Technological changes bring new dimensions in the operation of businesses: They are streamlining and simplifying processes within the business, contributing to significantly reducing costs and broadening market exposure and opportunities.
Similarly, in the legal industry, globalization and technological innovation – from advancements in standard legal tasks to big data analytics – profoundly impact the law profession. They are bringing new dimensions to legal practices. They are reducing constraints among fields that usually trigger complex multi-jurisdictional disputes and cross-border issues and affect how lawyers interact with each other and conduct business.
These disruptive yet modest changes that have permeated the legal sphere in recent years are inevitably raising questions. For instance, can technology aid or hinder the role of the future lawyer? Or is the legal industry being shifted towards digital? And if so, is the future of the legal profession viable?
Lawyers should balance tactful cultural understanding and digital capability to adapt and sustain the legal industry and become an actual global lawyer in the modern sense. They should understand what digital transformation is, its transformative effect upon the legal industry, and its focus on consumers is thus crucial.
Because digital transformation is effectively a holistic business paradigm shift that impacts the company’s people, activity, process, and culture, responding to the rapidly changing market landscape is no longer an option.
The rapid development of technology introduced new tools and devices into our day-to-day activities that merely replace the old functionality within businesses.
Lawyers are urged to play a vital role in the ongoing technological revolution and to support their clients proactively. However, to ensure long-term solutions that best meet clients’ needs and help them navigate change, lawyers must be part of a project team and work for hand in hand with other divisions to deliver results.
Technology-enabled and data-driven tools and services newly introduced enable lawyers to connect with consumers in different ways that include easier access, more choice, transparency, predictability, speed, and cost-effectiveness. These new products/services focus on clients or business development. They include management software, devoted document management systems, litigation support tools, e-discovery tools, trial-specific software, encryption tools, and cloud-based research products and services.
Law firms are also working and collaborating with a venture capitalist to support early-stage legal tech companies and high-technology entrepreneurship in the legal technology industry.
Furthermore, law firms are recruiting legal technicians and project managers, specialized in digital communication and collaboration, computer and data science, and statistics; e-discovery methods can now replace paralegals and associates who once dedicated hours for document review.
Lastly, to ensure efficiency and optimization, law firms should understand their customers and tailor their services according to their expectations: Clients expect more for less and expect high-tech companies to introduce frequently new products and more choices.
The digital revolution provides the law industry and lawyers the opportunity to transform into something exciting.
Knowing that lawyers have the tools at their disposal to enable change, the legal profession will not disappear but will surely change; this shift will trigger new forms of what being a lawyer is.
The sooner we accept and implement it, the better!