Lawtech or legaltech technologies are software applications that are designed to make legal advice accessible for business owners. Most of them do a great job and you need to find the ones that do the job for you that you need. The landscape of tools is constantly evolving and we see 5 areas to watch in 2022:
- Artificial intelligence
- Legal automation
- Contract and document automation
- Workflow automation
- Client and law firm collaboration
Artificial intelligence (or AI) have been buzzwords around many different industries for a number of years. The predictions are that AI will force change and innovation through all sectors of the economy including law. The truth is that the development of AI is already well advanced and as the tools become cheaper they will become more accessible to all people.
As a growing area this is definitely one to watch, it is generally expected that AI will transform the legal landscape in the next 3 years.
Automation is different from AI as it is using existing code or minimal code to help computers make decisions. In the legal context it is the method by which legal decisions can be made by inputting data that then forms a decision based on pre-determined criteria. This will help lawyers to make decisions quicker and reduce the amount of boring data entry decisions that need to be made.
Contract and document automation
This type of automation has been promised for many years and is a very common form of lawtech/legaltech in the market. Unfortunately at the moment it is really just a fill in the blanks exercise. The issue being that if you are just filling in blanks you are not taking into account the nuances of legal risk in your industry.
Until AI is more cost effective this type of automation will still need a lawyer to properly assess the legal implications and ensure that it works for each business.
These are processes that are clear about the flow of work and the completion of work in the law firm. Tools and technology are constantly being built to try and automate this field and provide more automated tasks for lawyers. This can include automating the intake of instructions, questions, management of matters, fee management and compliance workflows.
Client and law firm collaboration
As an industry, moving on from paper has been slow for many parts of the legal industry. There are now literally hundreds of tools that have been built to satisfy this need. However, the ones that are in the market are constantly being refined and reworked for the industry. So watch this space in 2022 for more tools that will assist with the automation of your work.
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