The legal industry in the United States has undergone many changes. More recently, the workforce became more mobile and tech-savvy, but today, the changes are coming faster. As a result, corporate legal departments and law firms are forced to change. Some years ago, firms showed no interest in modern technologies.
Today, implementation of legal software is one of their key priorities. Their big challenge has the choice of direction to follow. Here are the five trends in the United States legal industry in 2019.
Adoption of legal software to manage organizations
Legal firm management software is helping attorneys and other legal practitioners manage clients, cases and internal firm matters. Even though legal software has been around for many years, some firms have never used the tool.
As the trend continues, more and more firms are implementing the organization management software due to the associated benefits. With a good legal software system, firms can manage their case database and document system in addition to billing their clients and setting deadlines.
Migration to the cloud
It is evident that technology is causing disruptions for all industries and the legal sector is no exception. Most firms in the United States are adopting cloud technology and moving their clients to the cloud.
Today, firms do not see the need for building IT infrastructures to handle their peak needs because the infrastructure will be idling most of the time. Moreover, an in-house data infrastructure would increase the operation cost. Cloud computing allows firms to buy only what they need.
Cloud computing and mobility are overtaking the traditional paper file and desktop usage. As a result, security is becoming a big concern for attorneys and clients. Even though there are no standards for the security of data stored in the cloud, the technology is in the maturity stage.
The governance technologies that dictate how and where legal information has to be stored and dictate on the people who can access it play an important role in keeping law firms protected. Encryption of data in motion and that at rest and enforcement of multi-factor identification is helping safeguard the stored data.
The amount of metadata and data in law firms and corporate law departments is always increasing. The relevant data for clients and matters grows if a case takes a long time and when the relationship between the law firm and the client continues. If you add the amount of data from research services, court records, and discovery platforms, you are likely to realize that it can be hard to analyze the amount of data manually.
The advent of many analytic search engines is helping legal firms in the United States to search and use the relevant data only. Machine-based software can review many data clusters that a human eye would have missed. That has increased efficiency and saved money for both clients and law firms. It also helps professionals comply with the governance policies of their firms.
Even though artificial intelligence (AI) is still in an early stage, it promises to push analytic capabilities from descriptive to predictive. For example, artificial intelligence technology is helping attorneys in the United States map the predispositions of judges so that they can predict the rulings. It also helps them understand the common tactics that opposing counsel uses when preparing for defense.
Today, the regulatory law is more amiable to AI due to the prescriptive nature of the statutes. However, technology is evolving and machines are thinking like real attorneys and that means opportunities are endless.
Most of the legal trends in the United States are helping law firms and organization legal departments get more productive, efficient and competitive. Some of the trends have resulted from changing attitudes, demographics and working styles. Today, attorneys can predict the outcome of cases and manage their firms efficiently.