In March 2020, the U.K. Lord Chief Justice warned about “inevitable backlogs and delays that are building in the system”. Legal needed a disruption to solve these challenges and more.
The pandemic was merely a catalyst for the second wave of digitization in 20 years. With a direct impact on legal, this digital overhaul has disrupted the world of legal through legal technology (legal tech). Whether it’s via AI-powered software or data-driven pricing tools, legal disruption brings with it a host of benefits such as lower cost services and more accessibility and transparency around the practice of law, says Forbes.
Legal departments and corporate counsel can no longer ask themselves if they’d like to incorporate legal tech. The need of the hour is when to integrate a digital transformation strategy. A Gartner article forecasts the rise of the Virtual Legal Assistants (VLAs) that will manage 25% of requests and questions to internal corporate legal departments, reducing response time and the need for legal department interaction by 2023.
AI in Legal
The pandemic directly impacted law, by presenting new challenges “to the rule of law and administration of justice” notes a Harvard Law Journal article. Some of these included resources being stretched too thin, a remote based work system that legal never had to deal with before, and a glaring gap when it came to physical interactions such as court appointments or mediation, among others.
The challenges spurred by the pandemic can only be solved by legal tech. More importantly, legal tech ecosystems need a “human-in-the-loop” element to monitor and increase AI-powered efficiency. As ResearchGate states, artificial intelligence for the legal field is no longer in its nascency, and has evolved to offer a plethora of legal software that can make indemnity payout predictions, glean insights from case history for better future outcomes, and more.
Growth in the Legal Digital Age
Legal was always slow to embrace change, due to the sensitive nature of the law, cases, and other elements. However, as the legal industry has noted in recent years, the disruptive nature of legal tech blends seamlessly with legal. From document analytics to contract management systems, legal tech has proved its virtually risk-free and secure nature. Every legal department and corporate counsel can trust and utilize legal tech with complete confidence.
Funding in the legal sector has also grown by leaps and bounds. Investment in the legal tech industry has risen to $4 billion a quarter in 2021 from $1 billion a year in 2018. These figures are expected to keep growing as more organizations use and experience the benefits that legal disruption offers.
Beyond Savings and Efficiency
Today’s legal tech has cost-savings and efficiency as prerequisites. A Law.com article notes that successful legal tech solves for what’s beyond savings – including value for money, budgeting systems, and a focus on legal departments’ needs.
With the latest disruption in legal, legal tech providers are supplying the much-needed solutions to legal issues and challenges that surpass mere cost savings. Providing risk-free, highly secured, and augmented services is a cornerstone of legal tech, which is why it’s growing in popularity across legal departments and corporate counsel worldwide.
Legal will never be the same again, and it’s a good thing. Whether it’s online mediation platforms, impressive CLM management software that brings all components to a single unified dashboard, or the futuristic capabilities of AI, legal tech has disrupted the legal world forever.
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