Featured Image Caption: Big Data
As we move through the 21st century, it is becoming clear that technology is having an increasingly significant influence on our lives. Great strides are being made at a rapid pace, with new developments constantly changing the shape of the landscape across almost all aspects of society. These changes bring new challenges and opportunities that individuals and businesses alike must embrace.
For example, electric cars are becoming commonplace on our roads, while we are also seeing a greater prevalence of renewable energy sites in areas across the UK. With innovative technology percolating its way into all walks of life, law firms are among the many businesses that are being forced to keep up in order to remain competitive. As Jonathan Kewley, Co-Head of the Clifford Chance Tech Group explains:
“We are living in a technological revolution; people could never have predicted the extraordinary speed of change and you have a legal market which is having to pivot very quickly to this new reality.”
So, how are law firms keeping pace with this revolution, and how has it altered their working practices?
Communication, whether internal or external, is of paramount importance – that has always been the case. But the way that those in the legal sector use these tools is undergoing great change. Larger firms are likely to have various departments working on the same project at any one time, and slick communication is absolutely imperative in those situations. But with more people working from home due to Covid-19, a lot of these discussions now take place in the virtual space. The same goes for meetings with clients, while many firms are embracing tech that allows documentation to be completed and signed remotely.
There is a huge focus on innovation and the use of big data is playing a major role in that movement. Those in the legal sector can utilize it in a number of different ways, including understanding employee behavior to increase productivity; identifying where clients are most likely to be sourced; making accurate assessments of cases before proceedings start, and monitoring client behavior, which can then determine how the firm’s services are shaped in the future.
Technological advances are all geared towards making our lives easier by saving both time and money, and it’s certainly no different in the legal sector. Being able to free up manpower means firms can focus those resources in other areas, so systems have been developed to take care of some of the traditional processes with minimal human intervention. These processes include document drafting, research, disclosure, due diligence, and more. Improved speed and efficiency in completing these tasks mean increased profitability, which in turn creates greater resources for continuing to keep pace with the technological revolution.
It is clear to see the significant impact that technology is having in the legal field, and how embracing it may not be an option, but a necessity if legal firms wish to remain competitive in the coming years.
As Theodore Levitt famously said “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”