Tech is here to stay, and there is no middle ground for anyone, even lawyers. For a profession practiced with manual tools for centuries, the influx of legal tech caused a huge sigh of relief for everyone in the industry today. Although the Covid-19 pandemic played a major role in influencing the administration of technological tools in the legal process.
For instance, groundbreaking tools such as LexisNexis and Westlaw have set the legal world upon this path since the late twentieth century. However, telecommuting culture’s proliferation shined a global spotlight on some technological tools that are changing the legal industry in 2021. In this article, we will discuss some of the most proficient among these technologies.
Electronic discovery is one of the biggest technological advances that has found its way into the legal world. And it was high time it did. Given that legal proceedings are as old as the modern world itself, lawyers often have to scour hundreds of cabinets and drawers to retrieve relevant files during the initial phase of litigation.
With eDiscovery technology, record storage and retrieval have taken a new face. There is now a free legal database where lawyers can easily source case files using specific keywords and e-Discovery tools capable of accessing a large volume of information in any section of a legal enterprise. The impact of these tools on facilitating legal advice and legal research is massive, and its advancement will help lawyers be more accessible and helpful.
2. Automation Technology
Given the large volume of the enterprise process involved in the legal industry, lawyers cannot always guarantee efficiency and speed. In 2021, lawyers are now embracing process automation tools to ensure that their business process is completed faster with automation technology.
Today, lawyers can track office activities, do financial computations, collaborate with team members remotely or even prepare various legal documents easily, all in one place. These tools can also break down the complex process that humans would rather be less efficient.
These automation technologies can efficiently handle activities like appointment reminders, payment tracking, and online booking. Should we also mention that some automation technologies are furnished with Cloud Technology? Legal documents are very sensitive materials, and cloud technology protects them against any human or natural hazard.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence and its variants, Augmented Reality and Virtual reality, are all common terms today. Despite the immense impact on all industries, it is very uncommon in the legal profession in most of the world. In 2019, a team of law students at the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law simulated a close-to-real crime scene with 360-degree cameras.
Such an experiment brings them closer to the scientific channel of the profession with minimal risk. While this technology is still in the law profession’s growth stage, there are lots of speculations about the immense level of advancement it could reach in 2021.
Similarly, AI tools are also capable of learning predictive coding to help lawyers with complex aspects of their job, or even redline a contract and save law organizations significant time. This tool can be trained to automatically seek thousands of files according to their order of importance, following set keywords.
4. Big Data and analytics
The role of data cannot be replaced in enterprise management. With Big Data technology, lawyers are at liberty to automatically analyze a high volume of data quickly and efficiently in order to generate expert insights about certain proceedings or those related to it.
As the legal profession enters into a data-driven era, smart lawyers can deploy big data technology to mine valuable information from various sources to support a claim in ways more than one. Doing this will usually guarantee more success in the courtroom.
5. Machine Learning
Machine learning incorporates some of the features of process automation technology and big data analytics. It is common for some document management tools to have machine learning features incorporated within them. However, machine learning as a standalone tool plays an important role in maintaining law firm efficiency in 2021.
With tools such as Optical Character Recognition, lawyers can scan written texts into editable formats. This technology also makes the transfer of signatures faster and less strenuous. There is also an advanced natural language machine learning technology for the legal profession. With such a tool, lawyers can use voice control to carry out research. Most notably, some machine learning tools are designed to address beyond the keyword level and return results based on context.
Although modern technology facilitation for legal practice is still in the infancy stage, lawyers are already making great use. Today, lawyers can now simulate various scenarios based on specific case data and carry out data-enabled research on each observation. Similarly, modern technologies enable lawyers to manage enterprise activities properly with automation tools and machine learning algorithms.