In case you haven’t noticed, the legal sector is rapidly changing. And – as with most things these days – this change is directly related to our unapologetic fascination with (and dependence on) all things technology based.
Yes, this tech-reliance is a disruption to the traditional ways of the legal system, but it’s a welcomed one. In fact, legal technology and its intrusive habits are happening so fast that a new tech-term has been coined: Lawtech disruption. And, we must understand how this trend is affecting the legal industry if we want to forecast where the sector will go from here.
What’s clear is that legal disruption is working in a number of ways. While it’s easy to get caught up in the brilliant individual projects that are wowing the field, we must take a bird’s eye view of the industry if we want to get a clear picture on how and why it’s all working together.
Here are 3 reasons why legal disruption is a positive interference!
1. It’s changing the law sector – for good.
It wasn’t that long ago when the time-consuming groundwork and necessary research for cases was completed OFF-line with the help of filing cabinets, libraries and even (wait for it) books! If you’re having a hard time remembering what those things even are – then you’re already well aware that a technology evolution that has taken place.
Today, files are online, books are online, libraries are online – and lawyers can now complete the tedious work of preparing for a case from the comforts of their home if they want. Calling the Internet a one-stop-shoppe would be a gross understatement – it’s so much more than that!
Really, it’s unfathomable if you think about it: libraries full of hardbacks, a thousand years worth of cases – all the information an attorney could ever need to prepare for a client is likely found on devices smaller (and lighter) than the books they once relied on! (Read that again, we’ll wait.)
How did this happen? And, when did it happen? The tipping point slipped us by and in the blink of an eye, somehow the world changed. But as a result, attorneys in the legal sector are more brilliant than ever and this brave new techno world is here to stay. In one word it’s convenient. We could poll thousands of solicitors across the world and we’re willing to bet not a single one misses the old days of gathering information the old-fashioned way. Now, there’s simply an app for that!
2. It’s making legal professionals more efficient
Today, if you say “legal pad,” most people will assume you mean an iPad or tablet that’s in the hands of a law professional. But before those touch screen wonders showed up, legal pads were convenient little yellow-lined staples in a solicitor’s life. And they didn’t require a battery charge to use them – just a pen or pencil! (Can you imagine?)
In fact, for a good part of yesteryear, attorneys used to meet with clients armed with only their intellect and these simple little notebooks! But, those days are long gone and with Wi-Fi tablets capable of adapting scribble to text – a lawyer’s legal pad is now the latest tech-pad and an instant portal to the all-knowing World Wide Web.
But what’s more important than the latest devices is the brilliant stuff on them. Thanks to innovative lawtech software, law firms have the ability to run their entire legal operations online, from that proverbial cloud we’re all growing to know and love.
From research data management, to scheduling, to billing – every moment of an attorney’s day can be micromanaged for ease and efficiency. Again, it’s all about convenience. For these legal professionals who exemplify the adage “time is money” – streamlining these time-consuming tasks means maximizing their financial earnings.
3. It’s paving the road to a better future.
Thanks to these lawtech disruptors, the legal landscape has undergone an undeniable change. Lawyers are easier to access, information is readily available, and costs are substantially reduced. While these observations are wonderful insights into the present market – what does it all mean for the future of the industry? It’s hard to imagine what’s next. After all the latest bits and bobs of technology, this has to be about as good as it gets, right? Not likely.
If there’s one thing that’s obvious from the current wave of lawtech disruption – it’s not stopping anytime soon! And, if legal professionals continue to embrace these changes, there’s no telling where the industry will be in just five short years.
One thing’s for certain – the days of streamlined legal services are upon us. With lawyers conquering time management like they never have before, they’re likely to take on more meaningful work. And with more and more competitors jumping onboard – this will likely result in a “cold war” of technology sorts. Expect a push towards virtual law offices that offer clients the convenience of conducting all business online. The race to win clients will likely be conquered by those with the most tech-savvy legal procedures.
Disruptors are here and those firms able to take the changes in stride will reap the countless benefits this new technology has to offer!