#LegalTech is one of the fastest-growing hashtags across social media. Proof that legal technology and innovations are here to stay! Can I be the first person to admit that the legal industry has been becoming… stagnant? The industry needs disruption, which in my opinion sounds pretty exciting! Imagine a world where law practices can focus more on clients than time-consuming billing, filing, or forms. Today, most law firms are embracing legal technology like never before. Whether it’s collaborating with your team online or using tools such as Zoom to hold an online meeting, the possibilities of leveraging this technology have expanded exponentially in today’s modern world.
Legal Technology is changing daily, but law firms are slow to adapt. These two contradictions can make for a difficult process of integrating technology into practices. Keeping lawyers updated with the latest trends and tools can be a big stepping stone in implementing legal technology into their work.
Instead of lawyers making excuses about the tedious process of integrating legal tech, law firms should embrace new tools as they address some of the most critical needs in the modern practice of law. One of the most affected elements being addressed is data security. Adopting some of the right technology practices and allowing these new tools to work for you are imperative to an efficient, legally compliant practice.
Are you interested in running a more efficient and tech-savvy law firm? Well, today we’re going to go over how exactly you can do that.
Legal Tech – Frequently Asked Questions
Can technology replace lawyers?
Artificial Intelligence, as well as Machine learning, is already used in most legal firms. However, the rise of Legal technology has caused some sleepless nights for lawyers who think that it can easily replace them but will this be true?
Now, this is what will happen: law firms and lawyers that will embrace the power of legal technology, as well as other legal advancements will be more productive and efficient in how they carry out their duties. Even more, clients will seek more legal services because of their efficiency.
That said, legal technology will not replace lawyers, but lawyers who leverage legal tech will outperform those who don’t.
What kind of technology is used by lawyers?
The electronic billing system is slowly replacing paper invoices in law firms, and technology has also shaped how legal firms carry out their marketing strategies. Today, more and more law firm blogs are springing up that offer prospects a lot of value when compared to traditional methods used before the digital age.
The way documents are handled and presented has also taken a different turn in legal firms. Now, most of them store their files on the cloud instead of using physical databases to follow up edits and archive records.
Overview – Why Legal Tech is a Must
Considering how legal tech is increasing, it’s a no-brainer that the implementation of legal technology in law firms is a must. Lawyers today are finding themselves battling it out to remain relevant in the industry, even after the emergence of legal technology.
That said, the legal firm of the future:
- Leverages technology to fulfill their firm needs, improve customer satisfaction, and above all, meet their goals.
- Is technology-savvy.
- Benchmarks with other legal firms and does frequent training for their employees about technology tools and systems.
- Uses electronic record management systems, such as scanning paperwork and uploading them to the cloud for future reference.
- Can work remotely using cloud technology and mobile devices.
- Is curious to assess data security threats and find ways to mitigate them.
How Lawyers Can Implement Legal Tech
There are specific aspects of legal technology that lawyers need to understand before implementing it in their practices. First, you shouldn’t just implement it for the sake of having technology — it should be done and used for a purpose. Secondly, it’s never wise to jump on the bandwagon because of the hearsays.
Instead, you should be aware that implementing legal technology is a strategy to improve productivity and efficiency in your operations. In other words, you should implement legal technology only if it can simplify your law practice. That said, let’s look at how you can implement legal technology in your firm, starting with the most critical one.
When considering how to implement legal technology in your law firm, data security should be one of the main concerns. There are a lot of threats that you may face when it comes to this matter and protecting client information is extremely important; minimizing chances for fraudsters getting their hands on such sensitive material will help protect both clients and employees within your organization as well.
But what is the right security protocol that lawyers, as well as law firms, should use?
- Proper encryption – Law firms and lawyers need to ensure appropriate encryption to ensure that only authorized personnel can access vital information.
- File backup – As you become a more legal tech-oriented firm, you will need to back up your files using a cloud backup solution like Nordic.
- Mobile security – You will need to keep your client’s information confidential, which means you’ll be more cautious with your mobile devices.
- Password security – There is an increasing number of hackers, and passwords are hacked much easier than before. Make sure you are protecting your passwords by using the most secure Wi-Fi connections through the use of a VPN.
If you have implemented legal tech in your firm, but have not yet started protecting your data, you should start right away. Data security is critical to successful legal tech implementation.
Software for Lawyers
Because there is an increasing demand for tech legal activities, law firms need to start leveraging software to increase their productivity and complete most of their tasks in time and efficiently. Below are some types of software that lawyers and law firms should implement:
One of the top reasons why lawyers need software is to increase their productivity. And because this automation will help them complete all necessary tasks, it’s a must and should be part of legal tech implementation.
When it comes to Microsoft Office, lawyers should understand that they need more than just the online version – for example Corel’s Word Perfect Suite. In reality, there are many tech giants out there and not all of them can be regarded as ‘giants’.
Today, the biggest emerging competitor is Google Apps for Work. The product boasts its productivity suite and also offers some free substitutes if you have a tight budget or are not ready to use this software yet.
Document automation software
There are a ton of legal experts who still believe in outdated technology like mail merging or typewriters. In this fast-paced world, there is no need to use these methods when we have something better that can accomplish the same tasks without all the hassle and errors made from traditional ways.
When using document automation software, you as a lawyer can customize templates in many ways for different situations. For example, Clause libraries give the freedom to add non-generic clauses into your template that need specialization.
Time and billing software
These days, every accounting software features some billing and time functionalities, and in some cases, time and billing programs will have some accounting aspects.
Typically, billing or time software should have these components:
- Provide lawyers with suitable-time captures
- Feature an invoice construction functionality
- Offer top-notch reporting tools
- Be customizable
TimeSolv is an excellent example of billing software for lawyers. You can also look at other options that have these critical features as well.
Case management software
Case management software is critical to legal firms, especially at this time when legal technology is shaping up the future of most legal activities. In general, case management software helps lawyers summarize common features into a single package. A case management program should include:
- Time, billing, and accounting
- Calendar management
- Document management
- Email archive
- Contact management
Some of the case management software that lawyers and law firms should at least give preference include RocketMatter, Zola Suite, PracticePanther, AMICUS, MerusCase, among others.
Technology Training for Lawyers
Technology is becoming part and parcel of legal tasks, and as such, there’s a need to educate legal practitioners on how to use it. It is good that lawyers have already seen the importance of legal technology training, and most of them have already registered for legal tech programs.
The first thing you need as a lawyer is to have the desire to learn the new system, and want to use legal technology to get insights on how you can scale your law firm business to the next level. That said, below are some online training tools for lawyers:
Wrap Up – Getting Results
Approximately 27 percent of companies believe that technological advancements are a matter of survival, and yes, their perceptions are correct.
Technology has taken the better part in most industries, and it has shaped how things are done throughout. The legal industry must follow suit and leverage this new development to adapt to modern times.