The Role of Technology in Law: How to Stay Ahead of the Curve as a Law Student
Technology has touched almost every field in this ever-evolving era. Similarly, legal areas have also seen enormous changes with the rapidly growing environment. To be efficient and remain competitive, law firms need help to adopt novel technologies and digitise its procedure effectively. Integrating novel technologies in the law firm with existing processes and systems is a major challenge. Adopting this digitised technology can consume time and can also be difficult, mainly for large numbers of firms that work with the legacy system. Moreover, most professionals working in law firms find it challenging to work with advanced technologies, so it is difficult for them to adapt to the processes and tools of novel technologies. Despite facing many challenges, law industries are accepting and adopting advanced technologies, and they are investing in technological solutions to enhance efficiency, minimise costs and thus, serve their clients better.
The legal field has shifted from the predigital era to the digitised era. The professionals in the law firm have been facing an intense revolution because of the increasing number of participation, globalisation and countries’ involvement. Advancing technology has made acquiring legal knowledge more accessible while ensuring that content is perceivable. Technological development has impacted both legal education as well as legal practices largely. Moreover, advancing technology helps make legal education more effective with its help in assessing legal matters, conducting legal research, gathering data, and sorting facts and information. Technology usage has further enhanced law firms’ efficiency and clerical workers’ productivity. As advancing technology is gaining popularity in the legal business, greater transparency exists between the client and the legal business. Yet, there are many challenges, such as teaching students are faced by professors in the legal industry who are highly adopting advanced technology. While teachers or professors deal with the students of millennials, they bring technological advancements into the classroom, which becomes unavoidable.
The technological advancement on which the legal industry mainly focuses on Artificial technology (AI), e-discovery solutions and word processors, cloud-based technology, in-house documentation software, payment solutions and blockchain-based smart contracts, virtual reality and augmented and Internet of things (IoT), bill technology solutions and time-tracking and so on.
Technology in the legal industry is mainly referred to as the technological application which aids lawyers and firms to adopt and transform digital processes involved in offering legal services. Advancing technology has enhanced the quality and accessibility of the services provided by law firms by smoothening communication between lawyers and clients, computerised e-discovery, using analytics, developing communities online, making case management simpler and bringing transparency efficiently. Artificial intelligence (AI) can revolutionise the system in the legal industry. This advancing technology has also been used in court proceedings, Whether there is a need for assistance in the preparation of a case or to help in the decision-making process.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has aided the legal industry, judges and lawyers in analysing data in large numbers like judicial decisions and previous cases, aids in making informed decisions and predicts the consequences of the case. Furthermore, it aided legal professionals to manage their loads in the case proceedings, reviewing legal documents and scheduling appointments. Tools for language translation powered by artificial intelligence are mainly evaluated by court proceedings whenever a language barrier exists, and this permits real-time translation of the case proceedings. Although there are numerous advantages to using advanced technology in the legal industry, the firm needs to ensure that the technology is used efficiently. Firms need to understand that they cannot rely on it fully as a judgement from the human is considered more efficient and important. Only sometimes, but sometimes, the outcomes generated by AI are unjust and biased. Thus, it is crucial to understand that firms should use artificial technology ethically and responsibly in a manner that works with the principle of justice and fairness in society.
Advantages Of Using Technological Advancements In The Legal Industry
The legal firm works with many operations and functions to ensure the practice is going perfectly. So, there are so many advantages to using technology in the legal sector.
- Automation – As discussed above, AI has significantly shown a leap in the technological advancements in the legal industry. Utilising tools for automation based on artificial intelligence, law firms can transform time-consuming and repetitive tasks into computerised programs, and humans do not have to put their efforts into this. This reduces the risk of errors made by human beings and thus smoothens the workflow of the lawyers. Specifically, automation in documentation is largely important for those who work in law firms. It also aids in storing, processing and filling out important documents appropriately and properly. It also verifies and validates information and data automatically, showing no typos.
- Improved research – Research in the legal industry is very important. This is so because it is challenging for any lawyer to remember every little detail related to the case that they are dealing with. Using appropriate tools can help conduct legal research properly, as manually conducting research takes a lot of time. By selecting proper tools for technological solutions, legal businesses provide access to their employees to use improved tools for research. Conducting improved research support encourage lawyers by making them understand critical documents and information on their e-devices and also providing them with the chance to computerise the process of research.
- Minimised risks – As it is important to eliminate human error, it is also important to understand that humans can misjudge, misread and misinterpret any situation, even when working on it effectively and properly. Technologies in legal businesses help in minimising risks. And, when the control and visibility of the case are increased by employing modern technological tools, clients encourage their lawyers to apply their expertise and knowledge without the risk of any misinterpretation and clouded judgement.
- Transparency – There is a need for lawyers to communicate openly and be more transparent to their clients. As lawyers adopt these habits, it is easier for their clients to understand their lawyers, and similarly, lawyers can also win their clients’ trust. Thus, technological solutions aid in achieving transparency. For instance, a technological tool that aims to enhance the transparency level of the lawyer`s practice shows the client how the breaking down of every practice process works appropriately. This aids the clients by making efficient and learned decisions; meanwhile, they know they are getting the services they are paying for. Moreover, a technological solution also gives clients an overview of every expert, including the details of past clients and specialists. This also helps them by providing them with the knowledge which is necessary to make informed choices.
