How law firms are using technology to upgrade the workplace

Though commonly known for its slow innovation, the legal industry is increasingly embracing the power of tech.
10 August 2018

Many legal companies are beginning to leverage technology in their daily operations. Source: Shutterstock

The legal services industry has long been associated with traditional processes, guided by ancient precedences as opposed to innovative systems.

Despite the slow innovation in comparison to other industries, in recent years legal companies are making significant strides.

With tremendous pressure to deliver customer service excellence to clients in an increasingly crowded industry, many businesses are harnessing technology to update their processes.

TechHQ spoke with Obelisk Support, a British tech-enabled alternative legal services provider, to explore how it is using technological solutions to power its processes.

Automation and AI

Artificial intelligence and automation are making strong inroads into the labor-heavy legal industry, with the promise of increased efficiency and lower costs for clients.

The technology is most commonly used in document assembly, review and drafting. Why? These operations are often time-consuming but light on value-add. Automating such responsibilities can reduce human error while simultaneously freeing lawyers from repetitive tasks.

“A lot of the focus is on automation of documents to deliver cost reduction; also, powerful search systems as a follow up to changes in e-disclosure tech have improved the speed of services,” explained Dana Denis-Smith, CEO of Obelisk Support.

While there are many benefits of automation in this industry, it has left many professionals wondering if their jobs are under threat.

In fact, a report by Deloitte predicted that approximately 114,000 legal jobs will be automated within the next two decades.

Free solutions too are popping up in the market, such as EVA by ROSS Intelligence and NDAs by Robot Lawyer LISA, to help get lawyers comfortable with using AI.

However, the main challenge for tech companies in the legal space seems to be the struggle to adapt to the rate of adoption.

Indeed, lawyers are notoriously technology-adverse and wary of tech innovation in their professional use.

Facilitating internal communication

Good communication is not only important for building and maintaining a good company culture, but also to ensure that everyday operations go as smoothly as possible.

Technology is helping to streamline internal communication within the legal industry, improving productivity and employee engagement.

Through digital communication platforms, employees can share ideas and information in real-time. Such platforms also enable legal service companies to work from anywhere at any time.

As a profession, the law industry has never been the fastest to embrace change. But it seems that even the most traditional practices are beginning to recognize they have to move with the times or risk crashing.

Like law firm Denton’s Chief Innovation Officer, John Fernandez said recently, “Our industry is being disrupted, and we should do some of that ourselves, not just be a victim of it,”.