With this year’s deadline for the American Legal Technology Awards nominations just around the corner (July 31, 2022), it’s a great time to discuss legal technology solution basics. There are still so many law firms, enterprises with legal departments, courts, access to justice projects, and solo practitioners out there who could benefit from legal technology and aren’t sure where to start. Why don’t they know where to start? Because, if we put ourselves into their shoes, it’s clear: there’s a lot of information and options out there…and gaining clarity on what everything does is, at best, mind-numbing.
So, my purpose here is singular: legal technology solutions basics in ten minutes (or less…the “or less” is if you decide to pick and choose your way through the sub-headers to read only what you wish to learn).
Legal Technology Solutions That Operate “on” the Cloud
Simply put, the legal tech you’re using, whatever it does (and we will get to that), doesn’t install all or many files to your computer. It’s all stored online. No, not on Google Drive, DropBox, or ClickUp. If you’re using a service designed specifically for lawyers, such as Clio, it’s more secure, and you are then more likely to fully ensure that you’re compliant with the ethical standards in the jurisdictions in which you’re admitted.
You can download specific files from the cloud to your computer, laptop, or maybe even your phone, depending on the file. However, the cloud acts as a central storage and access location. It helps ensure that any changes made to a client’s document, for example, are done in one location. Then, you don’t have 12 copies of the same document floating around on 12 different computers or in 12 separate folders that no one knows about. That is, of course, a very simple example, but it serves the purpose of explaining one purpose of the cloud well. (You could also access all the changes, a history of those changes, and restrict who can make changes, but that’s an article for another time, friends.)
Simple Legal Technology Solutions You Can Start With (And What They Do)
So, legal technology can be purchased separately. You can also find one or more legal tech providers offering pre-packaged solutions that fit your needs (hopefully).
Legal chatbots. You probably have a general idea of what a legal chatbot is based on the name. But what does it really do? AND IS IT COMING FOR YOUR JOB? Let me start with the second answer…no, it’s not coming for your job. But it can make your job easier. You’ve probably used a chatbot dozens of times…happily or not so much. When done correctly, chatbots are amazing. When they’re not done well, chatbots, regardless of industry are annoying.
A legal chatbot can answer basic questions from website visitors. So, think about the common questions people call you or your receptionist and ask. Sure, you’ll still get a few calls because some people prefer the phone. Still, for the rest of the world who prefer the instant gratification provided by the internet, your chatbot could offer suggestions of questions, or it could ask basic questions such as, “What can I do for you?” It could then accept basic inquiries and return suggestions for answers, such as your practice pages or specific FAQ answers along with, “Did this help answer your question?”
A legal chatbot can also be used to collect a website visitor’s information. From newsletters to consultation scheduling, you can make the information collecting process more personal for the visitor. Forms are cold. Working with a chatbot has a warmer feeling.
Chatbots are less expensive than live operators. Live operators are excellent, but AI is the way to go if you’re on a budget and still want to give that 24/7/365 feel for collecting information and answering questions that the internet generation now wants. You can purchase it separately or as part of a package of legal technology solutions.
Related: LawDroid Lesson: AI and Chatbots 101
Legal chatbots can help deliver answers to the most commonly asked questions for access to justice entities and even courts with self-help options. It can also help by taking a client or pro se petitioner or defendant’s information, entering it into forms chosen by this person, and delivering the information back to the person using the chatbot. This can save the access to justice entity or the court time and money since it helps negate the need to hire additional people.
Law Firm Automation: What Is It? How Does It Work
In its simplest form, law firm automation means having some kind of legal technology solution that automatically does whatever it is supposed to do. Here’s a simple example of automation. Have you ever set a recurring event on your calendar? Maybe it was a monthly or even a yearly recurrence. My calendar includes monthly recurrences, yearly recurrences (birthdays, for example), and even weekly recurrences.
When you have a recurrence on your calendar, that’s automation. You don’t have to reschedule it over and over again. It pops up. It reminds you (if you set the reminder). Do you have to move it or cancel it manually? Yes.
Many billing and invoicing programs also have automation features, but you must set them up. Imagine getting a report weekly or monthly on outstanding invoices automatically generated and delivered to the appropriate person in your law firm. What if your recurring expenses could populate themselves? Those are simple examples of automation. And many legal technology solutions, such as Clio’s billing and payments system, offer these automations and many others. I want to keep it simple.
Related: LawDroid Founder Tom Martin Speaks at Clio Cloud Conference
Client intake is another very popular area that is often automated with legal tech. Client intake can be automated in several ways. It can be done with full automation, such as using a client intake platform, or you can use an online intake form that requires the client to complete their intake (saving you or your team time) and provide you with a digital signature. You can also integrate your legal technology platform with a service that provides only online client intake. Before using this final option, make sure they pair with your provider. Nothing is more frustrating than choosing something you think will work well only to find out from your law firm management platform that you can’t use it.
Legal document automation is a huge interest for many lawyers. The catch is deciding what legal document automation means for you. Is it the completion of documents? If so, which documents? Does this include automating legal research? Do you want to include automated document review?
