New trends in Legal Technology
In today’s digital era the legal profession is strongly connected with technology as a fast-forwarding information process. A current legal approach cannot be imagined without using the technology, all the way from legal research to the advice given to a client.
As Tara Vasdani (Canadian lawyer nominated for Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers) wrote “The digital age has not only allowed us to access information at our fingertips but provided us with communication tools that our clients employ and expect their lawyers to begin to implement, to remain efficient. Although an obvious shift from in-person meetings to email communication is evident across the board, in the legal industry, face-to-face meetings for client identification and verification purposes continue to be a hurdle for law firms attempting to move toward a wholly digital operation”.
Creating a virtual meeting platform that lawyers can use to “meet” with their clients and permitting them to execute legal documents, including wills, online, has the potential to dramatically improve the public’s access to legal services. It also has the potential to revolutionize the practice of law as it removes geographic barriers for lawyers, who can now more easily act for clients across a province. For a longer version of Tara’s statement please read her article.
All that means more people will have access to legal advice or consultation without having travel or any other additional costs. Whole legal practice begins to take action in this direction. Even freelance lawyers that are working in the legal industry.
According to Sally Kane, as legal professionals, forge new ways of doing business, a growing number of law firms and legal employers are outsourcing legal work to freelancers to handle work overflow, bring in new expertise, and serve clients more cost-effectively. Many careers in the legal industry lend themselves to freelance work, including lawyers, paralegals, court reporters, legal secretaries, litigation support personnel, legal nurse consultants, and even law students who aren’t yet working at a firm. Budget-conscious clients, mobile technology, globalization, and changing law firm business models have fueled the growth of legal outsourcing for a wide range of legal services. But, as she wrote in her article, freelance work has its advantages and disadvantages such as a lack of employer-paid benefits.
Law as a profession as well as a business is a highly confidential one. That means it is risky to provide any documents to people out of the office. If the document is not in the right hands it can be misused and cause real damage to the law firm and the clients.
There are plenty of legal innovations and services that lawyers can use to provide more modern and time-effective counseling. As Jodie Miller stated in his Legal Tech Industry Landscape, technology provides attorneys with a convenient method of effectively managing client and case information, including contacts, calendaring, documents, and other specifics by facilitating automation in law practices. It can be used to share information with other attorneys in the firm and will help prevent having to enter duplicate data in conjunction with billing programs and data processors.
Having that in mind, the location of the lawyer is not as important as it was before. Almost all of the services can be done remotely giving the client prompt information and advice.
As a lawyer, this is an excellent way to make money without being dependant on a location. You can get a volume of work too. Of course, the payment will be far lower than what you expect from a client. But it is worth it because you can get volumes and have no need to negotiate with clients, no need to spend time understanding their requirements, etc. For more information on the topic, how can a lawyer work remotely you can find in Ramanuj Mukherjee‘s article.
Also, the situation with the COVID-19 is very serious. The virus has taken over the world. Many countries, including the United States, have implemented preventative measures. Across the nation, working people are requested to work from home whenever possible. This means that lawyers and legal staff are now working remotely. However, not all home computers or even work laptops are up-to-date on cybersecurity measures. Thus, as we mentioned before, working at home may expose sensitive information. For tips on how to do your legal work from home, and what you should do before you start work visit this site.
What can be considered?
In this dynamic world, standard law practice getting to be slow. Therefore, the need for changes and alterations to its nature is inevitable. Technology provides lawyers with a variety of possibilities and all that research, all that documentation that was everyday work for 20th sentry lawyers, now can be finished with a couple of clicks. The need for a lawyer to meet the employees, to give them documentation needed, and for them to write a document and send it back is changed with emails and online meetings. Thus, nowadays it is easier to prove that something has been done or not. Lawyers believe that with all of the changes the justice will be served, and processes will be more time-effective causing respect for people’s rights and freedoms at a higher level than before.