Dec 18,2018 | 15 min read

Why Legal Tech Is Seeing Such Gradual Adoption Rates

Why Legal Tech Is Seeing Such Gradual Adoption Rates

The traditional legal industry as we know it is now undergoing a deep transformational phase and entering the technological domain. The legal industry is widening its horizons by digitalizing itself. Legal technology or Legal tech is the new toy and the legal industry looks game for it.

Legal tech in layman's language refers to the use of softwares and technologies with which law firms can practise with ease. It includes document filing, storage, management, accounting, billing etc.

These are usually legal tech startups with the sole purpose of disrupting the conservative legal market. In 2009, there were 15 startups identifying themselves as legal tech startups. Today there are over 400 (Source: Google)

Legal tech has given high hopes to the practising lawyers as it enables them with fast law. Fast law because it is cheaper, faster and smarter. Lawyers can help their clients efficiently, at the same time keeping them connected with the marketplace online.

On the basis thereof, legal tech is believed to bring dramatical changes in the legal industry with with its confluxing factors and services -

  • In housing of work
  • Fee arrangements
  • Outsourcing
  • Transparency, and efficiency
  • Incremental automation made possible by AI

The rest of the business industries have accepted changes with enthusiasm but legal industry has been a bit hesitant in this regard. Law firms have been given an average median of a 3 out of 10 on the seriousness about changing their working and delivery models, as per sources. The reasons for gradual adoption rates in legal tech can possibly be -

  • General councils are technological antagonists - Trained lawyers have their own traditional methods. There’s no surprise their understanding of technology falls way behind.
  • Contract assembly Vs. contract automation - It is like shifting from a bicycle to a manually driven car. The change will be gradual and will require some expertise, and will take you to pre-defined destinations. This will work for law firms with lawyers to assist, but will most probably not work for in-house teams.
  • The AI hype - We all believe that AI is the solution to all our setbacks, but is it really? Law firms are still hesitant to give into this hype. What will they use AI for is the real question; writing press releases or doing legal work? Answer this and the issue is solved.
  • Technology built by law firms, for the law firms - An expert is called and expert for a reason! Lawyers are not the right person to design tech, right? The underlying message of this statement is that technology built for the law firm sounds good, but tech built by law firms doesn’t sound like a plan. Talking about vendor ecosystem, it is not necessary to place all your orders from one vendor. Do the easy maths. If this legal tech organisation doesn’t have at least 20%-30% of its expertise towards complex things like technology, then it is debatable they’ll build something sustainable.

Taking hints and help to rectify the mistakes of the past will help legal industry to move towards a legal tech future more smoothly.

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