When it comes to tech adoption, the legal industry is far behind other industries. In 2018, the global investment in fintech was $41 billion as opposed to legal tech which was only $1 billion. Legal tech adoption has been increasing ever since, but it still isn’t that common yet.
It won’t come as much of a surprise for people working in the legal industry that firms tend to be a little behind when it comes to investing in digital technology. There is a general reluctance to begin implementing technology and replace older, more traditional methods and work processes.
1 in 3 lawyers believes their organizations are prepared to keep up with technology changes in the legal industry.
A recent study uncovered that 70% of consumers would rather use an automated online system or “law bot” to handle their legal affairs. In a study, Law360 states that, on average, respondents reported that 9% of lawyers’ time can be replaced with automated tasks. It is estimated that 23% of work done by lawyers can be automated by existing technology.
Despite these rapid advances and results, you won’t find automated technology running the legal industry quite yet.
So, the question goes: what is holding the legal professionals back?
There is no singular reason. There are a multitude of factors preventing lawyers from implementing legal tech as part of their practice. From conservatism and old practices to concerns around security and efficacy, there are many factors responsible for this. Most are resistant to embracing new technologies, with the majority of them citing a lack of technical knowledge, skills, and understanding.
2020 has shown us that it is no longer an option for organizations to neglect technology. Hence, here we bring you a collective guide of prominent legal tech barriers and how to overcome them.
1. The Biggest Concern: Privacy and Security
Data security and privacy concerns are paramount in the legal tech industry. As lawyers are trained to expect the worst-case scenario, data security is something that they’re always worried about. This is one of the sole reasons for the slow adoption of legal technology.
This comes amid the backdrop of multiple global firms suffering hacks over the past few years. A survey suggests that most firms lack security measures. Only about 35% of firms use precautionary cybersecurity measures to protect their businesses. A staggering 7% of firms have no security measures at all.
“Law firms are facing more scrutiny over their security measures from clients than ever before, and they tend not to have large established information security departments.”
Why is Privacy a Prime Concern for Lawyers?
Legal firms are regularly entrusted with private and sensitive information. Clients want their information, data, and documents protected at all times. Law firms need to demonstrate and ensure that they can deliver secure legal services. Only then can they expect their clients to stick around for long.
As they move towards technology advancement, the chances of companies experiencing security breaches become even more prominent. Here’s an excerpt from ABA’s article from 2019 on cybersecurity:
“This year, the reported percentage of firms experiencing a breach generally increased with firm size, ranging from 14% of solos, 24% of firms with 2-9 attorneys, about 24% for firms with 2-9 and 10-49, 42% with 50-99, and about 31% with 100+. As noted above, this is for firms who have experienced a breach ever, not just in the past year.”
So, an enterprise-level law tech vendor will have similar information security standards as their competitors. The thing that law firms need to keep in mind is to select a vendor that provides security standards exactly as they want. There are many law tech vendors out there. Some are less equipped to deal with testing and auditing the customer demands or providing data management. While some have extremely secure measures and features for the same.
Pick the Right Law Tech Solution
A thin line sets a successful legal firm apart from others in how well they excel in client management. Select a solution that helps you manage problems like contract management, team management, manual litigation processes, and so on.
Most legal firms lack the technological aspects of secure client management and digitization. Our portal solution helps law firms securely consolidate their offerings. Our custom law tech solutions help firms with tasks like addressing legal and compliance issues, streamlining all work processes, centralizing the documentation process, reducing costs, and empowers legal teams to excel at every level.
Our legal management software follows the newest security trends. We offer both on-premise and cloud installations. We also offer custom maintenance and service packages. We are a custom law tech development company. Discover the power of digital transformation and intelligent technologies with us and mitigate the technological gap for your firm.
2. Insecurities Around the Use of AI
Integrating AI into legal workflows benefits law firms up to a great extent. In 2019, as part of a resolution while dealing with the issues of AI in the practice of law, the American Bar Association identified some primary uses of AI in the law:
- Predictive coding and electronic discovery
- Litigation and predictive analysis
- Data and Contract management
- The reviews of due diligence
- “Wrongdoing” detection
- Legal research through AI
- AI to detect deception
Even then, some law firms are resistant when it comes to adopting AI. There are multiple reasons behind it. Let us try to understand these reasons through some stats.
Title: Adoption of AI in the Legal Industry
According to a 2019 Bloomberg law survey of lawyers and law-practitioners:
54% said they don’t use AI tools. | One-quarter of respondents lacked basic knowledge about AI
According to another survey by Thomson Reuters, including in-house lawyers:
On the contrary, according to a survey by Industry Arc:
The legal tech AI market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 39% up to 2023.
AI legal technology offerings for businesses increased nearly two-thirds in 2020 compared to 2019.
