We've all seen how technology has revolutionized the way we do things. We order our shopping online, stream movies instead of renting a VHS from Blockbuster, and we even conduct meetings over Zoom instead of in the boardroom. And this tech revolution is coming to legal practices too.
This is something my guest, Jessie Hoerman, touched on in our interview on The Rankings Podcast.
Legal Tech Now
Jessie is already revolutionizing the way PI clients communicate with attorneys thanks to her AI-based CRM, SimplyConvert. It is able to:
- help law firms by processing and responding to high volumes of client inquiries
- select the clients that the firm in question can take on, saving time and money
- send out contracts to clients there and then
- and much more!
There are also lower-tech solutions helping attorneys right now. PPC is a powerful marketing technology that helps PIs advertise their practices. We even created a guide on utilizing PPC for law firms. And social media has come a long way too! Think of all the tools you have available now compared to 2010. And if you want to know how revolutionary they can be, check out our post on how lawyers can use social media.
Knowing how invaluable these tools are now, we want to look at some possible legal tech advances in the future.
The Future Of Legal Tech
Richard Susskind, OBE, is an author, advisor, and all-around expert in how technology affects the legal profession. He's written seven books and three essays on the subject and in 1996 he made the shocking prediction that lawyers and clients in the future would use email to communicate.
So, with those qualifications, who better to give us a glimpse of what might be in store for attorneys.
Document Analysis And Drafting
It's not uncommon for legal practices to have mountains of paperwork to sift through - it's a hazard of the job. Even now some document analysis can be carried out by machines. But Susskind predicts that this type of work will one day be completely automated thanks to machine learning.
And not only will machines be able to process documentation, Susskind thinks that they'll be able to draw up paperwork too.
One of the many uses of AI for lawyers, is a lawyer using ChatGPT or a similar AI tool take over the heavy reading could free up weeks of work over a year, saving time and money.
Another prediction Susskind makes is the transformation of the courts from buildings to a digital service. So instead of having to wait for a date for your case to be heard in a physical location, the process could be carried out online. This might conjure images of video testimonies or Zoom court sessions, but Susskind's prediction is even more futuristic!
He thinks that, at first, smaller disputes will be put in the digital hands of machine learning. Computers will analyze similar past cases and their outcomes and, using predictive analytics, provide you with a legally binding decision on your case.
This, Susskins says, would help to solve one of the biggest issues the legal sector has - only 46% of the global population have access to justice. Using this type of system would clear huge backlogs and free up physical court time.
The Future Lawyer
These predictions all seem to point towards a future where litigation is given to computers to resolve with little need for people. But this is untrue. There will still be a need for lawyers as there is a long way to go until machines are able to reliably settle complex cases. And even beyond that, lawyers will be an essential component, though their roles might change slightly.
Lawyers might shift into the role of "legal knowledge engineers". They'll build and teach new systems how to come to decisions and they'll drive innovation, finding new ways for machines to solve problems.
Robot judges and AI lawyers are still a long way off though. And there will be numerous political, financial, and societal hurdles to overcome before they become feasible options.
Well before then, we're going to see huge improvements in the legal sector thanks to technology. We're already feeling some of the benefits thanks to advanced chatbots handling leads, and sophisticated automation tools like SimplyConvert managing referrals and providing advanced CRMs to help lawyers manage their practices.