May 24, 2022

How technology is changing the legal profession

Technology is playing a key role in the evolution of the Australian legal sector, with law firms and legal departments rapidly finding new ways to optimise client service delivery and collaboration.

A recent report by Thomson Reuters, Tech & the Law 2022, found that firms and legal practices are ramping up technology adoption with investment on the rise since the outbreak of COVID-19.  Nearly three in five of legal practitioners surveyed for the report (59%) saw their firms or legal practices increasing technology investment during the pandemic.

Technological advancements are enhancing lawyers’ efficiency whilst improving services to clients.  Below we take a look at some of the ways that technology is changing the legal profession.


Cloud adoption

Cloud computing provides critical advantages to lawyers.   Platforms such as Microsoft Azure, enable law firms to access data wherever and whenever needed. In addition it offers big data analytics and mobile apps.  Data storage and management in the cloud is a cost-effective solution to dealing with the huge amount of documents and discovery materials the legal profession generates.  It also allows law firms to scale up or down and integrate new technology if required.


Legal research

Undertaking research is a routine task that legal professionals do to provide advice to clients on matters. It’s also an activity that can be delegated to technology to produce faster and more accurate results – particularly when platforms are able to provide the latest precedents.  New Westlaw software, for example, developed in partnership with lawyers, provides users with the ability to view relevant cases, commentary and authorised reports in a single search.


Software can also be used to conduct document reviews with data analysis and review of documents in a firm’s database, including years of correspondence and client files.


Automating documentation

Document automation saves time and reduces the burden of processing documents manually. Software such as Smarter Drafter, provides an online questionnaire for clients which gathers all required information and then automates drafting decisions, producing a fully customised document for review.

In addition, manual contract drafting is often a time-consuming process that involves simple but repetitive rounds of internal changes in law firms. Contract automation software such as Checkbox enables law firms to provide consistency in contract terms across sites and geographical locations and also incorporates integrated electronic signature technology.


Streamlining communications

Law firms are required to provide timely response and advice to clients in need. However, various factors such as availability or differing time zones can make this challenging. In addition, clients often engage without the proper information or documentation required to provide advice, resulting in a time-consuming process of back-and-forth emails and phone calls.

Legal chatbots are a technology trend utilising artificial intelligence that can be used as a customer service element for law firms. They can be pre-programmed with data that enables them to read and respond to clients via a live chat on a website. Chatbots can answer questions based on what is asked and can gather and store information about the client.  The lawyer can then use this information to assess the needs of the potential client, and get back to them


Embracing digital transformation

As the legal industry has some of the strictest regulations around data and privacy, this may cause some hesitation from the legal profession in regards to embracing new technology.  However, with the right technology and the most up to date security solutions in place, legal firms can keep productivity at a maximum and costs to a minimum.

Security systems require specialist knowledge to ensure both data is kept safe and privacy around collection, sharing, storing, and transferring data is upheld. This is where the expertise of a managed service provider, such as Neo Technologies is vital to ensure the network and systems are well protected and continuously monitored and upgraded, meeting all regulatory risk and compliance guidelines.

At Neo Technologies, we specialise in providing resources and support for law firms wishing to undergo digital transformation.  We offer cloud and data centre services that enable your business to run advanced applications and protect sensitive data. With over 25 years’ experience working with professional services companies, our clients span diverse industries from law firms to medical and dental practices to engineering.  With our deep wealth of knowledge and key focus on providing outstanding customer service, we pride ourselves on long-term relationships with our clients, guiding them through the changing needs of the modern business world.  Contact us on 1300 661 832 to discuss how we can help your legal firm grow today.


Julie Dunmore

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