According to another survey by Wolters Kluwer:
Half of the lawyers expect to see a transformational change (including AI, big data, and analytics) in their firms. However, only one out of four lawyers understand these technologies.
Reasons Why Law Firms Are Resistant Towards the AI Initiatives
The very first reason is that the lawyers are deeply set in their ways. Psychologist Carol Dweck refers to this as a fixed mindset Vs. growth mindset. Most lawyers don't view the challenges that AI brings as opportunities. They’re a risk-averse group. They do not want to violate the substantial ethical obligation towards their clients. Because it may sometimes cost them a fortune hence, they avoid taking unnecessary risks.
However, not all lawyers are hesitant. It still might take time to come to par with these technologies. Even when they choose to invest in AI-based software, getting everyone to use it is a challenge. And the learning curve can be steep, and it might take a long time for lawyers to get the hang of things.
But the bright side is that adopting this technology will reduce unnecessary obstacles, and your workflows can become abundantly clear and straightforward. Going for a simplified solution can also help. For example, if you choose software that lets you manage everything from a single interface, that could be a plus point. Besides, it can help reduce your manual tasks and maintain deadlines easily.
3. Cost Vs. Revenue
Cost, especially when incorporated with a potential return on investment, plays a major role for firms in deciding whether they should adopt tech solutions or not. According to a survey by Bloomberg, more than half of respondents from in-house counsel offices agreed that “the primary barrier in adopting tech at a faster pace is the lack of funding.” When legal firms want to cut costs to stay competitive or even survive, investing in law tech solutions may feel counterintuitive.
Law firm revenues equal billable hours. This simply means that something that makes your work efficient cuts directly into profit. It is also true for systems that take up administrative time to manage and present to clients. Hence, the better your law tech assistance, the higher the profits.
Law firms usually view law tech solutions as a cost, and the current pricing models of available solutions make it even worse. It is not always about selecting the cheapest solution. But firms need to balance out the cost vs. feature ratio. You need to select services that keep your spend down and empower your entire firm’s workflows at the same time.
So, if you are ready to take your legal firm online, we’ve got you covered. CRMJetty’s law tech solutions bring together the most popular and secure tech features through a single interface. Plus, it offers third-party tool integrations (if feasible) and customization for improving your brand identity. All these features at a considerable price. Consult our experts to discuss your needs.
4. The Black Box Challenge
Trust between a lawyer and paralegal helps them delegate sensitive and complex work in less time. But, building similar trust with technology is not as straightforward as it seems. A legal tech evangelist, Nicole Black, says that “Lawyers are unlikely to use artificial intelligence software unless they trust the results it provides.” And this is exactly the biggest barrier to the adoption of advanced decision-making tech, a.k.a. The Black Box Challenge.
The Black Box Challenge simply refers to the lack of information on how a piece of technology functions and arrives at its outcomes. All industries are grappling with this particular problem, but considering the stakes, at play, the legal industry poses significant issues.
In 2019 American Bar Association Legal Technology Survey Report revealed that 51% of lawyers were concerned about the accuracy of AI legal software, and 48% were concerned about its reliability.
Another concern is that firms lack the understanding of what type of tech will suit their firms the most. Try not to fall for aggressive sales pitches for technology that overpromises and underperforms.
Even tech giants are putting huge amounts of research into bringing out a commercial solution to this problem. The legal tech industry is working towards building tested and certified solutions to gain the trust of legal firms. The only solution to this problem is to make a judicious decision while selecting a tech solution for your firm. Picking solutions with tech-compliance standards could provide far more confidence in the technology. This will benefit both the legal firms as well as the law tech vendors.
How to Pick the Perfect Law Tech Solution for Your Firm?
Despite the resistance of legal firms to fully acknowledge and embrace this digital transformation from the outset, it is clear that all trends point towards only one direction: Increased adoption of legal tech in 2021.
Many firms are keen and confident in their future ambition about legal tech adoption. However, many still undoubtedly lag. Here are some of the features to look forward to while selecting the perfect law tech solutions for your firm. These 10 features are a must-have:
1. Data management
2. Synchronized Solution
3. Task and Deadline management
4. Case management
5. Analytics and Reporting
6. Integrations And Customization
7. Easy and Faster Record Search
8. Workflow Organization
9. Role-based authentication
10. 360-degree user and entity management
CRMJetty’s law tech solution helps firms consolidate their offerings and level up their project management workflow. It addresses the legal compliance issues, streamlines the work processes, and centralizes the entire data management process. It enables law firms to deliver on, and exceed, clients’ expectations.
CRMJetty is a custom law tech development company that aims to assist firms to capture more growth opportunities through efficient legal project management. Our goal is to provide a robust, multi-featured, synchronized law tech solution that provides a platform to increase operational efficiency. We can help law firms increase their profitability by focusing on customer acquisition and services. Connect with our experts to digitize your legal services for better outreach.
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