I would like to share with you some of my thoughts about future of using technology in legal industry.
I am a geek, lawyer and legaltech enthusiast. I do not only write and speak about legaltech industry but I have actually a practical experience with development of such technologies as co-founder and CEO of a startup Legito.
Legito is a universal legal automation platform. Any law firm can easily create own legal (software) robot for drafting of legal documents without any IT knowledge in Legito platform. Such legal robots (another expression is “automated legal documents”) are used internally or could be published and sold to our users, mainly to small and medium entrepreneurs from different industries.
Information technologies without a doubt changed access to information and therefore also price of information, including legal information. Nevertheless, information technologies are opportunity for lawyers. If we take a look at similar industries, for example accountants or tax advisors, we can see they use much more sophisticated technologies than lawyers that allow them to focus mainly on decision making. They don’t have to spend time by boring formal and administrative tasks.
IT and law are based on the same principle - Propositional logic, also known as sentential logic and statement logic. This is huge advantage for development and using legal technologies. Unfortunately, potential of this advantage is not fully exploited yet.
I believe future in is in legal (software) robots. Every lawyer or law firm should be able to easily create (or buy) more or less sophisticated legal robots with specific legal know-how. Legal robots will then work for lawyers or along with lawyers. Robots will save time and money to lawyers.
Developers of legal technologies should create legal technologies as understandable and lawyer friendly as possible. Only easy-to-use legal technologies could overcome lawyer’s antipathy to technologies. Ultimate goal of legal technologies shall be to increase effectiveness of lawyer’s work.
Amongst legal professionals, the early adopters are mostly big law firms and in-house legal departments of corporations.
I believe three biggest benefits of legal automation (robots) are:
Less time needed for drafting of documents;
Less mistakes (those things when you know what needs to be changed but it’s 10 times in the document and you change only 9 out of 10);
Big law firms employ many lawyers. They need to organize themselves. They have metrics to measure effectiveness of each lawyer. There is huge pressure for efficiency as well as accuracy. Senior lawyers (their time is the most expensive) don’t have time correct mistakes of junior lawyers or to teach them how to draft legal documents because they have to care about business and clients. Many of those problems could be solved by legal automation therefore I believe all those are reasons why big law firms are early adopters.
In-house lawyers needs to communicate with other departments where people have other expertise than law. For example employment contracts with new employees are made by HR department or business contracts are done by salesmen. Thanks to legal automation, non-lawyers creates such legal documents more effectively and accurately and legal revision by in-house lawyers takes much less time.
Article was first published at June 7, 2017
(More on Ondrej Materna's legito: https://www.legito.com