That old cliché “time is money “is as useful for a Big Law as for a Solo law firm. Find out how to save 30% of the legal team’s time with technology, which means more money.
An industry, based on precedents and old customary practices love to keep their traditions alive in an era driven by technology. Many law firms just aren’t sure whether technology is the right investment for them, and whether it can offer a better replacement to their hefty salaried employees. Hold on! technology is never made to replace humans as such, however, it’s there to share the workload, reduce working hours spent on monotonous legal work, and produce error-free work in a timely fashion. Without leveraging technology to a legal team, law firms are compromising their productivity, while having increased mental stress of meeting the deadlines. And the fear of losing potential customers because of the enormous workloads, and piling up of backlog of cases, leaves them with no room to take more clients on board.
Many would not know that more than 63% of the tasks handled by legal firms are repetitive, based on rules, and don’t require interpretation or approval of a senior attorney, costing 30-40% of their valuable time. What does technology offer them? And are law firms losing clients, and their hefty fee without opting for technology are a few simple questions, hovering in the legal fraternity since automation has hit the LegalTech. But what exactly is LegalTech, more specifically the process of automation or technology being used interchangeably?
Automation is not rocket science. In a nutshell, it’s a machine execution of legal tasks, processes, and workflows in a part of its entirety. In the legal arena and an area of businesses involving law-related work, automation enables professionals to streamline, accelerate and execute their routine based legal tasks (documents deadlines, emails, data sets, etc) effortlessly by providing input into the legal automation software, powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). For example, AI software works intelligently by extracting the client's data, mentioned in a scanned contract. Also, with the help of Machine Learning (ML) process software are capable of handling and processing long chunks of text. The goal is not to entirely automate the legal tasks. Nonetheless, it’s a step forward to achieve efficiency, productivity, accuracy and swiftly completing tasks involving redundancy in a minimal time. Hence, saving an attorney plenty of time, and energy to invest in complex matters, requiring a detailed review and close attention, and therefore legal tasks cannot be automated in their entirety.
With each passing day, digital transformation is maturing, and the focus is on achieving practical, tangible, and productive outcomes. Employing automation in the workplace allows you to monitor your progress and enhance your efficiency in real-time. At the outset, legal professionals are unaware of the amount of time they spend on projects or tasks, and it’s not until they begin tracking their productivity. Don’t be afraid of trying something new by integrating AI software to replace countless manual, and tedious repetitive legal work: contracts, document reviews, task coding, and research to come up with a long list of time-consuming tasks. Fortunately, several software has been introduced in the LegalTech market, thereby cutting down the workload to a minimum and increasing the job efficiency of attorneys’ manifolds. The Mckinsey & Company noted that 23% of an attorney or a General counsel job can be automated with the latest technology. Let’s say goodbye to manual tasks that make your job dull by integrating legal automation software.
Gone are the days when technical knowledge was a prerequisite to understanding and operating technology. Nowadays, you may find that something as simple as a mobile application on your phone is used to store information, monitor and remind your to-do list or check in on your health progress and monitor tasks that need to keep you on track.
Please don’t panic! You are at the right place to read a simple, yet the brief account of wonders a technology- in the form of automation- can do in your law firm.
Why your law firm needs to invest in LegalTech
Most firms are already using some sort of technology in managing their work. With each passing day, there are new advancements in the field of LegalTech, requiring a firm to continue to reassess its needs and goals. Several new features of LegalTech products include a self-service portal or having a digital workflow for streamlining lengthy processes, which can be used to resolve issues a firm is facing. Surprisingly, many law firms are already shifting from manual work to automation process, according to the LexisNexis Insights report from 2018, 57% of the General counsels believed technology investments had already increased their productivity, and 60% believed that the technology would help improve the accuracy of legal work in the next few years. Besides a plethora of benefits drawn out of automation, the following are the key highlights:
Work: From Independent attorneys, General counsels, or Contract managers of the companies to legal experts need to communicate swiftly and hassle-free with colleagues and clients to work out solutions efficiently for complex legal issues. Employing the services of AI software can help manage legal matters and create step-by-step processes, build an easy-to-use checklist for monitoring routine tasks, and meet key deadlines.
Enhance productivity and efficiency: Many law firms are investing in technology, either based on ML in the form of bots or, Artificial Intelligence as a part of the automation process that can help them perform daily legal tasks quickly and easily. For example, you’ll be able to do a detailed review of contracts such as lengthy Non-disclosure agreements (NDA) quickly, and efficiently by switching over to a new process, contract automation.
Better client service: Sometimes, clients want to provide their suggestions in the legal process, or just want to be a part of it. To make the process simpler, and easy-to-understand while working with them to give them a sense of inclusion, a client portal can be created to make them a part of the process. Some AI software allows clients to send a completed form, and circle back with their legal team along with their feedback, just at the click of a button.
How to induct new technology into your law firm?
It’s overwhelming and confusing to glance at several legal solutions, available in the market. For beginners, here are a few initial steps to ponder before they step in for new legal technology. Following are the steps:
Evaluate your needs: First Ask yourself! Whether the technology you are about to acquire fits your firm’s needs. What would happen if you don’t get this technology? What is causing stress? What difference you can make in the market?
Look for available legal solutions: You need to do thorough research on what technology is out there and don’t forget to ask the opinion of your legal team or people in the network. It’s a good practice to discuss with only those, who are aware of the technology or can provide you with the pros and cons of it.
Plan: Investing in technology is a big step, followed by its installation. You’d certainly, require external manpower to help you set up, run, and maintain the new software. You may want to consider taking on board some experts, who can effectively implement the solution and teach you how to use it.
Ensure people are adaptive: Another important step involves, making everyone comfortable with adapting and using the new solution. You can simply do it by communicating with the team members of the network and explain them its benefits, usage, and better outcomes.
Taking into consideration the aforementioned discussion and points is a step towards understanding the importance of LegalTech in modernizing law firms and guiding you towards the right solution for your law firm. Since these solutions can be costly for your business, therefore you need to make a careful selection of the required technology and execute the transitional process diligently.