Although the legal industry had been slow to embrace digitalization, the pandemic enforced further disruption and prompted significant technological innovation. With the increased use of artificial intelligence and the implementation of greater online accessibility through client portals, law firms have not only become more efficient but have also been able to focus on current and evolving client demands. And as more lawyers continue to work remotely from home, the strengthened security of online features enables the safe transfer of information to their firm while protecting sensitive data from external threats.
Enabling Secure Remote Working
According to the American Bar Association, many more lawyers are expected to be teleworking for the foreseeable future. Successfully adapting space to create a dedicated office gives lawyers the flexibility to work from home either full or part-time, and with the addition of online technology such as video conferencing services they can easily stay in contact with colleagues, clients and even the courtroom. However, while working from home is largely the same for lawyers as it is for other consulting professionals, it does involve addressing extra security issues associated with accessing and sharing sensitive material online. Using digital technology such as VPNs, lawyers working from home can establish a connection with their office that is both safe for transferring internal data as well as being secure against any potential external cyber attacks.
Developing a Customer-First Approach
Spending more time working remotely has forced more law firms to adopt technology in order to reach their clients. Lawyers that had already adopted technology and improved their online presence were able to communicate more quickly and directly with clients during the pandemic. Enhanced by the inclusion of technological innovation, this client-centric approach meets evolving demands, which include faster delivery, greater transparency and more affordable services. Heavily bureaucratic models have been replaced by more efficient systems which have allowed clients to give evidence, make depositions and attend motion hearings through teleconferencing facilities.
Increasing Efficiency with Artificial Intelligence
In any sector, one of the main advantages of using artificial intelligence is improving efficiency and, as it involves so many routine and labor-intensive tasks, the legal industry benefits hugely from the increasing use of AI. Essential legal functions such as drafting basic contracts, conducting lengthy research and collecting relevant documents for discovery during a court case can all be undertaken by AI software. While some lawyers have been reluctant to incorporate the use of AI due to it potentially reducing their billable hours, a recent study by the University of Oxford found that AI is improving the performance of law firms without interfering with traditional legal practices or taking away the need for professional lawyers.
By embracing digitalization, the legal industry has become less bureaucratic and more efficient. The use of AI minimizes valuable time spent on labor-intensive tasks, while addressing security concerns enables lawyers to work remotely via online portals, and be readily available to focus on their clients’ evolving needs.
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