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The Law Society's Intro to LawTech

Posted by Jo Sidhu on Oct 9, 2019 2:10:18 PM
 

Technology can help lawyers increase efficiency, reduce costs and achieve better outcomes for clients, finds the Law Society.

In their guide, an Introduction to LawTech, published this week, the Law Society highlights the benefits of legal technology and provides a guide to what legal service providers should consider when adopting new technology. Here we focus on two aspects of their guide: what are the benefits of using legal technology and what’s driving adoption?

The benefits of using legal technology

The Law Society found that the benefits of LawTech include:

    • increased efficiency, productivity and growth;
    • reduced costs;
    • better outcomes for clients and organisations.

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What's driving adoption of legal technology?

The Law Society found that when it comes to legal technology, the UK market is focused primarily on delivering efficiencies rather than offering new ways of providing legal services. 

And what’s driving this change? The Law Society found seven key drivers behind firms adopting LawTech.

  • Clients - clients are pushing firms to adopt technology in order to get cheaper, more efficient and more transparent legal services. This is seen most at the larger firms servicing businesses, but with consumers the Law Society has found that buying behaviours have changed with consumers interacting with brands digitally to “improve efficiency, decrease costs or to get immediate answers to questions”. 
  • Hype and publicity - the Law Society has found that the publicity associated with LawTech has driven some firms to adopt it. 
  • Regulation and compliance - technology can help firms comply with regulatory obligations like the GDPR and KYC and AML checks with a view to reducing un-billable hours spent on these processes. Using automated checks firms are able speed up client on-boarding. For smaller firms the Law Society has found “these tools may provide one way to level the playing field with other larger firms”. 
  • Legacy systems - the Law Society has found that legacy systems can drive adoption of new tech by either helping those systems “talk” to each other or replacing old systems with new. 
  • Flexibility - modern ways of working like remote working and hot-desking have driven some firms and in-house teams to use technology.
  • Supplement lack of lawyers - there is a lack of lawyers in the consumer legal market, especially in family law and conveyancing, meaning some firms are looking to technology to help them do more with the same number of staff.
  • New skills - the current generation of "digital native" lawyers are increasingly focused on tech.

The Law Society's message is clear: "legal businesses need to adapt to retain market share and attract and retain client". Their Guide helpfully sets out the benefits of legal tech, why firms are adopting it and what firms should consider when adopting it themselves. You can find out more and access their resources here.

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