Technology trends in the legal sector that you should keep an eye on in 2023
- What is Legaltech?
- Trends for the legal sector in 2023
- Virtual Coffe: Harness the Power of Data & AI in Legal Services
In recent years, large firms worldwide have been investing massively in legal technology solutions to modernize, gain a more significant competitive advantage and meet the demands of their new clients.
Innovations such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, or digital environments are going to completely change the industry, putting the focus on the client and facilitating the evolution towards a Legaltech model.
By 2025, spending on legal technology will triple, at least 25% of spending on corporate legal applications will go to non-specialized technology providers and will capture only 30% of the potential profit from their life-cycle management investments in their contracts.
What is Legaltech?
Legaltech refers to the technology transforming how the law is practiced and used to market or provide legal services. Its main objective is to facilitate legal practice by minimizing waiting times, minimizing costs, and increasing productivity.
Trends for the legal sector in 2023
It is one of the issues currently attracting the most attention and will continue to do so in 2023. Many firms have seen their image tarnished as a result of a cyberattack, in addition to being immersed in the high cost involved, as the global average of a data breach increased by 2.6%, from $4.24 million in 2021 to $4.35 million in 2022.
Technology applied to the legal sector will help companies in their cyber incident management thanks to new tools for incident reporting, incident response plan management, and secure data exchange. Therefore, external IT system platforms can be very beneficial.
As global regulation increases in complexity and scale, properly managing regulatory frameworks and maintaining legal compliance is becoming a significant challenge.
To solve this, automating the workflow helps them meet new challenges and regulatory obligations. These platforms can be configured and customized to be two-sided (client-firm), ensuring the secure transfer of information, instructions, advice, and client collaboration.
Law firms can leverage this technology to strengthen business operations with their clients, ensuring easy-to-use workflows for privacy, regulatory reporting, or requests for access to information.
Jumping to the cloud
Cloud storage uses a third-party service provider to store the firm’s data in its virtual data center instead of a local server. This service brings law firms greater scalability, hardware and IT cost savings, reliability, access, and security.
In a hybrid model where tasks are performed from home, employees can access data from anywhere, encouraging file sharing, real-time collaboration, and improved version control. All while complying with privacy and security standards.
Software solutions, such as case management and document-sharing applications, now use cloud solutions to access critical information without worrying about cybersecurity. Cloud adoption extends to almost every part of the business, such as email, document sharing, eDiscovery, case management, Microsoft Office, hosted phones, and more.
Control of external expenditure
When it comes to expense management, we need to focus on a firm’s entire engagement process and the control of each matter, not just the final invoice when the work is complete.
Taking an innovative approach to expense management enables legal departments to increase value, reduce waste and increase efficiency. This is why it is so important to use technology to compare and select budgets and agreed scope of work in a way that can monitor, manage, approve and track law firm collaborations.
Visual tools such as BI can report on the progress of actual spending compared to initial and current estimates, along with the reasons for changes.
Collaboration between different profiles is crucial for successfully completing a process and involves common workflows and internal and external communications. Making this collaboration and communication seamless between legal departments and law firms is critical to remain competitive in an increasingly digital legal landscape.
This is not a new trend, but the processes, capabilities, and scope of functionality these tools bring to the legal sector are changing. They are no longer limited to file-sharing or one-way communication. Still, they have moved towards a model of real-time, on-the-go collaboration, project management, budget communications, and customized reporting.
They provide greater transparency, facilitate more effective communication processes, and offer a better customer experience.
The application of AI in the legal industry is bringing many advantages for those who have already been incorporating it into their daily operations to streamline many of their processes, as well as significantly reducing margins of error. One example is a UK firm using AI to enable personal injury cases from road traffic accidents to be litigated electronically, thus reducing costs and speeding up client service.
Another application would be focused on the laborious task of checking contracts for terms to specific clauses. This is one of the most recurring tasks in the legal process and one of the most time- and effort-consuming. With AI-based software, machine learning algorithms can be used to review and analyze the most relevant data in the case and identify similar documents. This greatly streamlines the process and allows lawyers to focus on activities that require more analysis, attention, and expertise.
Drafting documents is part of everyday work but is also one of the most time-consuming tasks. The competition for efficiency in document management has led the legal technology trend to focus on using automated software to draft documents and gain a competitive advantage.
If done manually, something that would traditionally take days to see the light of day can now be created in a matter of minutes. According to studies by McKinsey and PWS, 25% of lawyers’ time can be automated. Automation provides tools to organize more effectively, such as data collection, reporting, daily tasks, and billing. In addition, this technology has the advantage of adapting to the needs of each firm, which translates into improved profitability and efficiency.
One example is the solution we developed for Seven Eights, which allows their employees to search and identify the correct information more quickly, allowing them to cover more customers and scale their work.
Litigation analysis and forecasting
Many countries are joining the use of AI and Machine Learning tools, where they have seen how cases can now be predicted more effectively. Studies have shown that cases, where these technologies have been used, are much more reliable than human prediction. Numbers show that a model predicted 75% of court outcomes compared to 59.1% of expert predictions.
One example is the Estonian Ministry of Justice which, in 2019, developed and tested AI-based software to hear and decide on disputes with disputes under €7,000. The results are so good that following suit could trigger a global wave of AI use in the judicial sector.
The latest trend may be the one that draws the most attention or may not even seem to fit. However, in the coming years, the use of augmented reality in the legal sector will be crucial. One example is Apple Glass, a virtual reality viewer to be launched in the coming months, creating new ways to digest, interact and expand legal applications.
As we discussed in the previous points, shifting business meetings to the digital environment requires breaking down these space barriers. An example would be to interact with clients as if they were in the room or show a jury a crime scene with a 360-degree video.
Virtual Coffe: Harness the Power of Data & AI in Legal Services
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