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Legal Technology: The Future of the Business of Law

 | DRI

Ready or not — the legal tech revolution is already well underway.

Technology is quickly changing the business of law in ways that are both impressive and challenging. In recent years, technology has become an indispensable part of the legal industry, and we only expect its impact to grow moving forward.

Here’s how legal technology will revolutionize the business of law – and why you should care.

Time-Saving Tools

Legal technology can save lawyers time on mundane tasks such as document formatting, data analysis, and proofreading. By automating these tasks, lawyers are able to free up their time to focus on more complicated and important matters requiring their attention. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) tools can streamline contract review processes by automatically flagging errors or inconsistencies within documents. This saves lawyers from spending hours manually reviewing contracts line-by-line for mistakes or inconsistencies. Additionally, the use of AI chatbots enables lawyers to quickly answer common client questions without having to dedicate human resources around-the-clock to that work.

You’ve likely heard of AI chatbots including OpenAI's ChatGPT in the news recently. In fact, one lawyer used the software to write a 14-page law article in just one hour. Suffolk University Law School Dean Andrew Perlman set out to cover the technology’s implications for legal services providers, feeding ChatGPT a series of prompts and data points to generate the text. While he admitted to Reuters that the bot “isn’t ready for prime time,” he acknowledged it provided a great starting point.

Additionally, most attorneys who participated in Bloomberg Law’s most recent Legal Ops & Tech Survey acknowledged that harnessing legal technology is important to meet client demand.

Better Decision-Making

Legal technology also helps improve decision-making capabilities within a firm by expanding access to valuable insights from data analytics tools. By leveraging these tools, firms can gain a better understanding of their clients’ needs and preferences while also gaining insights into their own performance. This will then allow them to make more informed decisions about how they practice law and serve clients.

Additionally, predictive coding technologies allow lawyers to rapidly analyze large amounts of data and identify patterns that could be relevant to a case or transaction they are working on. This helps key stakeholders make decisions more efficiently while also ensuring accuracy when it comes to identifying key facts in a transaction or case.

Cost Savings

Finally, legal technology helps firms save money by reducing overhead costs linked to hiring additional staff members or outsourcing work to third parties. Automated systems and AI chatbots allow firms to decrease staffing costs by eliminating the need for additional personnel dedicated solely to answering basic questions or performing mundane tasks like document formatting or proofreading.

However, if the technology is fed inaccurate or incomplete data, or the companies behind the technologies are not well-trained in the complexities of the legal space, users can find themselves in a tough spot. At DRI, we’re continuously working to maintain justice in the legal system through advocacy and research on issues of importance to the defense bar.

Legal technology is quickly becoming an essential part of any successful law firm’s operations. Used properly, legal technology can be a key partner in your practice.

Visit DRI’s Continuing Legal Education Library for on-demand programming covering technology and other key trends!

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