“C” Change: Three Top Legal Technology Trends in 2020
Technology change is coming to the legal industry. As noted by a recent IT Pro Portal survey, 60 percent of legal staff “would be happy to work alongside robotic technology if it meant fewer manual processes,” while the American Bar Association found that 49 percent of lawyers are now using legal analytics to improve service delivery.
Staffing firm Robert Half puts it simply. To enhance client service and efficacy, “law firms will take a more proactive approach to technology.” But as the tech market diversifies, new challenges emerge. Companies need to find best-fit solutions that both maximize digital budgets and deliver ROI. Let’s break down the coming “C” change with a look at three top-performing technology trends for 2020.
Digital transformation has been making its way into the legal industry, but the trend toward broader technology adoption and integration has created a personnel plateau. While new solutions help streamline key processes such as document redaction, forms data capture, and document automation, they’re not enough in isolation. Steady gains demand technology deployments that align with existing process frameworks to encourage meaningful, cultural change.
Consider document automation. As noted by Law.com, while 2019 saw increased legal spending on automated contract review and document automation solutions, spending alone doesn’t guarantee success. Firms need tools capable of integration with current legal applications, allowing teams to leverage existing frameworks. The result? Cultural change that comes from within rather than being imposed from without.
Communication and Collaboration
As noted by Forbes, while the legal industry has often focused on “silver bullets” to solve technology problems at scale, firms have been reticent to deploy solutions focused on existing process improvement. Case in point? Communication and collaboration.
Law firms are expected to increase the availability of remote work options. As clients expect personalized, prompt, and digitally-proficient service, 2020 requires the adoption of technology solutions and best practices that enable communication anywhere, anytime.
In practice, this means deploying tools that allow staff to view multiple file types in a single browser, quickly add comments or annotations, and covert documents on-demand to encourage collaboration without compromising risk management. With documents kept in your application ecosystem, staff won’t need to leverage outside tools — such as email — that introduce potential compliance issues.
The third “C” is consolidation. Is it coming to legal firms this year? We think so. Here’s why. According to The Balance, ongoing amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are changing the landscape of litigation as electronically stored information (ESI) such as emails, text messages, mixed media, and mobile data all become fair game in document discovery — and critical to successful casework.
The result? Law firms need technology solutions that both empower eDiscovery processes and consolidate casework efforts, making it easier to find what they’re looking for — faster — and ensure effective access control. From full-text, keyword-driven support for document searches to full-featured digital rights management (DRM), firms need all-in-one eDiscovery solutions that are easy to integrate, simple to customize, and help consolidate casework under a single search solution.