Why you need to get on the legal tech train
The rapid advancements in technology have brought changes in all walks of life.
One such advancement is automation, and while we can see it in many different industries, the legal profession has managed to stay away from it.
Having used automation and AI-augmented systems, law firms’ clients are pushing the legal profession to use these technological advancements too to ensure cheaper and quicker processes of delivery, which in turn, will increase efficiency.
Law has long been known as a reputation and knowledge-based industry, and it is only recently that it has started to experience high levels of automation because of the recent advancements in legal tech. For example, an automated system can process and analyze large volumes of data in hours or just a few days, which otherwise would have taken weeks to do using traditional methods.
Technology and the legal profession
When it comes to the legal profession, some of the essential skills include memorizing case details and experience depending on how many cases you’ve contributed to personally. In today’s time, knowledge recall systems have more or less been automated due to the tools easily available on the market.
And with the current level of automation one can witness, lawyers will no longer have to waste time with repetitive routine tasks; instead, they can focus on building strategy and analytical and problem-solving skills.
Take consumer claims, for example; since they are mostly processed manually these days, law firms don’t necessarily like dealing with them. However, these claims can become interesting once handled by AI and different algorithms.
Examples of consumer complaints include shipping damages, small insurance coverage, car accidents, and aeroplane passenger disputes. The sheer number of small claims cases and their results can be used to train the algorithm, and shortly, AI could give a relatively reliable prognosis of the outcome of similar disputes.
Why is legal tech important?
Legal tech can bring about a great revolution in how business is conducted. Here’s why:
1. It can manage and study large data sets
AI-backed technology’s efficiency and speed across different practice areas, such as corporate, commercial, and disputes, can be of great help. Using technology, the legal sector can provide a detailed and high-level analysis of several contracts within minutes. The analysis can then be examined to allow clients and legal professionals to identify key trends and anomalies across a large data set and get vital feedback.
2. It can use resources efficiently
At the end of the day, legal professionals are still humans and can maintain an optimal working level for only so long. With legal tech, companies no longer need large teams to analyze contracts for weeks before they can give any advice to their clients.
Legal tech uses AI to go through the contracts within hours and identify pre-selected focus areas. Some products also integrate pre-created precedent clauses, which allows the application to analyze the contract and point out the appropriate causes.
It’s no secret that legal documents are verbose, and the initial analysis requires a lot of time and money. By reducing repetitive and rote work, the legal professional has more free time to focus on the more complex matters of their work.
3. It improves risk management
When it comes to large-scale work streams, there’s always a chance of missing issues, given the vast amounts of documentation. However, with AI at work, legal professionals get the added security of knowing that their work now involves fewer human errors.
Legal tech analyses and tracks documents in several ways and replaces manual tracking systems like Excel spreadsheets and annotated data room indexes. In-house lawyers can greatly benefit from these and assess their company’s legal and contractual risk in real-time. This can, in turn, increase the chances of timely legal preventative work.
4. It provides greater transparency for clients
Basic legal tech allows clients to have a rough estimate of their legal fees as well as the progress that their counsel has made. Some top products also provide additional insight for clients, such as informative graphical representations, which adds to the overall experience.
With AI-based legal tech, clients can access the same data points that legal professionals can, and they can assess the performance of their counsel much better using different key performance indicators, like review rates and the different billable results. This can help clients with cost control.
5. Low learning curve
It is quite possible to combine old and new legal technology. This provides several benefits for both clients and legal professionals. For instance, they won’t be completely unfamiliar with legal tech, which reduces the initial learning curve.
Similarly, precedent clause templates like the change of control or force majeure can be compared across document sets very easily. In addition to that, senior legal professionals don’t need their attorneys to sit through a crash course on commercial contracts before they can analyze document sets. AI can handle it all without needing to be skilled in standard review tasks, which can be a lifesaver on occasions where the deadlines are tight.
AI and machine learning have continued to change the way we do things, and no profession can survive without these, including law. While embracing the shift from traditional methods to automated work is a challenge, jumping on the legal tech train can bring about a plethora of benefits.
For instance, AI augmentation can make repetitive, mundane tasks more efficient without replacing legal professionals.
Whether big scale or small, continued success for the legal profession depends on the profession’s ability to manage a good relationship between traditional legal knowledge, legal tech, and, of course, client’s expectations. It is high time for law firms to adopt legal tech and increase their efficiency.