Demystifying Legal Tech: Definition, Benefits, and Uses

First Reviewed : July 3, 2024
Last Reviewed: July 3, 2024

The legal industry, traditionally known for its reliance on paper and precedent, is undergoing a digital transformation. At the forefront of this change is legal technology, also referred to as legal tech. According to Statista, the global legal tech market is expected to reach USD 25.4 billion by 2025! But what exactly is legal tech, and how is it changing the way law is practiced?

What is Legal Technology?

Legal technology for legal departments encompasses a broad range of software applications and tools designed to streamline legal processes, improve efficiency, and enhance legal services. It’s not just about replacing lawyers with robots (although AI is playing a growing role). Legal departments will always be in vogue, and AI-enabled solutions need a human-in-the-loop to produce optimal results!

The ABA Journal notes that 75% of law firms are now using at least one type of legal tech tool. This number is rising as legal departments embrace various types of legal tech unique to their organization’s needs. Legal tech empowers lawyers by automating repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on more strategic aspects of their work.

Types of Legal Tech Tools

Within legal technology for legal departments, there are specialized tools and software designed to perform specific functions. From supporting litigators speed up time in court, to contract management software that manages and consolidates thousands of contracts, there’s legal tech for that!

Legal Research Platform

These platforms provide access to vast legal databases, case law, and legal analysis tools. Legal tech such as this performs rote tasks and helps save lawyers countless hours of manual research.

Contract Management Software

Contract management software speeds up the contract lifecycle. It automates the creation, negotiation, and review of contracts, ensuring accuracy and speeding up the contracting process.

Document Automation

Creating a framework that can be repeated offers lawyers the opportunity to significantly save on time where it’s needed the most. Document automation allows legal departments to build templates for commonly used documents, reducing errors and saving time.

EDiscovery Tools

Litigators have a vast array of useful legal tech that speed up cases, without them always needing to go through to litigation. Ediscovery tools help litigators electronically identify, collect, and analyze relevant documents during litigation.

4 Benefits of Legal Technology

Legal tech offers numerous advantages for both legal departments and their organizations. There are obvious benefits associated with legal departments and corporate counsel using legal tech in legal workflows. Accenture shares that legal tech helps improve lawyer productivity by up to 20%!

Efficiency

Automating tasks free up lawyers’ time. This allows them to focus on higher-value work and demonstrate the legal department’s role as a value center and not cost center.

Cost Savings

Streamlining processes and automating tasks can significantly reduce operational costs for legal departments. This helps them reduce overall spending and the legal budget, showing the organization the value the legal department brings.

Minimizes Errors

Legal tech tools are highly efficient and can help minimize errors in legal documents and processes for legal departments. This is crucial in an industry where efficiency and attention to detail could mean the difference between life and death such as in litigation, or reputational damage such as in non-compliance.

Collaboration

The legal department no longer must work as a silo. With legal tech, legal departments can work with other teams, collaborating across projects that require input from the legal department. Technology facilitates communication and collaboration between legal departments, clients, and other legal professionals.

How Lawyers Use Technology

Lawyers are increasingly using legal tech tools in various aspects of their practice. Legal tech for legal departments increases productivity, while allowing lawyers to reduce overall spend, and provide value to their organizations.

Legal Research and Writing

Legal departments can leverage legal research platforms to quickly find relevant case law and legal analysis to support their arguments.

Contract Drafting and Negotiation

Contract management software simplifies the creation, review, and negotiation of contracts, ensuring accuracy and speeding up the process.

Document Review and E-discovery

E-discovery tools help lawyers efficiently identify and analyze large volumes of digital documents during litigation.

Legal technology is rapidly transforming the legal industry. By embracing legal tech tools, lawyers can streamline their workflows, improve efficiency, and deliver better service to their clients. Whether you’re a lawyer or someone seeking legal assistance, understanding legal tech is crucial in today’s dynamic legal landscape.

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