For a while now, there’s been a friction brewing between legal services and legaltech, but why? Here’s a few reasons:
- Lawyers don’t deem the technology to be useful or any more advantageous than what they do normally.
- Firms and lawyers are on the defence as they think it could take away their jobs.
- A lack of training to understand and utilise the real value of the new tech.
- People just don’t like change. Simple but true, and cultural change is an even bigger challenge to tackle.
But, when you can marry up the right legaltech with the right legal service it can be a game changer and here’s 4 big reasons why:
1. Time is of the essence
Legaltech can save its users a huge amount of time from researching and tracking regulations by transforming collections of applicable regulatory texts into a globally standardised, machine readable format across various jurisdictions. Using technologies such as AI, machine learning or natural language processing also means human error is avoided, so lawyers and their customers can be more confident and certain that all of the applicable law is covered and up to date.
When lawyers can skip this legal research stage, it means they have more time to concentrate on skilled work such as interpreting and analysing the law. Legal technology that impacts legal compliance and regulatory law will positively affect lawyers, enabling them to do more of what they are best at doing, in this case – advising clients on what they need to do to comply with the law.
2. Adding more value
With the above point in mind, being able to provide higher performance activities and services will foster better relationships with your clients.
Value is what we all strive for everyday in our own work and as a collective business, so being able to answer your client's queries straight-away, instead of being bogged down with lower skilled work such as legal research is a win-win for lawyers and will differentiate one law firm from another. Clients can weigh one firm over another not just based on cost, but also on value, reputation and customer experience.
3. New billing models can blossom
Legaltech has the potential to end the billable hour for law firms. Some firms might shudder at this thought, fearing that their profitability would instantly plummet but actually, recording how you’re spending every minute of the working day and calculating how this should be charged also takes up time and resources. Not to mention being an inefficient, inaccurate way of charging for the value you’re offering a client. Some even consider it to be unethical.
Another service model that’s proving tricky with law firms and its clients is the compliance research task. Technology applications cannot easily help lawyers in providing answers to a set of legal questions faced by a client over many jurisdictions. Finding all of the applicable texts that inform the answering of the set of questions across many borders is still a manual service and clients are increasingly objecting to pay for it - especially when it comes to keeping the information up to date. New billing models supported by legaltech could avoid the risk of upsetting or losing clients by charging for this type of work. Smart technology could handle this updating task and save law firms significant amounts of time and money that might have been previously spent doing it for free.
4. Innovation isn’t optional
Every business is adapting to new technology in order to survive in today’s market. No matter the industry, technology is playing a vital role in the success of the company and it is becoming a case of IT predator or IT prey for organisations. In the context of lawyers and law firms, there is building pressure to adapt and embrace new, more efficient technologies as the benefits are so clear cut from an operational standpoint. But there’s also a growing demand to be innovative from your clients, who too are looking for more productive, smarter solutions and in turn expect the same approach from their suppliers and services. In some cases, even getting onto a panel of a client requires you as a law firm, to demonstrate how you are using technology to increase efficiency and legal accuracy.
Legaltech can automate the things that have previously driven legal bills up and left legal advice out of date, namely staying informed of changing regulations. So, by embracing legaltech and the theory of law as data, this can help you get onto the starting line with new, innovation-seeking clients.
If you're a law firm looking for legaltech solutions download Libryo’s brochure for law firms to learn more.