- Better experiences for customers – Making better relations with the clients helps in benefitting the law firm in many ways. It enhances the firm’s image and shows the old and new clients that the legal firm is trustworthy and the clients are spending their money in the right place. This is why offering clients the best service is considered worthwhile. There exist numerous ways by which technological solutions provide support to lawyers and legal professionals. For instance, tools mainly customised towards enhancing the calendering process will safeguard the chances of double-booking, which will help in not letting down the clients or rescheduling at the last time. This ultimately enhances the clients’ experiences by showing that lawyers value the clients’ time and commitment to the legal business.
- Edging over competitors – When clients need help from legal firms, they mainly choose firms adapted to technological tools. Assume that the competition in the legal business still depends on manual workflows and without taking any help from technological tools. In this condition, the firm will be able to outperform its rivals or competitors in efficiency simply by utilising automation and employing by making proper and best use. Identically, by utilising technological tools, legal firms become more productive and generate accurate outcomes. Adopting technological advancements in the legal business encourages legal professionals to stay updated and ahead of their rivals by ensuring that the legal firm’s performance is optimal. This means the legal business will be a better option and shine among its competitors.
What technologies can be used by legal professionals?
Some of the technologies used by legal professionals are-
- Case management software – This case management software is one of the most commonly used technology by lawyers to deal with their cases. This means the cases are related to the workflows to assess and make the technological tools necessary and valuable. There are numerous and various kinds of software for case management. Legal firms mainly use tools for a single purpose to aid in the particular workflow, and also, inclusive solutions aid in managing the most features of the work of the legal professionals. Generally, cloud solutions are considered the best choice, similar to case management software for applications. There are certain advantages of utilising cloud solutions based on case management software; that’s why legal professionals work confidently with this technology by providing justice and practising legally.
- Tracking and billing tools – There is more to legal charges than simply describing which services charge and in which context. Professionals in the legal industry must be attentive to ensure they are operating according to the schemes for data protection and regulatory laws. For instance, legal firms must secure compliance with ABA, and if they are operating in Europe, they must know about GDPR. This is the time when tracking and billing tool plays their role. They also ensure that the legal firm works with regulatory compliance while speeding up the bill generation process. Meanwhile, these firms also track the time they spend in rendering their services and with clients so that they do not have to search through the notes for what they are mainly charging for.
- Software for document management – Legal professionals must clearly check, read, manage and process and, lastly, assess many documents and paperwork in their daily workloads. This gets immense, especially when all the required documents are printed and, thus, are not easy and searchable to automate or duplicate. Hence, the software for document management solves this issue. Professionals can use software for document management built purposely to find solutions and ensure that important documents are kept safely. These documents are also computerised, scanned, searched, sorted, and annotated easily.
- Solutions for online payment – Advancing technological advancements are highly advanced tools that provide solutions to complicated work. Yet, this does not stand accurate. These tools are a good example of demonstrating how legal firms can start utilising technological solutions in each component of their day-to-day operations. These tools provide their clients access to pay online, so they do not have to carry cash or cards. Moreover, an accurate tool will offer various choices so clients can pay however they feel secure and comfortable.
- Password management – Password management tools help keep passwords secure. As it is not easy to remember passwords every time, legal firms can use these tools, which does not make any professional learn passwords themselves. It is also useful if one avoids using the same passwords over different locations. Legal professionals can generate highly secured passwords without thinking of not remembering them by utilising tools for password management.
- PDF converters – When professionals come across the type of file, they must be consistent. Also, ensure that the documents can only be edited with the professional’s permission, as it contains important data in the legal profession. And this is the reason why PDF formats are considered important for lawyers, and thus there comes the need for PDF converter tools. Most other tools, such as adobe acrobat, operate by taking a subscription. Still, these tools exist with their free version as well, but they certainly come with caution of watermarks that cannot be removed or with a restricted number of documents that can be converted daily.
- Dictation tools – Any individual cannot type as fast as they speak. So, lawyers frequently require recording information hastily in the legal business, with the time to stop and think and then write. Dictation tools are regarded as an ideal solution to this problem, which helps in completing the work quickly and accurately. These tools allow lawyers to speak their thoughts in a loud voice and then record them in a way that enables them to play the audio later. The best tools for dictation has the options for transcriptions, in which the lawyers do not have to type manually.
- Secure platforms for communication – It is significant for a legal firm to make connections with others by communicating effectively, whether they are legal professionals, their em[ployees or their clients. As lawyers frequently talk about sensitive matters that need to be discussed, then there comes the requirement for communications to be fully secure at every moment. Choosing secure platforms for communication aids in enhancing the reputation and communication of the client of the legal firm and also safeguards relevant data whenever there is a need to talk with other legal professionals. Furthermore, modern and inclusive communication can take place over various channels. These mainly involve social media, video conferences, phone calls, text messages, etc.
Overall, advancing technological tools can help legal firms make their workload easy and free and help them complete their work faster. Moreover, AI tools help them in numerous ways. Legal firms can stay ahead of their competitors by utilising these technological advancements. Their time, potential and work are highly appreciated in this field by using these tools and thus make them provide justice to their clients.
Author Bio: Meet Mark Edmonds, a committed academic at Academic Assignments who specialises in providing aspirant students with superior law assignment help. Mark provides students with knowledge on how to stay ahead in a tech-driven legal environment since he has a deep interest in the convergence of technology and law. Trust Mark’s experience to lead you down the path to a successful legal career. His dedication to excellence and encouragement of a thorough understanding of legal tech demonstrate his passion for forming knowledgeable legal professionals of tomorrow.