Exizent caught up with their Managing Director, Aleks Tomczyk, as part of their latest series into LawTech, to get his opinion on what LawTech really means to him and what he feels the benefits of adopting technology can bring to law firms and their teams. Join Exizent’s newsletter to get their latest series straight to your inbox or follow them on LinkedIn to join the conversation.
Paraphrasing one of the most famous Monty Python lines, “What have the Romans ever done for us?”, is, I felt, a good way to free my thinking on LawTech. Or LegalTech if you prefer.
Starting with the definition of LawTech and LegalTech. I have seen instances where LawTech is defined as being “user facing” technology and “LegalTech” as technology used internally in law firms. Having personally been involved in BioTech, NanoTech, FinTech and the DotCom boom, I feel these labels are just that, labels. Easy to use tags, often applied by journalists, that should not be too rigidly interpreted. For me LawTech and LegalTech are both simply about applying technology to legal matters to make things better. For the purpose of this piece, I will use LawTech.
There has been some great LawTech innovation but, after years of lagging behind other industries, evidence now shows new opportunities and innovation are arising within the legal space.
To “start with why” (I am fan of this Simon Sinek book). Ultimately the goals of LawTech ought to be the same as the purpose of law. A quick google will reveal many views on this but I am going to sum these up as “accessing justice” and “enabling progress”.
In my view these are very desirable purposes. So, if you believe in the legal system, you ought therefore to be a supporter of LawTech development and adoption. Not blindly, but sensibly and rapidly where uses support the purposes of law.
The questions should perhaps then be “what can LawTech do for us?”, and “what are the potential benefits?”
Here are a few of my thoughts.
Efficiency and Accuracy
Legal work can be complex and time-consuming, involving multiple parties and considerations. The adoption of LawTech can help to streamline this process, making it more efficient and accurate. Software is great at automating routine tasks, such as data capture/entry and document management, and even perform the most tedious and complicated tasks, freeing up practitioners’ time to focus on more important things, such as providing excellent advice and focusing on clients.
Improving Client Experience
Clients accessing legal services usually need help and are often at their most vulnerable. Our Bereavement Index research quantifies this by highlighting that 95% of individuals find at least part of the process stressful. LawTech can help to improve the client experience by providing faster and more efficient services, leading to better experiences for the client and greater satisfaction for both the practitioner and client.
Many legal firms may be reluctant to spend or invest in LawTech without fully considering the cost savings that can arise from the adoption, usually greatly outweighing the investment costs. Cost savings can, for example, arise from the following:
- Automating routine tasks and improving efficiency
- Lowering overheads
- More accurate effort estimating
- Reducing errors, omissions and rework
- Reducing the risk of liabilities/costs and therefore losses or insuring for them
Ultimately, LawTech can help reduce costs and improve productivity which in turn will improve overall profit and/or increase the volume of cases being handled.
Providing Competitive Advantage
Adoption of LawTech can provide firms with competitive advantages including:
- Matching the consumer-tech driven expectations of clients
- Facilitating practitioners to provide faster and more efficient services to their clients, leading to higher levels of client satisfaction, loyalty and referrals
- Making better use of data and analysis
- Reducing time and overhead costs, allowing practitioners to offer more competitive rates and/or do more work than those without the resources or tools in place
- Enabling better legal outcomes
Attracting and Retaining Staff
The legal practitioners of today and tomorrow have different expectations of work, life, and tools to those of today and the past. Providing good LawTech capabilities will attract the best into the profession, organisation and team – whilst future innovation will help keep them.
So, have I convinced you?
As I have hopefully outlined clearly, my view is that LawTech can “do a lot for us” bringing many benefits to the legal world, and therefore the wider world.
This blog is the first of a new series on LawTech, looking at adoption, barriers and risks in more detail. Please subscribe to our newsletter to get these straight to your inbox or follow us on LinkedIn to join the conversation.
Of course, Exizent is a leading LawTech business focused on the probate / executry space, a cynic might say “He would say that wouldn’t he, and I bet he will say that the Exizent platform does most of these things.” Those that know me will realise that I don’t say things unless I believe them, and our platform does indeed do most of these things for users. But please contact us or signup for a free trial to see for yourself.
If you don’t work in the estate administration space but are still interested in discovering what LawTech platforms are available for you and your team, Barclays Eagle Labs LawTech Members page is a great place to start your investigations to find some LawTech tools that might be the right fit for you.
This article was submitted to be published by Exizent as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.