Globalization has brought technology to the forefront of everything that we wish to do and achieve in the world. Today, technology plays a vital role, both at a personal and professional level. However, with an increase in the use of technology, there has been an equivalent increase in illegal and fraudulent activities around the web. Therefore, it becomes vital to identify and make use of trustworthy legal tech, both for your organization and for your personal use.
As per the 2021 Future Ready Lawyer Survey from Wolters Kluwer, only 33% of lawyers believe that their organizations are well-prepared to make technological changes to keep up with the trends in the legal market.
This article aims to provide you with some tips and tricks on how you can identify trustworthy legal technology, having a good record of transparency, ethical practices, security, and data privacy policies.
What is Legal Technology?
Legal technology, which is also known as legal tech, is the art of automating your legal work through the use of modern technologies such as Big Data, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and many others. Using these technologies, organizations can follow an efficient software development approach. Further, using these technologies helps the organization become more competent, affordable, and productive for both clients and the employees working in the organization.
Key Considerations When Determining Reliable Legal Technology
While deciding on the right legal technology for your organization, the following are some factors that you must consider:
Transparency and Accessibility
It is vital to ensure that before signing up for legal tech, you research how the technology company interacts with its customers online. Ensure that you receive adequate answers to questions like – Do they respond to inquiries quickly and professionally? Do they have genuine online reviews? What do third-party websites say about the company? How easy is it to access the customer service of the company?
Additionally, when it comes to marketing activities, it is beneficial for the organizations to check whether the company identifies sponsored or promotional content. Further, they should be able to check whether the customer testimonials for the company are verified purchasers or not.
In the pricing context, organizations are recommended to look for straightforward pricing structures without the addition of any hidden costs. This means they should have a complete understanding of how much they shall be billed, when the payments shall be made, and the advantages and restrictions of each price tier. Further, ensure that you read the small print material as well to ensure that there is nothing capable of negatively affecting your organization.
Additionally, it is important to seek clarification on how the company is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms to ensure that your data is not being misused in any manner by the very organization that aims to protect it.
When choosing the right legal technology for you, it is also essential to take note of the ethical practices of the company. Algorithms are not capable of separating right from wrong. Rather, it is the person making that algorithm who must ensure that the technology is not working against public policy or against anything which is not in the best interests of the society. Therefore, before deciding on a technology, ensure that you have done your due diligence to know if the technology aligns with your values and principles, as well as your organization’s values and principles.
Further, it ensures that legal technology can provide customers with accurate information. This is especially true considering the dynamic nature of legal services and how it is essential to keep oneself updated with all the recent legal provisions, rules and regulations.
Additionally, your due diligence must include a study to ensure that the legal technology does not have any inherent bias within its algorithm and rather encourages inclusivity. This not only helps the organization encourage an equal playing field for all but also prevents any unethical use of abilities.
Cyber Security and Tech Reliability
As per a 2021 survey by the American Bar Association, it was found that at least 25% of the law firms have had experiences related to security breaches. With the rising use of technology, security breaches have become a major concern for organizations that wish to automate their procedures and make work more convenient and efficient.
Therefore, it becomes vital for organizations to research data security practices, both past and present, for legal technology. This involves studying whether the legal technology has faced any security concerns in its life span. This can further be researched based on the cyber security features being used by the legal technology. For instance, trustworthy legal technology often makes use of digital biometric features, voice recognition technology, or multifactor authentication for the prevention of fraudulent activities.
The organization must also check how the technology deals with red flags and what steps they takes to prevent any potential harm that may arise due to such red flags. This mainly involves unusual activity instances, such as multiple log-in tries or log-in from a foreign jurisdiction.
A trustworthy legal technology should allow the organization to monitor the data which is being collected, along with monitoring how the data is being used and for how long. Some companies provide transparency reports, which provide a complete analysis of third-party requests for the data. Others allow the customer data to be deleted at any time by them.
6 must ask questions
The following are some of the must-ask questions for anyone who wishes to get the most out of their legal technology:
- How does the legal technology support your business goals?
- Does the legal technology offer integration options (connecting various digital tools)?
- How is the sensitive information protected on the legal technology platform?
- How easy/difficult is it to train users/employees for the legal technology platform?
- Is the legal technology capable of scaling and maturing with the growth of your business?
- Does legal technology save or cost you more money than necessary?
Benefits of having the right legal technology
Having the right legal technology exposes you to a range of advantages:
- Great time saver – through automation, it becomes easier to systemize operations and save time since it becomes possible to add follow-up activities in one go without having to refer to the list repeatedly. With the inclusion of custom software systems and artificial intelligence, it is easier for lawyers to undertake their legal assessments efficiently.
- Better access to legal know-how – Through the right legal technology, you can open gates to greater productivity and efficiency for your organization. This is because the contract review process has now become more accessible, along with many other legal assignments.
- Quality Improvement – Today, legal technology has become one of the most efficient ways to guarantee quality content and services. This is because technology never retires, and hence, it remains productive, provided that quality improvements are made regularly and by ensuring that the organization keeps itself updated with the technology trends.
Challenges of legal technology
While technology has made life easier, however, it is essential to take note of the various challenges that it has posed as well:
AI-related insecurities – AI is still at its initial stage, with many unsure about the extent of its use and development. Therefore, it can be possible for many organizations to refrain from completely automating their procedures. However, organizations should prefer taking the first step and adding required automation in processes that can be done alternately and efficiently.
Privacy and security – Data security and privacy issues have been a significant concern since the commencement of technology itself. While lawyers are trained to take care of the worst-case scenarios, however, security concerns are capable of making them more worried. This acts as a deterrence towards the adoption of legal software systems.
The Black Box Challenge – This refers to a lack of information and no updated knowledge about how technology works. Unfortunately, this issue is being faced by almost all the industries today. Therefore, it becomes essential to keep oneself updated with all the technological developments in your industry.
Legal technology has been advancing rapidly, and it has now become imperative for organizations to secure, considering their clients themselves have started expecting their work to be done quickly and efficiently. Therefore, organizations must explore the options available to them and ensure that they choose a trustworthy legal technology.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should you involve any IT or cybersecurity expert while evaluating your options for legal technology?
It is advisable to include any IT or cybersecurity expert while evaluating your options for legal technology. They can provide more insights on legal technology that might otherwise be missed.
How do you ensure that legal tech solutions align with the values and needs of your organization?
Alignment and customization is the way to ensure that legal tech solutions align with the values and needs of your organization. However, ensure that you keep a look at the budget, as the more customized the software is for your needs, the more costs you are likely to incur.