The relationship between technology and the legal system is continuously evolving. Gone are the days when attorneys had to sift through large piles of paperwork on their desks. With the emergence of cutting-edge technology, law professionals can streamline their work, saving precious resources.
During the global pandemic, law practices had to pivot and embrace new technologies. With nationwide social distancing mandates, law firms had to implement a digital-first mentality to conduct business as usual. Remote depositions, cloud-based technology, and many other innovations allowed attorneys to keep providing their clients with superior support, even while working remotely.
Here are five technology trends that have changed the legal industry for good.
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1. Cloud-Based Technology
The COVID-19 pandemic forced almost all law firms to close and have their staff work from home. Many legal professionals recognized the immediate value of harnessing the power of cloud-based software. This gave attorneys more flexibility in how they accessed and secured their files. Moreover, Attorney at Law Magazine’s 2020 Legal Trends Report found that firms that used numerous technology solutions earned $19,541 more per lawyer than in the previous year.
2. eDiscovery Automation
Law professionals can spend hours upon hours sorting through important documents to find evidence that is relevant to their case. Today, many of these documents are now digitized. Evidence can now include smartphones, email, internet-of-things (IoT) devices, and database archives. While eDiscovery tasks are often a paralegal’s responsibility, the time-consuming process can be costly to clients.
eDiscovery automation speeds up the process with analytics. You can search for keywords or phrases, eliminate irrelevant documents, and streamline the entire eDiscovery process.
3. eFiling Integration
Though eFiling has been around for decades, it has not significantly impacted the legal industry until recently. Social distancing caused courts nationwide to start accepting electronic documents. As a result, law firms have integrated eFiling software into their day-to-day processes.
Law professionals will soon be able to do much more on their eFiling platforms with fewer tools. Manual efforts will be reduced in exchange for a streamlined workflow with much fewer risks. Providers will also offer add-on services such as docket syncing, electronic signatures, and service of process.
4. Remote Meetings and Remote Depositions
Collaboration and communication are essential to an attorney’s success. When the global pandemic started, many lawyers could no longer meet with their clients face-to-face. Remote meetings allowed attorneys to provide valuable information to their clients while keeping all parties safe.
Furthermore, there was a sharp spike in the number of remote depositions being conducted across the country and it appears they are here to stay due to the benefits they offer in terms of safety and convenience. Remote depositions cut back on travel expenses and keep everybody safe.
5. New Billing Models and More Payment Options
Hourly billing models serve attorneys much more than they do clients. However, as many lawyers begin embracing technology to streamline operations, payment and pricing strategies are being reshaped by unbundled legal services, flat fee services, and payment plans.
Legal firms that offer electronic payments will be at an advantage because many consumers prefer to pay online, be it debit cards or an online payment platform.
It’s essential that your practice is prepared for new technology by staying abreast of the latest advancements and trends. Agile, digital-focused firms can streamline operations, trim their bottom line, and provide outstanding services to clients.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. At First Legal, we’re here for you from File Thru Trial™!