Law firms that tap into the latest technological breakthroughs enjoy a significant competitive advantage. Today’s tech does everything from enhancing operational efficiency to changing the manner in which attorneys interact with clients. If your law firm does not implement these technologies in a strategic manner, it will only be a matter of time until you lose clients. Let’s take a quick look at three technologies changing the legal field.
Blockchain is valuable beyond bitcoin. This potentially revolutionary technology records and transmits information in a secure manner across peer networks. Each participant is empowered to view, verify or reject the data in question. If the data is approved, it goes to a ledger in the form of blocks. The data is then stored in an unalterable chronological chain.
Smart contracts are used in association with blockchain. Smart contracts are agreements that execute on their own in accordance with blockchain technology. These tech tools are important in the context of the legal field as they allow for the automatic execution of legal agreements. Payments or other actions are triggered as soon as conditions are satisfied. Smart contracts will soon rely on real-time data to spur events such as transferring money between parties. Blockchain is also enhancing intellectual property along with chain of custody through the use of digital files.
Desktop Tools: OCR and PDF Software
OCR and PDF software enhances business productivity when handling documents. These desktop tools access and alter information stored in paper documents. This technology is quite helpful amidst complex litigation in which documents are gathered and analyzed by attorneys before their presentation to opposing counsel. Text searches are important for the identification of responsive documents. If such searches are not thorough, the process relied upon to determine which documents were provided can be challenged by opposing counsel. The results of flawed search practices range from delays to court-imposed penalties and even lost cases.
Manually reviewing contracts is a laborious process. Improvements in artificial intelligence allow for language processing systems to comprehend and extract information from highly-detailed contracts. Text analytics hasten the analysis of documents without sacrificing understanding. Though a computer is relied upon for such reviews, the analysis proves just as effective as that performed by humans. Some small law firms can review a couple contracts here and there with in-house personnel yet medium and large-sized law firms benefit from text analytics technology as it allows for an expansive analysis of numerous contracts in surprisingly little time. Efficient and smart contract analytics is necessary to pinpoint and highlight key information with the utmost efficiency.