Technology in today’s age is somewhat of a necessity. The business world and the expectations of clients have changed drastically, and even the legal industry couldn’t stay impervious to these changes.
Slowly but surely, more and more law firms are leveraging LegalTech to tackle their daily processes. The future of legal practice is being shaped by technology - but what exactly are the reasons why you should, at the very least, consider improving your law firm processes using technology?
Let’s find out.
1. Boost efficiency and productivity
Investing in the right kind of legal technology can make your law firm operate more efficiently. At the same time, completing manual tasks in a timely manner gives you more time to tackle other, more important things, leading to a boost in productivity.
Once your focus is shifted towards high-risk tasks rather than medial, everyday administrative processes, your firm can grow - and available data supports this.
According to three Bloomberg Law surveys, the adoption of legal tech led to a spike of 50% inefficiency. Additionally, 73% of corporate legal departments in the survey reported an increase in the volume of their work output.
A good example of beneficial legal tech is the use of legal contract software.
Apps made for handling legal documents are a clear-cut way to streamline a time-consuming, yet important part of practicing law. For instance, editing and reviewing contracts manually requires full attention while you go back and forth, looking at key terms in the document. With the help of AI-driven tools, the entire process is much more straightforward as the key details are pulled out automatically.
In other words - you can complete something that used to take hours in a fraction of the time.
It’s also important to note that even though the job was done much quicker, contract review software also ensures your documents are error-proof. This brings us to our next point:
2. Enjoy less chance of mistakes
Using legal technology, especially legal technology powered by AI, drastically brings down the chance of making any kinds of accidental errors.
Even a seasoned lawyer can make mistakes when reviewing a document for whatever reason, be it time constraints, work overload, and such. However, a machine is what helps humans to spot errors that could be overlooked. A paralegal might not notice an error in one of the key terms due to endless amounts of work, but the machine most will – it is here to help humans.
Again, this doesn’t mean that legal software can only help you find typos in a contract, there are solutions out there that even help lawyers craft stronger legal briefs.
For example, some apps are made specifically for analyzing legal briefs. They spot content mistakes automatically by identifying citations and comparing them with the cited case. Additionally, this type of software can also analyze the pros and cons based on the context and the arguments in the brief.
3. Fulfill the needs of your clients
These days, clients expect faster service at a lower cost. Increasing efficiency is a good start as fewer billable hours is going to drastically reduce the cost your client is going to pay. The time you save can be used to take on more clients, so you shouldn’t worry about going bankrupt due to your heightened efficiency.
That’s just the beginning - you can take your client experience to the next level easily with just a few adjustments.
For example, introducing a legal chatbot to your website can help both you and your clients. A potential client can ‘’speak’’ to your chatbot any time of the day, which makes your services available 24/7.
Next, the chatbot also helps you complete a part of the client intake process as it collects all the necessary data. Finally, it can also schedule meetings, which frees up your human resources for more meaningful tasks.
Additionally, using legal practice management software that has a client portal can help you and your clients communicate more efficiently online. You won’t need to keep track of multiple communication methods like phones or emails as everything you and your client need is available by logging into the client portal.
A client portal is also a great way to collaborate with clients without scheduling an in-person meeting. Your client only needs to log in, and you can share documents and updates with them in a secure environment.
4. Helps you keep up with the competition
If your competition offers all the techy bells and whistles, who do you think is going to land the client in the end? Your contract negotiation tactics or your track record won’t matter if your competitors have already implemented legal tech and can simply get the job done faster or cheaper than you.
Thomson Reuters Business Client Experience Survey data, published in 2020, found 53% of clients report that law firms' use of technology contributed to their hiring decisions. This means that the law firms that are implementing technology into their daily workflow are gaining a competitive edge and are attracting (and most likely retaining) more clients,
Lawyers who are insisting on doing things traditionally, on the other hand, are going to be left behind, especially now when the competition has never been fiercer.
Legal technology is no longer optional
Learning to be tech-savvy is arguably the only sure-fire way to stay relevant.
We mentioned just a few processes that can be improved with technology, but the truth is that most of the other legal processes can also be streamlined.
However, this doesn’t mean you should necessarily implement technology for every process right from the get-go. Remember that the successful implementation of new software also relies on your employees and their adaptability to change because the processes are only effective if everyone is on the same page. Humans are still the most powerful force in the legal field!
Start slow, make sure everyone is on board, and only then you will be on the right path in fixing the rest of the outdated processes in your law firm.