For legal document automation, many documents are fair game…but you should consider starting with just one or two types while you get the hang of it. You could consider letters, agreements, invoices, motions, or practically any sort of document your office produces.
Look at the features if you’ve already chosen a legal technology solutions provider that helps you manage your practice. Does it already include document automation, or can you activate this feature? If the answer is yes, watch the tutorials or reach out to the company for a training session. Never treat your clients or your official firm documents as a testing ground.
Learn More with LawDroid
Legal technology solutions don’t have to be complicated. At LawDroid, we aim to make it easy. That’s why we offer no code options. Learn more about LawDroid now by scheduling your free demo.
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Better technology improves efficiency. From case management software to powerful scanners, your investment can promise big returns. Attorneys and staff can do their jobs more effectively with the right equipment.
- Automation. Lawyers have historically pored over troves of documents. ...
- Artificial Intelligence. ...
- Cloud-Native Solutions. ...
- Virtual Legal Assistants. ...
- Data Privacy and Cybersecurity.
It also offers intelligent services including big data analytics, machine learning, and mobile apps. This allows law firms to scale up or down and integrate new technology if there is a need. For example, automation technology can be used to handle data collection, generate reports, review contracts and so on.What is Applied Legal Technology? ›
Definitions. Legal technology traditionally referred to the application of technology and software to help individual lawyers, law firms, medium and large scale businesses with practice management, document automation, document storage, billing, accounting and electronic discovery.How do lawyers use ICT? ›
IT system allows a lawyer to work on many documents simultaneously while at the same time downloading materials from the internet. He can copy and paste one document to another or from one section of document to another.What word processor do lawyers use? ›
The largest players in this area are Microsoft Office, and GSuite—or Google Workspace. Your law firm needs to use at least one of these.What are the four responsibilities of lawyers? ›
Interpret laws, rulings and regulations for natural and juristic persons. Conduct legal research and gather evidence. Ensure that appropriate approvals are in place before documents are executed. Explain the law and give legal advice.
Looking to the future, AI advisory chatbots and predictions of case outcomes using historic data and artificial intelligence will help lawyers better understand the cases they take on, and that's just the beginning.What is the latest in technology? ›
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a trending technology that takes first place in the list of top 10 latest technologies in computer science of 2021. AI technology involves machine intelligence, which is as smart and intelligent as the human brain and reacts like humans.How is AI used in law? ›
Aharon says that routine legal tasks can be done faster, more accurately and cheaper with automation and AI: 'By identifying the semantic and functional patterns in similar and repetitive use cases, we can mimic the routine work of lawyers, from detecting the key issues in a specific document, through processing large ...
LTT was launched in 2012 to provide the legal community with practical guidance for the present and sensible strategies for the future. LTT brings together practicing lawyers, technology professionals, and practice management experts from a wide range of practice settings and backgrounds.What is legal automation? ›
Legal automation is leveraging software and technology to streamline, manage, and execute legal tasks or workflows, to improve efficiencies. Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into your business to improve products or services, reduce costs, and provide value to your clients.What is legal tech startups? ›
It offers content creation that helps draft a contract; contract analysis, which analyses contracts and helps understand their elements; and finally, contract management, which helps understand the business aspect of a legal document and put it into action with zero human intervention.What does a legal technologist do? ›
What does a legal technologist do? JT: In summary, Legal Technologists assist law firms with implementing technology into their work to help make processes more efficient.What do legal tech companies do? ›
A legal tech company is a software agency that specializes in building legal tech software for law firms to help them boost the conversion rate, automate the lead generation process, and reduce costs through high automation of daily workflows.What are tech industries? ›
The technology industry is comprised of companies that design, manufacture, or distribute electronic devices such as computers, computer-related equipment, computer services and software, scientific instruments, and electronic components and products.Why is technology in law? ›
Why practice technology law? Technology lawyers handle complex matters. Their work involves constitutional law, business law and commerce. Lawyers who work on technology issues have the opportunity to work for large companies and growing companies.What is legal analytics software? ›
Legal analytics is the application of data to the business and practice of law. Legal analytics harnesses technologies, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and searching, to clean up, structure, and analyze raw data from dockets and other legal documents.How big is the legal tech market? ›
Legal tech market revenue worldwide from 2021 to 2027, by business type (in billion U.S. dollars)
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What does a legal technologist do? JT: In summary, Legal Technologists assist law firms with implementing technology into their work to help make processes more efficient.
Legal tech is the combination of the legal industry and software technologies designed to serve law firms and legal technology companies with advanced solutions helping them boost the conversion rate, automate the lead generation process, and reduce costs through high automation of daily workflows.What does law and technology mean? ›
Technology law is the body of law that governs the use of technology. It is an area of law that oversees both public and private use of technology. The practice of technology law can mean a lot of different things depending on whether the attorney works for the government or works in private industry.How big is the legal tech market? ›
Legal tech market revenue worldwide from 2021 to 2027, by business type (in billion U.S. dollars)
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