Legal tech and big data is revolutionizing the legal industry – but who is benefitting? This article examines the changing dynamics of the legal landscape and assesses how the rise of legal technology and big data is redefining law firms and their future.
Big data has been around for a long time, and visionaries in the legal sector have noticed its potential. As Richard Susskind, author of Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future, once wrote, “By aggregating search data, we might be able to find out what legal issues and concerns are troubling particular communities; by analyzing databases of decisions by judges and regulators, we may be able to predict outcomes in entirely novel ways; and by collecting huge bodies of commercial contracts and exchanges of emails, we might gain insight into the greatest legal risks that specific sectors face.”
Big data is labelled “big” because it comes from many sources amassed over time. Every piece of information is stored and tracked, from our mobile phones, smart devices, homes, to our cars. Databases of every court outcome, case or client details can be combined with other databases.
To analyze big data, lawyers today use legal tech to process enormous amounts of information to prepare detailed reports in any category in minutes rather than days. Sometimes, artificial intelligence (AI) is incorporated to analyze the data and predict outcomes. Big data and AI technology help lawyers solve various types of litigation by predicting outcomes and trends. It can also provide recommendations for perquisites of the cases and languages preferred by appointed judges. The applications of legal technology and big data are limitless.
Nonetheless, the most significant hurdle to applying legal technology and big data are the support of judges, lawyers, funding, and a universally accepted methodology. For now, judges, lawyers, technologists and law firms are still studying applications to determine their viability.
With big data becoming prevalent, law firms can expect the emergence of new roles such as legal engineers, legal technologists and lawyers all working together to provide legal services to the clients. The legal sector is still undergoing the digitization that other industries have gone through, albeit even more quickly than before.
For law firms to survive in this era of accelerated technological change, there needs to be a clear innovation strategy and agenda. Moreover, clients of today prefer to work with external advisers that offer cost-effective and innovative legal solutions. It is a radical wake-up call for law firms to look into improving legal productivity to ensure success.
Taking steps now to understand the landscape and think about adopting proven legal tech solutions like CoreMatter to optimize measurable, repeatable business practices at every level of the firm’s operations is to leverage the science of the legal profession more productively. By incorporating CoreMatter into legal workflows, law firms will become more efficient. Law firm owners will also gain tight control over costs and achieve more predictable and consistent results, enabling legal teams to produce more creative work and better outcomes.
Successful law firms are led by people who have the systems that will solve clients’ problems and needs in the technological age. In years to come, having legal technology and the ability to analyze big data and provide efficient legal services will be the new standard. It suits the legal sector immensely because it’s very document-intensive and can benefit significantly from technology.
Lawyers and law firms will have to change the way they work and solve problems in a new way. In the future, specific tasks such as analyzing contracts will no longer be a lawyer’s job because AI can take care of that. Even the legal system will evolve with online systems in place. Lawyers and law firms have to choose now to change and work with these technologies or risk being left behind.
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