How Legal Tech Is Impacting Lawyers and Law Firms
Legal Tech is a catch phrase that was originally coined to refer to the use of technologies and software to improve the way in which lawyers and law firms operate their practices. Initially, this meant utilizing software applications and solutions for document storage and management, billing, electronic filing of court documents, electronic discovery methods, client relationship management, and so on.

However, in recent years, the term has come to mean more and often causes lawyers and law firms to worry about their futures. Part of this concern stems from the increase in the number of technology-driven law students. Many law students are considering their prospects should they complete their law degree and the amount of time required before they could potentially either start their own practice or become a partner at an existing practice.

As such, students are looking at the number of innovators in recent years, who launched tech startups and turned them into highly successful operations, like what Mark Zuckerberg did with Facebook. Pursuing a non-traditional legal career, while incorporating technology has resulted in an increase in the number of legal tech startups. The goals and objectives of these startups is to address the needs of businesses and individuals that has largely gone underserved, partly due to the lack of interest or slow adaptation of new technologies by existing law firms and lawyers.

There are numerous types of legal tech startups currently, with more on their way in the coming years. Some of the existing startups are focusing on technology-driven solutions to assist businesses and consumers find lawyers through online channels in the practice areas they require, such a business law, personal liability law, and so on. While this type of startup should not make lawyers and law firms fear for their future, but rather appreciate the ability of being able to be found and to attract new clients.

Another type of legal tech startup that is causing lawyers to question the future of their practices is providing legal apps and software to businesses and individuals to allow them to be able to resolve legal matters on their own without having to retain the services of a lawyer or law firm. These “smart-law” apps supply legal forms, legal definitions, case studies, case law, and various legal scenarios businesses and people can use for a variety of legal matters and situations.

As such, organizations and people are starting to question why they should pay a lawyer at a high hourly rate for their services, when they could simply subscribe to a legal tech app for a significantly lower monthly subscription fee. Now you can see why many lawyers have reservations anytime the term legal tech is discussed in their presence.

Regardless, even with these changes in the legal landscape, by no means does it spell the end of the need for lawyers or law firms. Instead, the term legal tech should be a wake-up call for lawyers and law firms throughout Canada. Now is the time to start implementing modern technologies and applications to streamline operations and improve the functioning and productivity of the practice. By taking steps to embrace legal tech, it will allow lawyers to further specialize in specific areas of the law and the services they provide their clients.

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Posted by: DSR
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Tag: Legal
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