Legal Technology

Four Steps to Seamlessly Introduce Legal Technology to Your Firm

The legal technology sector has expanded rapidly in recent years. If your firm wants to introduce this business advantage, these steps can facilitate a smooth and satisfying transition:

1. Ensure Your Firm Would See Measurable Benefits From the Tech

Some law firms bring tech into the workplace primarily because they feel pressure from competitors or the industry at large to do it. However, you should get more specific to achieve the best results.

Begin by assessing which parts of your workflow take the most time. Then, determine whether the technology could boost productivity or otherwise facilitate positive outcomes. Additionally, aim to invest in solutions that let you track how they perform.

Consider the example of a case prediction tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI). The company claims a 90% accuracy rate for litigation results. It also provides estimated time frames and specifics that help firms better advise their clients. When a legal technology company provides statistics for how a product should perform, it’s easier to compare your real-world results to make sure they stack up.

2. Dedicate Time to Learning About Solutions on the Market

Statistics indicate that only around 30% of law firms hire technology specialists whose primary goal is to keep the business on tech’s cutting edge. That means the responsibility of doing it often falls on the lawyers themselves. In many cases, that arrangement makes sense, especially since some legal experts believe that maintaining an adequate amount of technological competence ties into their professional conduct.

Setting aside time to assess the market options is an ideal early step to take for a firm that’s serious about bringing legal technology into their offices. For example, specialized assistance such as legal billing and project management software exists. However, a law firm may also use a broader option, such as a social media tool that automatically posts material across all of a brand’s profiles at once.

Representatives of law firms can do most of the early research themselves. However, before they purchase a product, it’s smart to speak directly to someone at the company providing the technology. They should confirm if it offers the features they expect and is compatible with their existing file types and software.

3. Consider How Tech Could Overcome Existing Challenges

AI is rapidly affecting industries within and beyond the legal sector. One effective way for law firms to use it is to install a chatbot that answers the repetitive but important questions people pose. Some law firms get flooded with such queries before new laws go into effect.

That scenario happened regarding new data breach rules in Australia. One firm developed a chatbot that answered 1,000 conversations about the matter on its first day of use. However, artificial intelligence (AI) use cases don’t stop there.

According to product management and service design expert Alex Smith, the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) initially drove many firms’ contract repapering needs. However, he notes, “…Corporate legal departments are adopting a similar approach to understanding their business portfolios using AI to determine things like revenue leakage, factors driving risk and areas for cost reduction.”

No matter what technology you use or consider, examine it from the perspective of how the solution could help you address known challenges. Then, your tech implementation will support the firm’s growth and competitiveness.

4. Determine How the Tech Could Help Your Clients

Law firms can overcome some of the initial resistance to adopting new tech if they stay mindful that it could improve clients’ overall experience. If law firms earn reputations for going above and beyond to help their clients, it’ll be easier for them to stay in demand and relevant.

One recent example concerned global law firm Mayer Brown. It repurposed a tool initially developed for specifics related to Brexit. The interface provided a frequently updated map of shelter-in-place orders across the United States. It also gave details about requirements concerning visas, quarantines and health checks. Doing something similar lets lawyers provide the most accurate and timely information to their clients.

Companies preparing to adopt high-tech legal products often start from the point of examining how they’d help internal workflows. That’s okay and expected, but law firms must look deeper and find the client benefits. Then, even if lawyers encounter a few pitfalls in the early stages, they’ll feel willing to stay focused and overcome them, knowing that clients will see the advantages of their dedication.

Your firm could have a blog or social media tool that keeps people in the loop about legal news that matters to them. Using technology like that can position firms as up-to-date on developments and eager to help. Both those traits should aid in attracting new clients.

Start Slowly to Ease the Adjustment

Besides applying these tips as you unveil legal technology, remember not to push ahead too quickly. Introduce the staff to the tech gradually and give them ample time to get used to it. Trying to ramp up too quickly could cause innovation fatigue.

Easing into the newness and getting feedback will boost success and inform when it may be time to make more investments to meet new needs. Tuning into your team’s tech comments could help you decide whether to hire short-term professional help for tools that are more difficult to use. However, following these four steps makes you well-equipped for any self-driven technology implementation.

About Shannon Flynn

Shannon Flynn
Shannon Flynn is a technology and business blogger who writes about business innovation and IT news. She's also the Managing Editor at ReHack.com. Follow ReHack on Twitter to read about other technology trends!

Check Also

laptop

Five Tips to Running a Laptop Law Firm

Starting a laptop law firm practice gives you the flexibility to work from different locations, and with the latest technology.