Legal Industry Technology Framework
The typical technology framework in the legal industry includes the use of prediction technology and analytics to forecast litigation outcomes; due diligence technology to advise clients; knowledge automation technology to free up time and resources used on manual processes; intellectual property technology to reduce the risk and costs involved in IP management; and electronic billing to control external legal spend. This framework is described in detail below.
Prediction Technology and Legal Analytics
- Prediction technology and analytics takes data from courts, identifies trends and patterns, and makes predictions about the likely outcomes. It has a direct impact on the practice of law, and soon, it could be malpractice if lawyers do not use it in their work.
- Litigation outcomes are uncertain, no matter how well a motion is presented. Prediction technology and analytics is important because it allows for the prediction of outcomes with more certainty, thus "eliminating some of the chance from litigation" and increasing the likelihood of success.
- Due diligence is the process of uncovering background information. It includes legal research, contract due diligence, contract review and electronic discovery.
- Legal research involves looking for "land mark case governing the issues in question", and it enables lawyers to be up to date with the current legal landscape. It is time-consuming and lawyers do not usually have enough confidence in the results, but the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence seeks to achieve an ideal balance between increasing confidence and saving time. As a result of legal research, lawyers can advise their clients on the standards of law at a particular point in time, whether these standards come from regulations, statutes or case law.
- Due diligence, in general, enables lawyers to confirm facts and figures as well as assess legal situations in order to give intelligent advice to clients on what their options are and what they should do. According to a study by the City University of London, due diligence can have a positive impact on long-term shareholder returns.
- Legal knowledge automation combines easy to use interfaces, machine learning and artificial intelligence to free up resources and time that were previously set aside for manual tasks, such as extracting meaning from data. According to McKinsey & Company, "knowledge work automation will most likely be one of the top disruptors in the global economy." Furthermore, according to Templafy, "23% of lawyers’ time can be automated."
- The legal industry is flooded with data such as several cases, witness statements and courtroom transcripts. Automating the manual tasks associated with this data enables legal firms to stay relevant and competitive, and also allows lawyers to focus on elements of their case that have higher value.
- An application of knowledge automation in law firms is document drafting; and documents that would take days of manual human drafting are drafted in a matter of minutes. It leads to more efficient outcomes for enterprises and their employees.
- Electronic billing is an alternative to paper-based invoicing that aims to reduce disputes and paper costs, as well as to achieve more accurate reporting, tracking and client adjustments.
- It is important in the legal industry because it provides cost and expense tracking abilities, assists in decision-making, improves the efficiency of internal processes and adds value to the client/firm relationship. According to BusyLamp, electronic billing applications save "5% to 10% of an external lawyer’s costs."
Intellectual Property (IP)
- Intellectual property software helps in the securing of trademarks, copyrights and patents.
- The process of patent application can be long and difficult if done manually, because it involves looking through thousands of results. Intellectual Property technology allows for the efficient handling of the process by consolidating the services, data, documents, tools and workflow required. It also reduces the time and risk involved.