Modernizing law-firms with technology
The legal industry today is in what we can call early stages of digital transformation. I am no expert by any means on the practices of legal industry but over the course of last few weeks, I have had the chance to speak to some forward thinking young lawyers like Ashley N Emerzian who really want to bring a shift in the legal industry by not only providing a great service but also making it affordable. This blog post has been written to look at the next generation practices of the law-firm through a technology architect.
We live in an era where we can see a wide spectrum of business practices by law. Technology has affected all aspects of our culture, including consumer expectations and the way that business is conducted. Because of the mobile and cloud revolution, everyone now has instantaneous access to information, resulting in consumers who are more knowledgeable, more selective, and more demanding. This sudden shift in expectations has dramatically increased competition in the legal services space and has had an astounding effect on the delivery of legal services. For evidence of this, you need look no further than the huge success of LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer, and similar services. They have a novel approach to the practice of law that is revolutionizing the industry.
Changing the face of the industry
The legal field is not one known for major change. In fact, many facets of law practices never change at all. Nonetheless the legal industry has stepped up to take a smart and calculated approach to technology acceptance that is already saving companies and clients alike lots of time and money. On the client side, they’re able to find services cheaper and easier. And on the firm side, they’re able to do their work more quickly than ever before. Technology is a sure win for the legal industry.
Just like with other businesses, legal professionals now work remotely. They travel for court dates and can’t always work from the office. And when in remote locations, they need to stay connected to their clients, staff, and colleagues. Cloud based law firms like Emerzian Shankar Legal Inc have employed the use of technology to remove the operation overhead of having a physical infrastructure to support their clients and make their service more affordable.
Bring Your Own Device policies are commonplace in law practices today, and many use solutions like Microsoft Office 365 that are powered in the Cloud to access documents and applications, and collaborate online securely from anywhere they have a computer and internet connection.
Saving the day
A survey finds that a focus on improving productivity will be a permanent trend going forward. But only 49% of law firms said that they have significantly changed their approach to the efficiency of legal service delivery. This represents a frightening disconnect. Why the disconnect? It’s because change doesn’t come easy. Even so, overwhelming evidence indicates that in next few years, it’s necessary.
The lesson to be learned is that in order to stay competitive, the legal industry and young lawyers must pay attention to the prerequisites of 21st century legal consumers. Change is upon us and it’s time for lawyers to seize the day and take advantage of the unique opportunities presented by this shift. Innovate in the delivery of legal services and meet consumer demands by implementing new ways of serving the needs of your firm’s legal clients, whether it’s using alternative fee arrangements, securely collaborating and communicating online, sharing documents and case-related information in a client portal, or accepting online payments. In other words, although technology is definitely one of the biggest drivers of change — it’s also the solution. The innovative use of technology can drive down overhead and increase efficiency for law firms big and small.
Technology helps today’s lawyers automate essential tasks, employ AI to carry out time-consuming research, engage with clients remotely, provide advice and collaborate easily. Those who view technology as an opportunity—rather than a danger—will flourish, and more easily gain the rewards. Those who don’t will drop behind the competition.