The future of most, if not all industries, is dictated by its technology.
For the legal sector, this means some large, if not revolutionary disruptions to regular processes - most of which might be unfamiliar, but all of which hint at some remarkable possibilities for the future of the sector. Here, we uncover the tech disruptions set to define the legal industry – and, imaginably, the future tech offerings of Mirus.
While a relatively new term (still awaiting its immortalising in the Oxford English Dictionary), Lawtech has had something of a recent breakthrough, with the first of the great startups already making waves in the Legal sector. Companies such as JustBeagle, LexSnap and Luminance are helping to streamline compliance, contracting and funding needs as well as help users match with appropriate lawyers and rates – often through intelligent machine learning.
Given Lawtech’s burgeoning popularity, 2020 might see the birth of the first online-only law firm; sounds fanciful, but it wouldn’t be the first service-led industry to migrate to a purely digital realm.
The blockchain, though yet to be truly welcomed by the mainstream, presents the forward-thinking law firm with a more secure database for pertinent and sensitive data: documents, evidence, transactions and the like. With the blockchain favoured purely for its added crypto-security, this keeps personal data safe, untampered and indisputable, all while making it easier for claims to be settled between parties.
It’s not exactly the most radical suggestion, but with the legal sector’s ‘traditionalist’ reputation and 50% of UK businesses yet to adopt remote working, there’s still time for an industry peak in mobile solutions. From the office to the courtroom, the smart practitioner wants their crucial documents available at all costs. With cloud storage, Software as a Service and mobile & VoIP communication, the legal sector has an opportunity to streamline its processes tenfold.
Much like Mirus’s own RHEM solution, a performance measurement system ensures that your quality of service is consistent – and in an industry where results matter, that kind of indicator is invaluable. While performance management software is nothing new, it’s yet to be standardised across law firms, and as more people recognise its potential for data, delegation and results, it’ll provide and process those pertinent statistics that keep firms competitive.
Electronic Disclosure (e-Discovery)
Professional electronic disclosure is a rapidly growing legal industry; a $10 billion one, according to a report from Research and Markets. While the US is the recognised industry leader, the powers enshrined in the UK’s controversial Investigatory Powers Act might create significant demand in Electronic Disclosure professionals.
Even without the modern litigations of the IPA and the GDPR, it’s no stretch to assume that Electronic Disclosure will be the de-facto method for evidence gathering, owing to our ever-growing digital footprint.
With social, legislative and technological changes evolving more rapidly than ever, the legal sector needs a shrewd technical strategy to stay capable and competitive. 2020 could be a transformative year for the industry – and an exceptional opportunity for it.
ADDITIONAL READING: Protect your practice; familiarise yourself with our Cyber Security Threats to the Legal Sector blog.
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