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The underestimated role of technology in the legal sector

Read on to find out how technology is playing a subtle role in changing the landscape and accessibility of the legal industry.

gavel on table for law firm
Image: Unsplash

The legal sector underscores almost everything in our societies from every transaction we make to every email we send. When necessary, it is there to govern the right and wrong in each matter. It poses the question of why when our society morphs so rapidly, does the legal sector not follow suit? While the resistance had persevered for an alarmingly long time, technology has firmly grasped the industry and is changing practices and mindsets at exceptional rates.

Read on to find out how technology is playing a subtle role in changing the landscape and accessibility of the legal industry. 

Offices are downsizing or disappearing altogether

Most states, and indeed countries, forced professional services to find a way of operating digital offices in the past year. Law turned to the obvious video conferencing and cloud solutions just to ensure that remote work could take place. However, with the success and dramatic reduction in costs, firms are forced to consider it as a longer-term solution.

Many law firms have already opted to not renew leases and move physical locations altogether. While law offices were once housed in prestigious business district buildings, many are relocating to less costly locations and delivering most services through online platforms.

Lawyer Mental Health is Improving

The tradition of legal professionals sacrificing their personal lives to their jobs is failing under the pressures of technology. Cloud management systems, remote accessibility, and digitized legal databases including precedence and the US Code of Laws mean lawyers are just as easily able to operate from the family home.

Reduced commute times, flexible schedules, and proximity to family are contributing toward addressing mental health in the legal industry.

Service Access has Swollen

Financial and physical constraints have meant that over a third of people opt to legally represent themselves while a further 28% believe they cannot afford legal representation.

Technology access and efficiency are greatly increasing legal participation access. Communities are considerably less isolated by location or financial resources because overhead costs and proximity barriers are dramatically reduced. Digital offices coupled with non-billable task automation means that lawyers can reduce fees to increase accessibility.

Case Strategies are Impacted

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have permeated many of the automated tasks of the legal profession but firms have gone a step further. The most technologically fluent firms are now using technology to inform their court strategies. Judge decisions, preferences, rulings, and even opponent strategies are collected and rigorously analyzed to look for tendencies and tactical advantages.

Firms are now going into cases with details as specific as knowing what a judge responds to and what points they need to make, and what they need to cite from the US Code of laws to increase their probability for success.

Client Care is Moving with the Times

Few would consider a sales funnel to be a complete necessity for a legal firm but it’s becoming so. In fact, a full and automated sales strategy is. The demand for services of any kind is permanently altered by online shopping and instant check-outs perfected by the likes of Amazon. Clients now expect 24-hour services and responses.

To the benefit of the industry, demand is compelling a digital answering machine of sorts, meaning firms are now able to take on clients without needing to be present all the time. Chat-bots, data capturing through e-forms, and a host of other software are streamlining the onboarding and serving of clients.

In Conclusion

Every industry is encountering compelling unseen benefits from the influx of disruptive technology. The only difference is the legal sector experiences it at an accelerated speed with far more eye-catching uncertainties surrounding them. While the majority of firms see profit margins and response rates as the only important outcomes, the actual impacts are much further reaching.

Accessibility, quality of life, case strategies, and even physical locations are only some of the unsung effects of technology. In truth, these barely scratch the surface and as we continue to navigate the ever-changing tech infusion, more will undoubtedly be uncovered.

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