Future of Legal Tech: How should law firms prepare

16 Oct, 2018

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In our last post “Legal Tech: People want solutions not buzzwords” we looked at what legal tech was 10 years ago, and it left us wondering, what should law firms be preparing themselves for as we look 10 years into the future?

We know tech savvy firms are integrating smart tools into their workflow already. Lawyers and attorneys are becoming more efficient in their role, but at this point most tools are simply about making their lives easier rather than drastically changing the legal market.

We spoke to Rajiv Cabraal, the Legal, Governance and IP Director at CSIRO Data61, to get his thoughts on the future of legal tech. Rajiv, who has over 17 years of experience in the legal sector, believes firms are sitting on a goldmine of potential.

“Right now there is an incredible opportunity for firms to start innovating, think outside the box and find a way to completely change how the system works, think Uber and Airbnb. Law firms have an advantage in the market to become the disruptors, not the disrupted.”

Most legal smart tools available today are extremely niche, they are developed to complete very specific tasks. If there is always a better way to do something, what will happen to client communication, post grad education or even client data security in the future? It seems clear to us that one of the things Rajiv would be alluding to would be the tremendous amount of data each firm owns. As an AI company, we know how valuable that access would be and it is exciting to think how that data can be used, and we couldn't help but share some of our thoughts...

 

Say hello to the next-gen of law professionals

Imagine all a firm’s data feeding an education tool to fast-track the next-gen of law professionals. It wasn’t that long ago we were relying solely on the library to study, so to think firms could have their own in-house training and post-grad courses tailored on the firm’s data and practices, would allow young lawyers to learn faster than ever before and be empowered by technology. In a world where top end talent is always difficult to attract, this disruption to professional education would not only benefit the firm to develop a new generation of legal experts, but also attract the best.

 

Say goodbye to billable hours

We’ve seen firms that have databases specific to their industry that clients can access for a nominal fee, but what about advice trained on a firm’s individual data to help menial requests? What if a law firm charged by “access”, rather than hours?

Developing technology tailored to your own firm's invaluable information, advice and outcomes, your client data could safely stay within the firm, but used to continually protect your wider client base through leading AI programs. As a client, wouldn’t you prefer a program trained with the best data to help you with a clause interpretation, but then loop your lawyer in when you need final advice. Do consumers need access to data as well as our lawyers and are we ready to pay for both?

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