It is estimated that about 23% of a lawyer’s usual tasks can be automated. This is great news for those in the legal field, as gaining back a quarter of the time spent at work could mean more clients, more time to dedicate to complex cases, or simply a better work/life balance.

So, how exactly can technology give lawyers this kind of assistance? Here are some key, developing technology trends in the legal field.

Increasing Accessibility

Something as simple as e-conferencing software can make legal services more accessible to clients. Whether your clients are pressed for time, have mobility restrictions, or have other barriers keeping them from meeting their lawyer in person, a video call can make all the difference.

There are some more advanced solutions, however. Electronic legal marketplaces and networks are making legal advice even more accessible. These online hubs open the floor for communication between lawyers and clients, providing a platform for everything from one-off questions to matching someone with the right council. 

We’re also seeing legal chatbots enter the field. This artificial intelligence (AI) solution can help people with simple legal questions before they need to work with a proper lawyer. A firm with a legal chatbot on their website can start to foster a relationship with a potential client without even knowing it. 

Reducing Timelines and Costs

There is a reason legal firms tend to charge by the hour. A lawyer’s job includes many lengthy processes and a significant about of research. This is where analytics, AI, and automation come in.

Tasks such as eDiscovery, case management, administrative work, court filings, and more are being automated and simplified with this technology. Gone are the days of pouring over case law for hours or days on end. Now, an application can filter through relevant files using keywords and even understanding the nuance and context of each case. Once appropriate information is flagged, a lawyer can then takeover and leverage the research as needed. 

This reduces timelines and costs, which means that firms can bring on more cases and assist more clients.

Smart Contracts

Enforcing a contract can be extremely difficult and often involves third party mediation. But with Blockchain technology and smart contracts, these agreements can enforce themselves. 

The code in these contracts allows for immediate action based on the set parameters. This means that there is no delay in executing a contract, nor any dependence on outside factors or approvals. It is also extremely secure because once the blockchain is programmed, it cannot be altered. 

This technology is still developing, but it can solve many of the issues and challenges existing in contract law.

These are just a few of the innovations affecting the legal field right now. Much of this technology is still being perfected and adopted, but those firms that take advantage of them early will yield the benefits. For more industry updates and insights, please browse our advice page.

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