When you think of law firms, images of stiff lawyers in crisp suits come to the mind. Well, even law firms have woken up to the promises of technology for their operations.
Here we discuss 7 emerging technology trends that promise to change the way law firms have been working.
1. Artificial Intelligence
If you thought that a law firm was the last place to have any use for artificial intelligence, think again. Artificial intelligence promises to make a huge impact in the way law firms store and process information. AI promises to help law firms extract trends and prepare cost estimates to a high degree of precision. AI will also be used to create accurate term sheets and consistent non-disclosure agreements.
2. Design Thinking
Design thinking refers to a novel approach to problem-solving within law firms. Thanks to design thinking, law firms will be able to shorten the planning horizons making it possible to generate revenues from new products faster than it had been possible until recently. This means that systems could be sped up to produce contracts, deeds and other legal documents faster.
3. Document Management Systems
It’s surprising how many law firms still lack this basic requirement of a modern workplace. Nonetheless, it is a good sign that they are waking up to it now. A good document management system can ensure efficient record-keeping and easy retrieval of information.
4. Interactive Websites
Organisations in other industries have been doing this for so long that it seems like an ancient practice. However, we must remember that the law industry is a traditional one steeped in old cultural traditions of the ‘old boys’ club’. Therefore, catching up with technology suggests that law firms are now seeing themselves as a commercial business like any other entity out there. An interactive website such as the one by Pottroff&Karlin offers clients a portal through which they can communicate with the law firm at any time of day or night.
5. Video Conferencing Software
The traditional image of lawyers traveling to meet with clients face-to-face is a thing of the past. Thanks to video conferencing software, lawyers can now hold simultaneous conversations with clients without having to leave the office. This will cut down considerably on the time taken to travel to opposing clients in order to get their side of the story.
6. Electronic Signatures
For a long time, there has been controversy about the legal acceptability of electronic signatures. Thankfully, the law has warmed up to the practicality of electronic signatures on documents of different kinds. With this major hurdle out of the way, law firms will find it easier to get documents approved, signed and filed.
7. Cloud Services
Realistically, this is one trend that even mainstream corporations have not yet embraced wholeheartedly. To see law firms making an effort to do so is an encouraging sign. With cloud services, law firms will considerably reduce their IT costs and be able to store all their data on third party servers. However, given the sensitive nature of data with law firms, it is likely that this trend will see the light of day after quite a number of years.