Digital transformation is an all-purpose phenomenon or process of using digital technologies to transform any given industry. In brief, the essence of digital transformation is to rebuild a business to adapt it for the digital age.
In the legal industry, digital transformation comprises the digitization of aspects concerning various legal procedures — service delivery, team collaboration, customer interaction, and so on. This process also presumes not just implementing new tools but also changing business culture and adopting a new approach to business management.
Technological advances allow for improving the quality of legal services delivered to clients, expanding access to justice, increasing the speed of resolving legal tasks, improving workplace efficiency, and reducing costs.
Technologies that Contribute to the Digital Transformation in the Legal Industry
Legal work can be both diverse in terms of tasks and different in complexity levels. So, digital transformation can target a whole range of things in this field.
1. Document Management Automation
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the workload in contract law has substantially increased, and many law companies have faced labor shortages. Implementing document management automation simplifies complex contracts and agreements processing by creating document templates easily modified with specific details related to a peculiar agreement.
Document automation allows for organizing all legal documents into a single system, supporting multiple versions, and fast creating individual documents. The approach significantly reduces the amount of paperwork.
2. Contract Management
Specialized platforms are changing the way how companies work with legal contracts. These tools increase productivity by providing all parties to a deal with the ability to approve, sign, and save contracts right from their device wherever they are. Moreover, they can do it 24/7.
3. Electronic billing
Electronic billing increases cash flow by using simpler and swifter invoicing methods. Parties involved can track payments in real-time, billing complexity is reduced, and payment processes become reliable, efficient, and automated.
4. Customer Communications
Technology can provide law companies with an edge in working with customers who use online channels in many other life areas. Most people will feel much more convenient exchanging documents digitally or holding video conferences rather than visiting offices. Every law company has its own needs, but one can always find suitable digital solutions for any of them.
5. Remote Work
Like many other tasks, legal transactions can be efficiently performed remotely, for instance, communications with court case participants and even electronic case hearings. All the necessary technological solutions are available for this. They are free to use or provided for a small charge. Law companies do not need to develop some dedicated software from scratch.
6. Case Management and Time Tracking
Using specialized tools, it is possible to efficiently distribute assignments among different employees and track how much time a professional lawyer needs for a specific problem. The digital automation approach allows legal companies to create accurate schedules, raise a bill based on activity analysis, record calls, and solve many other problems, using a single, integrated platform.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made businesses rely on technology due to social distancing rules. The legal industry is not an exception and has had to master digital technologies and tools, getting rid of unnecessary rituals and processes. As a result, the industry’s efficiency increases, and customer interests become more meaningful than anachronistic conventions.
However, digital tools will never replace the human ability to solve complex aspects of legal practice or unconventional thinking. Therefore, lawyers should think of digitization as an addition of new and improved tools to their skill sets, the tools allowing them to do their jobs better and earn more.
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