How has technology been crucial to the legal industry in the last 12 months?

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2020 forced many of us to revaluate the way we work and most significantly, the way we work with our clients and colleagues. Where we used to see colleagues daily and clients often, lockdown pushed businesses around the world to go virtual and change everything we knew about office life. We looked at help from technology that meant we could connect online like Zoom and Microsoft Teams who in 2020 added a whopping 95 million users to their client base. Evidently, technology that aids remote working is now the focal point of businesses operating in this new virtual world and to avoid falling behind, the right solutions and procedures need to be adopted.

When it comes to the shift to virtual, it’s fair to say that compared to other professional services, the legal sector has historically been a slower adopter of technology, predominantly due to adversity to risk. However, over the past year, this concern and reluctance was taken out of their hands as they were forced to go online with no other option.

It goes without saying that this came with teething issues; lawyers, barristers, and the whole of the legal industry prefer working from the office. They believed they got work done quicker, they could speak to people rather than booking a meeting, and not have to constantly rely on internet. Yet, now it is evident there’s a new way of working with more security, efficiency and added benefits, impacting both the lawyers and their clients.

You can’t deny the pressure that going online has put on law firms, the experience they provide now needs to be just as good online as it is in person. Yet now, it goes further, clients are no longer expecting only the experience they were offered before, instead they have developed much higher expectations for their digital experience. Their clients are now aware of all the options available to them as consumers and now expect the relevant technology to be implemented into law firms to keep up with the advancements and also increase client engagement away from the office.

All things considered, the technology out there to help this transformation is vast, with legal technology making great strides in the last decade — and the pace only seems to be quickening. From binders, online communication platforms to Document Management Systems (DMS) there are many platforms out there to make the transformation as slick and effortless as possible.

For instance, now, most law firms are not strangers to a Client Portal, a space that can help you: securely share files, edit documents, import documents and so much more. Most importantly, it’s a tool you can use internally and externally, allowing clients to access the data they need, whenever they need it. The heightened technology out there has made the client experience so much better, what once was a worry, seems to be the new norm.

Clearly, technology has made a huge impact on law firms working lives. With the right platforms, you can improve efficiency within the workplace, conserve costs and save time. Not only that, having concise and up to date technology within your firm gives you an advantage on others. It can increase your profitability which makes your firm appealing and ultimately gives you the edge in a crowded market.

What used to be a reluctant change now seems to be a welcomed one with 58% of CIO’s in large enterprises believing that this digital transforming will continue to speed up and develop.  Technology clearly is growing and can and will efficiently help daily work lives.

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