Digital transformation in the legal industry has been slow, but as benefits are becoming more obvious, legal firms are adopting digital technologies to improve their services.
Since privacy is of utmost importance in this field, the use of technology has not yet extensively pervaded, due to gradual and cautious implementation. However, digitization, although initially slow to catch on in the legal industry, is seeing a steady increase in its adoption. The digital transformation in the legal industry is already proving to be highly beneficial and is promising even greater benefits once fully realized. Digital technology promises not only smoother legal processes for clients and lawyers, but also improved decision-making for judges and lawmakers.
A majority of a lawyer’s time, while working on a case is scouring through pages of data to find relevant information. Although the right information is necessary for succeeding in trials, spending hours just to find a line of supporting evidence or law can be highly wasteful for lawyers and legal firms, as they can be better spent preparing for cases. Digitization in the legal industry has led to the introduction of technologies like AI and machine learning, which excel at scrutinizing massive amounts of data at high speeds. Machine learning, which can be trained to make sense of unstructured data such as text from various online and offline sources, can help lawyers and paralegals find key facts and information from legal texts and historical data. Machine learning is transforming legal services by saving time and manual effort for lawyers, which can be invested in more vital activities.
Digitization can minimize the need for trials in minor non-criminal cases, such as vehicle parking tickets. Applications have been developed using technologies like AI to help civilians contest parking tickets by determining whether the parking infraction is justified or not. This application has not only saved time and money for people but has also minimized the workload on legal courts, which can spend more time contemplating challenging cases that have grave consequences. AI can also be potentially applied in chatbots that provide people legal advice on simple and straightforward matters and can also guide them through legal processes. Use of AI chatbots in clearing basic customer queries can free up more time for law professionals working in legal firms and enable law firms to utilize their skills in more productive activities.
The digital technology that can have the greatest impact on the legal industry is blockchain. Blockchain’s ability to record information in an immutable, highly reliable manner can help legal processes and in many cases can also eliminate the need for litigation. This can be especially helpful in preventing cases involving finance and asset management. Blockchain can not only be used to record financial transactions but also to maintain ownership records for various assets such as real estate. Having a transparent and secure database of transactions and asset ownership eliminates the possibility of illegal transfer and accumulation of wealth, preventing financial crimes. Blockchain’s ability to execute smart contracts can also be highly valuable for legal industry, as it ensures that there is no room for foul play and non-compliance.
The digital transformation in the legal industry, especially through technology like blockchain can potentially bring about revolutionary changes in the field. All stakeholders in the legal industry such as civilians, law professionals and firms, and judicial bodies should actively embrace and be a part of this change, as it can make life much better for everyone.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.