Study looks into the impact of technology on law firms
The field of law was apparently the final frontier yet to be engulfed by the technological tsunami. At least until startups focused on developing technological solutions for the legal universe – popularly known as lawtechs – started offering, among other products and services, chatbots, programs that can scan through thousands of rulings in a matter of minutes, and robots that use basic information to almost instantly file complaints.
This is just the tip of the innovation iceberg, but apparently most law firms are still not fully on board. That is the conclusion drawn by the study carried out by the Center for Education and Research in Innovation (CEPI) of FGV’s Sao Paulo Law School (Direito SP), presented on December 3.
Titled “O Futuro das Profissões Jurídicas: Você está preparad@?” [The Future of Legal Professions: Are you re@dy?], the study was divided into two parts. The qualitative part surveyed 35 technological pioneers in the field of law and drew four conclusions. The first of them is that the massive number of cases, recurring subjects and low financial return per claim ultimately drove mass tort litigation firms to invest in technological solutions. The study also found that some of the tasks performed by legal professionals mostly concentrated at the bottom of the hierarchy are being replaced.
In addition, the market has been taking in more professionals with math and science backgrounds – sometimes even lacking any legal training – to join and even lead teams. Finally, there is also an onset of different organizational structures designed to leverage technological integration within legal services.
The quantitative part of the study interviewed 403 small, medium and large law firms to find out how they use technology. The conclusion was that nine out of every 10 firms consider the impact of software use in their respective specialties to be important, but less than half of them actually use technology to support legal activities and only 25% use it to automatically generate documents.
Go to the website to read the reports.