressing activities.
Digital technology is a boon to legal services
It’s already established that research is very critical to a law firm. In the past, legal employees spend a lot of time reading thick books of case law publications. You can imagine its level of importance when you know that in 2018, the Harvard Law School Library completed digitizing everything from their case law library. The contents of the law library encompass 334 years of history. The public will be able to find legal information from 40 million pages of court cases published in the United States. All lawyers in the U.S. can access the library through Harvard’s Caselaw Access Project (CAP).
Access to the digital records can help lawyers and paralegals search for information faster. They will be able to improve the quality of legal services. At the same time, they can reduce their operational costs.
How technology can help law firms
The transformation of the legal field in recent years can be associated with the demands from clients, the technological innovations that cannot be avoided by the legal industry and the step toward specialization and globalization. These developments are inevitable. The legal industry has to be competitive amid the marketplace that evolves constantly. It also needs to monitor the upcoming trends so they can improve their strategies for managing their law practice. The members of the industry need to tighten their belts because of economic instability, which they are able to do by employing efficient business practices and being smart in using technology that can provide them with more advantages.
Here are some of the benefits of technology:
1. Modernize client/lawyer communication
Most lawyers in law firms telecommute. When legal firms have unified communication tools, it will enable their lawyers to diversify their communication methods with their clients and the office as well while working remotely. Communicating with their clients whenever and wherever they are allows lawyers to be more productive instead of spending their time on the road. There are proprietary collaboration and communication tools like web conferencing, voicemail, email and instant messaging that can ensure lawyer and client communication to remain secure and private.
2. Automating research
When a legal firm prepares for a case, lawyers and paralegals spend plenty of time looking through tons of documents to look for relevant information and evidence. With the availability of digital documents, it is important that the legal firm is technologically capable of accessing digital information. Evidence could be found in database archives, mobile devices and emails. In the past, clients are charged higher because of the length of time involved in finding pertinent information, also called electronic discovery or e-discovery.
An e-discovery automation program employs analytics that makes the process of sifting through piles of information quickly. The advanced analytics helps with specific phrases and keywords. When you automate your search for information and evidence, more irrelevant information can automatically be removed..
3. Simplify management of cases
The management of legal cases is upgraded with the use of digital business management platforms. This particular software enables lawyers to automate their processes for case management. Some of these processes include billing data entry, document management, contact list organization and schedule of appointments. With a central database it is easier for law firm employees to easily access relevant data.
It is also easier for lawyers to share documents with other lawyers in the firm when needed. Some of these platforms for case management are web-based, so lawyers can access them through their mobile devices instead of going back to the office.
4. Enhance analytics
Law firms can automate their routine legal process that consume most of their time through cognitive analytics. Lawyers can examine textual threads and translate the context of complicated statements in many legal documents through natural language processing. Some programs are capable of automating the editing and approval of the process as well as analyze contracts.
5. Establish online communities
Legal firms typically offer pro bono legal advice. With technology, law firms can establish online communities to help undeserved and disadvantaged people to avail of their pro bono services, counseling and resources. An online community will help law firms to connect law students and lawyers for information sharing and discussion of legal issues.
Using social media conscientiously can help law firms increase awareness about their company to increase their networking and professional growth. Attorneys can join online discussions and help the public understand the legal processes through articles, white papers and information videos.
It is important for a law firm to find the right provider of law profession technologies as it is important for the different programs to work seamlessly to ensure their efficient processing. The provider will also provide employees the right training and technological support to ensure that legal staff can access tools and information easily.
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