Reasons why legal professionals are looking towards innovation

Last Updated at: Nov 04, 2019

The legal profession has always been recognized as being old-fashioned, insusceptible to change, and steered by precedent as opposed to innovation. Nevertheless, despite the fact that in contrast to other industries legal innovation has padded behind, the scope, reach and pace of the innovation and technology in the legal industry has, over the last few years made noteworthy steps.

Legal professionals across the world are under incredible pressure to adapt to a marketplace which is led by progressively price conscious clients and reasonable, innovative technologies, coupled with a constantly growing pool of service providers whose business models are not established on the traditional service delivery charged by the hour. The outcome is that innovation and technology are swiftly changing the way legal services are being delivered and by whom.

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Technology is changing the method that traditionally legal professionals provide. This has led to the democratization of the legal industry and has presented new forms of competition and a search for improved and more efficient ways of providing legal services. By increasing the attaining of services from the alternative service providers with the delivery models that differ from the traditional legal firm model and which are generally seen as being better affiliated with the company’s risk of tolerance and enterprise purposes than legal firms.

There is a greater willingness to procure the services from alternative legal services providers which are able to adopt more competitive fee structures and which are generally closer to the client’s core business. These days the belief of only lawyers are capable of performing legal tasks is proved to be wrong. Legal problems are majorly viewed as business challenges which in turn raise the legal issues.

To address these issues, many professionals have started investing in and implementing changes and are willing to adopt the innovative approaches to the delivery of their services. Many legal professionals today have devoted ‘Innovation Teams’ that is tasked with looking at new legal technologies and provide innovative strategies for the future of the firms.

Legal technology applications range from speedy document searches to helping to foresee the outcome of lawsuits, to managing complex cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions transactions through the placement of project management software and tools. Smart contracts are one of the examples of an area in which firms are majorly investing as a tool to save on time and costs to ensure predictability and consistency in the results.

Legal professionals are realizing that talent pools and new skills sets of lawyers will be necessary to meet the demands of clients. A lawyer with technological experience will generally be more valuable to the legal profession of the future than the typical lawyer. To address this, there is a growing inclination amongst the legal professionals to enroll lawyers on coding courses so that they learn how to code the contracts and other required legal documents.

The marketing segment of the legal industry is observing a rush in ‘disruptive technology’. What this means is merely that changes are primarily occurring in the minor end of the market, whereby innovation and technology allow entry of the new clients in the marketplace by creating ease of access to the legal services at higher efficiency and low costs.

Many legal professionals are investing highly in legal technology. The legal profession of the future will deliver its clients with access to technology platforms enabling them to constantly monitor progress and receive steady updates on their working files and litigation matters.