Technology has forced the legal sector to innovate in order to manipulate and sculpt technology to suit the needs of law firms.
The legal sector is increasingly using online document portals, online contracts, electronic case management systems and electronic billing to create a more efficient process for legal clients.
Innovations in technology have also led to more virtual firms operating remotely without the need for a physical space. This was made possible through the widespread use of cloud storage systems and improving communication options like videoconferencing.
According to the SRA’s recent report into ‘Technology and Legal Services,’ one way the legal sector is beginning to exploit technology and create bespoke solutions to the legal sector is through using multi-disciplinary collaboration.
The SRA cite an example of a large law firm launching a technology innovation space to look at how technology could help solve legal and regulatory compliance issues. Following this, a large city firm has initiated a legaltech incubator programme used to host tech start-ups. The service offers them legal and business advice as well as expertise and mentoring.
These collaborative schemes have also been known to help firms develop smart contracts and a deeper understanding of block chain technology benefits.
The SRA also claim that firms are becoming braver and increasingly innovative in the way they adapt technology within the legal sector. Smart contracts and blockchain technology are being used in the conveyancing process to transfer funds.
In order to become more price transparent more firms are using chatbots to respond to online queries and route people to the right person if they cannot answer the question. This type of technology can also be used effectively to find available barristers and use a chambers’ referral network if an issue needs referring to a solicitor.
Self-serve online legal provision is now more commonly used because of innovative technology advancements. Online legal documents, that are able to amend and use, are now more readily available; Online Wills and even employment contracts have been used in this way. Additionally, automated advice for many common legal situations is now available to consumers using this type of technology.
Over and above everything else, what stands out from the SRA’s look into the use of technology in the legal sector is the way that law firms and legal suppliers are working collaboratively to create new solutions to the varied needs of law firms.
Are you aware of other technology developed for the legal sector through collaboration?