Legal-tech is the usage of technology and the software in law firms. The legal technology was at first supposed to help the lawyers with some simple tasks like document storage, billing, and accounting. But since 2009, legal technology has given people access to an online software that eliminates the need for a lawyer, or helped them connect directly to a lawyer and by doing so, saved them a lot of time and money.
Legal - Tech Services
Today we can find two main types of legal-tech services: online services of law firms and legal-tech startups.
- Online law firms help customers find a specific attorney and provide online services.
- Legal-tech startups which focus on the development of “do it yourself service”. These type of companies are the most interesting ones because they provide you, as a client, with all the needed material and tools to make your own case and use legal services in a way that is faster and cheaper.
A variety of disruptive technologies change the operations of traditional law firms
When it comes to concepts of legal technology, there are many, but I will mention the few of my favorites.
- Blockchain technology which has become incredibly popular. Like the name indicates, a blockchain is a chain of blocks that contain information. This technique was originally described in 1991 by a group of researchers and was originally intended to timestamp digital documents so that it is not possible to backdate them or to tamper with them which is very important for accuracy and credibility.
- Better access to justice. Today you can find apps and technology that makes access to legal advice easier, cheaper and faster. Compared to an hourly rate, you can get advice on video chat in minutes or get your company incorporated all by yourself.
- Automation of routine tasks. Generating standard documents, organizing documents and grouping documents takes a lot of time and their importance is enormous. Many startups are working to automate every routine to make the legal team work as fast as possible. This automation is a very important thing because today, clients expect fast results. Therefore, law firms need to build tools for their tasks in order to deliver fast results with better accuracy.
- Tracking dates and deadlines are the most important things for the legal team and even one small mistake can lead to the biggest chaos. Wrong dates and missing deadlines can result in malpractice claims because of the incredible impact on the client’s end results. That is why there are several products that law firms can use for tracking dates and deadlines in order to reduce human mistakes.
- Client case management. This last one is the best one for sure, in my opinion. Without a proper tool for client case management, a law firm can never work at its full potential. Sticky notes, messy papers or thinking that you will remember to take action 'for sure' leads to chaos and bad service. That is why these task management programs are the best solution. Those programs allow law firms to provide fast and organised management with built-in alerts and reminders so that you don’t have to worry about anything time-related.
With proper use, things get easier
I think that we all aware of the fact that everything is moving towards automation. Law firms should use as much automation as they can, but they must use it in the right way without compromising on their quality of work.
The legal-tech sector is emerging because of the deep need to provide quick results with better accuracy. Whoever tells you that this change to automation is a bad service and that it doesn't make the service better probably is an old-school lawyer or someone who is deterred by technology. It is not a good thing, but it is a great thing and at the end of the day, the biggest beneficiary is the public. Automation ultimately opens up legal services to those that previously could not afford such services because it takes less time for service providers to complete.