Technology has brought with it a certain kind of revolution in the legal industry, and lawyers are to embrace it, rather than fight or resist it. Evolution is key to avoiding extinction,especially in the legal business.
The term “Legal Technology” is becoming a popular buzzword, and yet a lot of lawyers still hold reservations towards it and have developed certain misconceptions around it.
Let’s address some of these misconceptions. Shall We?
1. TECHNOLOGY WILL REPLACE THE LAWYER
The legal industry is being disrupted by technology at a very steady rate and lawyers are not expected to just be onlookers, but rather spearhead this disruption. There are many things technology as a tool can be used for;administrative and monotonous tasks especially. However, lawyers are still needed for crucial and sensitive legal activities. Presently, the work of a Lawyer comprises a very wide range of activities including: client counseling, representation of clients in court,legal drafting,giving legal opinion and advice,corporate searches, e.t.c. Technology as at today, lacks the empathetic and professional skills which are imperative when dealing with certain legal matters.
The Law practice requires a human touch, and technology is best seen as a complimentary assistant that would work alongside lawyers to provide excellent legal services , which will become cheaper, easily accessible and more consistent.
2. IT’S JUST A MILLENNIAL WAVE THAT WOULD COME AND GO
The use of technology in the legal industry is here to stay and not just some millennial wave that would come and go. Some lawyers are still of the notion that all of the legal technology stuff is a millennial display of ‘initial gragra’ and this is where they seem to get it wrong. Adopting technology as a tool in the legal practice has nothing to do with a generation, its mostly about exploring shortcuts to do things that would usually be impossible or extremely time consuming; doing more with less in lesser time. With the use of technology, law firms will be able to provide high-quality work to their clients at a fraction of cost. Millennial wave or not, firms who do not embrace technology to foster excellent client services, and do not find ways to deliver top-notch legal services will become endangered.
3. THE LEGAL PROFESSION IS TOO BROAD FOR TECHNOLOGY
No industry is ‘tech-proof’. Technology is disrupting the modus operandi of various industries, and our noble legal industry is no exception. The idea of adopting technology in the legal practice is to efficiently improve the performance of a lawyer. There is now in existence, lots of technology tools being developed and used to help lawyers augment their practice. Thus, law firms would have to make more investment in the technology, thereby improving their performance for the better, as it enables them do more with less time.
4. LEGAL TECHNOLOGY IS ONLY FOR BIG LAW FIRMS
Certain lawyers of small or medium-sized firms are still of the notion that adopting technology in their practice is not necessary as they don’t engage in the “big matters” as the top-tier law firms, and this is a wrong notion. The clients of the future(either with big or small matters) will not place a high-preference on beautifully-furnished marble-lined office lobby.
They will want to obtain legal advice an services as seamlessly as possible, and this would only be made possible with the aid of technology as tool. Without the adoption of technology tools in the nearest future, law firms(big or small) would not be able to compete with in the evolving legal marketplace, as failure to innovate may mean failure to continue doing business in the nearest future.
Taking advantage of technology as a tool both as small law firm or a top-tier law firm, will help you meet goals, fulfill operational needs, and effectively improve client service.
5. LEGAL TECHNOLOGY IS JUST ABOUT TECHNOLOGY
Innovation is not just about technology alone. Having new business models that complement the use of technology is the key to innovation and staying relevant in these times. The objective of using technology is to disrupt and enhance the traditional mode of delivering legal services. Technology is a tool, part of an overall effort to improve a firm’s performance and capabilities; standing alone without a strategy or stated guidelines for its good use, technology is just an empty shell.
Also, the use of technology in the legal practice does not take away the place of creating and nurturing the right relationships in the profession. Those who will thrive in practice of law are lawyers who acknowledge the best of the old and embrace the best of the new, while creating the right balance between our roles as lawyers, as clients, as individuals and as human beings.
Change is coming. In fact, it’s already here. In the evolving legal marketplace,the familiar trio of ‘People, Process, and Technology’ would become imperative in staying relevant in the legal industry. The risk of extinction ahead is for firms that fail to innovate and integrate the use of basic technology tools in structuring their firm to lower costs, improve delivery of client-centric legal services and keep competitors at bay.
HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!!