It has certainly been a good run. To the dismay of some, that run is coming to an end. After decades of sticking with traditional ways of running law practices and corporate law departments, the legal sector is finding it can no longer avoid technology. Modern law practice is being drawn into the technology arena whether it wants to be or not.
The force behind this phenomenon is a burgeoning legal tech sector now capable of leveraging all sorts of technology tools to improve how the law is practiced. Understanding that technology and innovation are not the same things, these companies appear to have finally come to grips with what law firms need to stay abreast of our tech-driven society.
Do you run a practice that still does things the old way? If so, consider the following five reasons the industry cannot continue avoiding technology:
1. States Aren’t Waiting
State governments have made a concerted effort to upgrade their technology over the last 5 to 10 years – including court systems. In states that have all but completed the transition from paper to electronic documents, problems between courts and law firms are already occurring. Courts want everything done electronically and online; law firms are not equipped to meet those demands.
The fact is that states are not waiting around for law firms to make a move. They are embracing technology at full speed. Law firms and corporate legal departments have no choice but to keep up.
2. The Emergence of On-Demand Law
The integration of law with the on-demand economy is another reason law firms need to get on board with technology. On-demand law may be radically different than what most attorneys are used to, but it is here to stay. Clients are more than happy to acquire legal services through mobile apps if they can get better service and lower prices.
3. Discovery Becoming More Complicated
Next up is a discovery process that is becoming gradually more complicated. The fundamentals of discovery have not changed, but the amount of available information has. Today, attorneys have access to thousands of sources of information that were previously unavailable.
Legal case management apps that include built-in e-discovery tools streamline the process and allow law firms to share information in real-time. They also allow for automation, which reduces the amount of time and effort attorneys put into discovery.
4. The Need for Efficiency
Law firms unwilling to embrace new technologies will soon discover that their offices are not nearly as efficient as their tech-heavy competitors. And by that time, it might be too late to catch up. The truth is that the need for efficiency in the legal sector is greater now than it has ever been.
NuLaw, a company that offers a technology-based case management application by the same name, says efficiency is the driving force behind their software. NuLaw and its competitors are building legal case management apps that utilize everything from automation to artificial intelligence to make modern law offices more efficient.
5. The Need for Security
If the previous four reasons are not enough, the need for security should do the trick. Security is no longer an option in a day and age when sophisticated hackers seem to be able to break into insecure systems with impunity. Law firms and corporate legal departments absolutely need new technologies that keep their computer networks and databases as secure as humanly possible.
Does your law firm still do things the old way? If so, think of these five reasons as the motivation for possibly changing things up.