Technological advancements and trends have influenced every industry in the world, and the legal system is not immune to these changes either. A courtroom full of robot lawyers may still a distant dream today, but that does not mean technology is not present in almost every aspect of the Law.
In a report that analyzes the automation of jobs, experts point out about 23% of a lawyer’s tasks can be fully automated in the near future. This means lawyers can finally focus on the important aspects of their job and leave the time-consuming, tedious tasks to the computers.
The technology we have at our disposal today is enough to cover tasks such as scanning and sending legal documents, finding casework for attorneys, and streamline communications in the best possible way. This is already helpful enough to simplify the work of lawyers, so what could happen if we took full advantage of the technological advancements available today?
We have come to depend on technology more than we can imagine. And, in a field as competitive as the legal one, a good attorney that does not learn how to leverage the benefits of technology will never manage to remain competitive, no matter their legal skills.
Below, we take a look at some of the most important ways technology is changing the legal field and how we can leverage it to the truth’s advantage.
Accommodating an increased demand for change
Even though the legal sector plays an important role in the wellbeing of society, we need to keep in mind that it is, after all, an industry, and industries constantly change to fit the needs of clients. Consumer behavior does not only influence the food we eat, the clothes we wear, or the gadgets we buy but also the way law firms perform their operations.
Consumer behavior is greatly influenced by technology, so when new technologies emerge, consumers start to raise their expectations as well. This prompts law firms and independent lawyers to make constant changes in their operations in order to satisfy the demands of clients and remain relevant in a competitive market.
As a result, those working in the legal profession will eventually have to choose the best products and solutions that current technology has to offer. Examples include the traditional use of paper being replaced by digital solutions such as electronic files and billings, and modern e-libraries are also replacing paper databases.
Automating tedious legal tasks
When someone thinks of a lawyer, they imagine them working in a huge office that is filled with mountains of paperwork. While this used to be the case for several decades, technology has gradually changed the way lawyers perform daily tedious tasks.
Thanks to automation, repetitive, low-value legal work is no longer taking up the valuable time of lawyers. Numerous companies are already testing software that automates various types of contracts, including non-disclosure agreements, or provides people with legal advice on behalf of lawyer. These tools could significantly reduce the amount of paperwork legal professionals need to draft.
What’s more, with the use of technology, communication between legal professionals is increasingly streamlined. By using digital case management software, lawyers can much easily share documents, discuss cases, and make a lot of information available for colleagues working remotely as well.
Providing flexibility for lawyers’ busy schedules
Technology is used to improve flexibility in a number of industries. This is why freelancers can now work from anywhere at any time. While this amount of flexibility is not entirely achievable in the field of Law, the amount of legal work that can now be done remotely is impressive. Legal research, for example, can now be done online, meaning lawyers can research cases without the need to be pinned to their office desk.
Legal professionals are notoriously married to their job, meaning they usually struggle to maintain a work-life balance. If a part of their work is simplified and flexibility allows them to not spend that much time in the office, it could lead to an improvement in their personal lives as well.
Involving AI in the courtroom
We mentioned a court full of AI lawyers at the beginning of this article, and we can’t deny the idea is at least a tad bit peculiar. Still, upon further examination, we can’t question the fact that AI technology in the courtroom brings a much-needed benefit to the way cases are getting resolved.
An example of how AI can help legal workers in and out of the courtroom involves the field of personal injury law. As personal injury experts at UKLaw point out, time is of the essence in most personal injury cases, especially since assessing the value of a claim can be a lengthy process in general. Through the use of AI technology, documents, images, medical documents, and any other document that serves as proof in the case can be fast and accurately analyzed, removing the aspect of human error and providing increased accuracy.
Judging by the way AI and machine learning technology are evolving, it would not be too far-fetched to think that, in 10 years or less, cases where the Law is clear and the stakes are small will be solved by legal software. This will allow judges and legal professionals to focus on important cases where the Law is ambiguous, and there is a need for an interpreter of the Law to adjudicate on the situation.
Data mining to aid the Law
Data mining has the power to reveal invaluable insights to legal practitioners. We live in a digital world where data is more powerful than any currency out there, so it comes as no surprise the legal field needs to rely on data as well.
Through data mining and data analyzing, lawyers can much better prepare their cases and approach inside the courtroom. They can research how judges handle certain cases, what are the best methods to gather evidence in a specific type of case, or how specific types of plaintiffs are perceived by the judges. These are all aspects that can greatly influence the course of a case and can prepare lawyers for otherwise unforeseen situations.