Are Firms More Prepared to Use Legal Tech in 2022?

Last updated: 28 Oct, 2021

The legal sector, which had been reluctant to large-scale digital adoption for years, has changed a lot after the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. Law firms and corporate legal departments had no other choice than to adapt to the remote working strategies trending across the globe. Today, they are increasingly moving toward legal technology primarily to automate several legal processes, mainly the repetitive and time-consuming legal back-office functions, aiming to improve efficiency, performance, productivity, and reduce costs.

According to a report by Gartner, by 2024, legal departments will automate almost 50% of legal labor used for critical business transactions. Source

However, this is still a vague prediction, arising a crucial question – are law offices more prepared to utilize legal tech in the coming year? Let’s further read experts’ answers to this question and get a clearer picture of technology utilization in the legal sector by 2022.

1. Law firms away from paper filing are in the best position

Jonathan Garza, Personal Injury Attorney, Herrman and Herrman PLLC

Most law firms stay updated on the latest technology to remain current with the demands of the industry, like case filing software or high-quality Jonathan Garzacomputers. Although, the Covid19 pandemic has brought technology to the forefront and demanded every law firm be more prepared than ever before to continue growing and meeting their client’s needs.

Any law firm operating during the current pandemic has likely had to adopt new legal tech to maintain its production while keeping team members and clients safe. One example of this is how most law firms have had team members working remotely during the pandemic.

The best law firms transitioned seamlessly during the pandemic with the available legal technology, like software programs for case filing that allow team members to access and work on them remotely. Law firms that have moved away from paper filing are in the best position to adopt new policies with location no longer an obstacle for them to overcome. These technologies allow attorneys and their teams to work remotely, whether in court or simply working from home due to the pandemic

2. Prepare a list of things to be done


Kim Chan, Founder, and CEO: DocPro

LegalTech has been relatively slow in development in the past 20 years. LegalZoom started before Google and only got listed recently but is still not a household name.

LegalTech as a professional service will need to build trust and credibility. Unbundling of legal services is becoming the norm, you use lawyers only for high-value advice, and firms can try and do the lower value legal work themselves. Thereby saving on time and legal costs.

To better prepare themselves, firms can produce a list of things that they are comfortable with doing in-house with the help of legal tech (like creating simple documents) and what high-value items or advice would need to be outsourced to law firms.

3. Routine legal services will be automated

Harriet Chan, Market Officer, CocoFinder

The best tech in legal is building automated solutions to eliminate standardized legal work and move it into the business. All routine legal services will be automated with self-service features. This change will tighten legal services risk management and effectively deliver legal functions, allowing legal teams to focus their time on other high-value work.

Once legal services adopt tech, client experience will be their priority. However, it will be the responsibility of legal teams to ensure their self-service are intuitive, user-friendly, and provide the best experience for internal clients.

4. Freeing up attorneys for building, maintaining client relationships


Eric Rohrback, Director, Hill and Ponton

The best tech in legal is building automated solutions to eliminate standardized legal work and move it into the business. All routine legal services will be automated with self-service features. This change will tighten legal services risk management and effectively deliver legal functions, allowing legal teams to focus their time on other high-value work.

Once legal services adopt tech, client experience will be their priority. However, it will be the responsibility of legal teams to ensure their self-service are intuitive, user-friendly, and provide the best experience for internal clients.

5. Quick analysis of financial models


George Petropoulos, Director, Passive Tactics

We will see a big uptick in the entirety of legal software and cloud services to help businesses and firms operate more efficiently.

A simple way to position this would be for law firms, in particular, is that they are beginning to invest in technologies that will supercharge efficiency across the spectrum. This means financial models analyzed in hours rather than days, increased access to routine tasks so lawyers can focus on their expertise in solving complex problems, workforce metrics integrated into business intelligence dashboards, etc.

6. Legal Tech is beneficial for both law firms and clients


Robin Brown, CEO, Vivipins

Legal Tech will help firms provide quality service by allowing them to scale their teams in ways that better align with the demands of the legal profession. For example, LegalZoom allows clients who would not normally be able to hire a lawyer to file a divorce petition by themselves without the pressure of filing it incorrectly. A lot of people don’t have an

understanding of what they need when going through separation and attorneys can be expensive for these services, so this kind of program is helpful for many cases where representation is needed but not accessible or affordable.

7. Take the required actions

Daniela Sawyer, Founder and Business Development Strategist, FindPeopleFast

Legal tech has been in use by some firms for quite some time, while other firms are still undecided about it. To maximize legal technology, specific actions should be done, including the following:

Identify best areas for practice

Determine the best areas where We can implement legal tech effectively. Consider the needs of the firm and decide which areas we can apply legal tech effectively.

Use specific deployment processes

When deploying legal tech, start implementation from areas of serious interest before implementing in other firm areas.

Reevaluate performance

Before deploying legal tech to any area of your firm, re-evaluate performance and certify that legal tech will be compatible in that area of the firm.

Strategize launch

When launching legal tech in a firm, there should be definite strategies for coordinating launch activities. Legal tech can help firms achieve quality results by applying digital technologies to improve their essential services and remain top of their game. They give the firms a better advantage and also share their client’s satisfaction.

8. Establish ongoing engagement


Stephen Curry, Business Owner, CocoSign

The high-tech industry embraces timesheets, offer letters, employee onboarding forms, and project proposals scenarios. In order to guarantee the best form of legal tech utilization, it would be better to establish ongoing engagement.

The hands-on training and proper education can get the advocates up to speed, which will be useful. As far as the principals are concerned, you need to know more about the program, which will showcase brand new features and how to improve efficiency and productivity.

The pace of high-tech teams is agile, and eSignature is the way the high-tech team keeps up with their strategy by providing absolute security and lowering the chance of missing data.

9. Legal Tech provides multiple solutions


Seth Price, Managing Partner, Price Benowitz Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP

I believe more and more law firms are looking towards legal tech to help them become more efficient as well as to uphold the new remote/hybrid workplaces that many firms have moved into. Our firm has used legal tech for quite a long time now, and it has helped our lawyers become more efficient and successful when it comes to cases and getting results, and has also helped us to create a much better experience for our clients. Now that the world has moved so far into a digital space, more law firms need to look at what can be done to accommodate the move and how they can continue to remain competitive in the legal space.

Conclusion

Apart from rapid technology adoption, another highly-trending strategy in the legal sector in the aftermath of the pandemic is legal process outsourcing. Yes, law offices that could not afford to invest in technology or skilled, tech-driven paralegals moved to LPO service providers, which resulted in enhanced capacity, streamlined workflow, more time for case preparation, and reduced TAT and legal administrative costs.

LPO service providers that are efficient in delivering quality legal process management services are proving to be an excellent option for law firms and legal departments experiencing a shortage of legal staff or looking for reliable support with legal back-office management. Moreover, law offices that have acquired legal tech solutions, LPO firms are supporting them to fully utilize their software or cloud subscription, making the best out of their investment, without hiring and training more paralegals.

Also read: How Can Law Firms Optimize Remote Work?

Long-Term Impact of COVID-19 Disruption on The Legal Industry

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