Here’s how emerging technology is going to impact the legal sector in the coming year.
The legaltech industry is undergoing rapid growth, and it’s transforming the way law firms practise law and conduct business. Firms are continuing to accelerate their adoption of technology, with one Wolters Kluwer survey finding that 63% of law firms plan to increase their tech spend in 2023. Whether it’s billing automation, records management, document generation, legal spend analytics, or something else entirely, the legal sector has seen a rapid proliferation of tech-enabled tools that are helping lawyers and paralegals make more money, better manage their workloads, cut costs, accelerate workflows, and save time.
The legal sector is only going to adopt more technology as time goes on; if your firm isn’t leveraging technology to boost productivity and solve problems, you’ll be left behind. The law firm of 2023 is agile, adaptable, and innovative; that means staying ahead of the trends and capitalizing on opportunities before your competitors do. Here are the three major legaltech trends that will define 2023.
The use of artificial intelligence in law is proliferating, with law firms and in-house legal departments adopting AI for everything from contract review to cost analysis. Artificial intelligence and automation tools have come a long way in just a few short years, with tools like Google’s AI-enabled LaMDA chatbot performing so well that it’s prompted some engineers to ask whether LaMDA is sentient. Meanwhile, AI art generator Midjourney is producing digital art that’s literally prize-worthy: In September 2022, fine artist Jason Allen won the Colorado State Fair fine arts competition using art generated by the Midjourney AI. And ChatGPT has advanced to the point that Microsoft has invested $1 billion into OpenAI. (Imagine an artificial intelligence that can generate your emails or resolutions for you!)
Artificial intelligence is now pushing the boundary between machine and human; while AI is not advanced enough to replace lawyers and paralegals, it’s sufficiently advanced that it can handle much of the day-to-day paperwork that lawyers and paralegals do. That’s why hundreds, if not thousands, of firms across Canada and the United States are already using AI and automation tools to free up time for higher-ROI tasks. Going into 2023, it’s expected that this trend will not only continue, but accelerate.
The legal industry is home to vast amounts of data, from client records, to minute books, to legal documents themselves. With the demand for legal services and complexity of work expected to only grow in the future, the volume and complexity of information law firms produce will expand exponentially.
For many firms, this means adding to a massive catalogue of pen-and-paper records. While paper record-keeping may seem more convenient if you don’t have an electronic records system, it actually costs your team more time; paper records require significant manual effort to find, organize, and maintain. It’s this exact challenge that led RDM Lawyers to switch to Appara; RDM found the process of using manual records too unwieldy and time-consuming.
(Want to hear more? Check out our case study to discover how RDM Lawyers 2X’d their incorporations with Appara.)
The fact is, manual pen-and-paper record-keeping is an unnecessary expense from a bygone era. Digital records management solutions like Appara are faster, easier to use, more accurate, more secure, and – importantly – shareable.
As data management continues to move to the cloud, software security will become even more important. Expect legaltech companies to continue investing in robust security measures to protect client information.
(Is your law firm ready for digital record-keeping? Find out now with our FREE 5-part checklist.)
Hybrid office arrangements enjoy continuing popularity in the legal industry. Major law firms like Davis Wright Tremaine and Shearman & Sterling are moving into smaller spaces or renovating existing offices to be smaller, citing the popularity of virtual and hybrid offices as the main reason for shrinking their physical footprint.
As more legal professionals make working from home a permanent arrangement, law firms will need to adopt collaboration-oriented software that can enable on-site and remote colleagues to work on the same things at the same time. Going forward, remote collaboration will be the norm; secure apps that enable remote colleagues to work on the same file will become a necessity for every law firm.
Adopting this kind of software now will enable your firm to stay ahead of competitors not only in terms of productivity, but also in terms of recruitment. It’s no secret that the legal industry is facing a talent shortage. Implementing remote collaboration software and remote working policies can make it easier for your firm to attract new talent – especially those energetic Millennials who can revitalize your firm with new blood and new ideas.
2023 is going to bring considerable changes to the legaltech landscape. The rise of artificial intelligence, the demand for remote working arrangements, and law firms’ need to manage a vast amount of data will all influence the way lawyers, paralegals, and support staff use technology; furthermore, emerging solutions will continue evolving to solve unmet needs and optimize workflows. Moving into 2023, your firm should be asking where it can leverage technology to increase productivity, cut costs, minimize risk, or free up your human capital to engage in more valuable work. Legaltech is already changing the way legal professionals work – it’s already creating competitive advantages for forward-thinking firms. That means the time to examine your tech stack for gaps is now. In 2023, your firm will need to decide whether it wants to keep up with the competition – or be left behind.
Is your law firm struggling to keep up with all of your critical documents? Appara can help. Appara’s AI-enabled records management, workflow automation, and document automation suite can help you complete tasks in up to 75% less time while eliminating errors and facilitating remote collaboration with colleagues. For more information or to start your FREE trial, contact us.
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