Today we asked the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA), a volunteer-led, staff-managed association focusing on the premiership for technologists in legal, to talk about legal technology and their perspective on Legal tech solutions. As a result, they aim to educate legal specialists and connect practitioners to support professionals’ work in the legal sector with a strong focus on technology and assist every stripe in law firms and corporate/government legal operations.
What is Legal Tech for you?
Legal tech is the technology that supports the practice of law, providing better outcomes more quickly and expanding access to justice.
Why adopting a legal tech solution if you are a law firm, a legal department, or a client that needs legal stuff to be done?
Legal technology can allow lawyers to focus on legal strategy rather than on routine tasks associated with delivering legal services.
What are the limits of legal tech solutions today? In other terms, what can be done through a legal tech solution, and what cannot?
One of the most important limitations has to do with point solutions and siloes of products that don’t integrate to create full process automation.
Forecasts: Legal tech is in the mouth of many people in the legal sector right now. Do you see legal tech as a real thing that can have a tangible impact on clients and professionals, or it’s just hype? In other terms, will tech change, as an instrument, the job performed by lawyers or will create a new sector, new jobs in legal sectors?
Legal tech has already created new job sectors, including e-discovery, trial presentation, and knowledge management. These sectors employ a mix of lawyers and technologists, as well as a wide array of support staff.
Is there a legal job that you see will not be impacted so much by the legal technology?
In our view, the critical tasks of developing a matter strategy and managing client relationships will remain the lawyers’ purview. Tech will support their efforts but not replace them.
How will technology change the way a client can approach a lawyer to establish a relationship, considering that it is a kind of relationship traditionally made of personal trust and contacts?
We would have answered this question differently 12 months ago. Lawyers are needing to learn new skills around establishing and maintaining client relationships without in-person meetings.
Do you see that legal education is aligned with the needs of legal sector jobs and the expectations and real needs of clients?
Law schools are undoubtedly aware that technology needs to be a more important part of legal education. Some law schools, for example, the University of California Hastings and Northwestern University, have developed programs which combine law and technology, including entrepreneurship. But this is not enough. Young lawyers need to understand the opportunities and limitations associated with legal technology.
Are lawyers (internal and external) aligned with the schemes and models that other business functions daily use in their activity? Can tech play a role in this?
There are certainly common toolsets, such as browsers, email, etc. However, business concepts could be brought to bear in law practice – supply chain and expense management – that drive other businesses.
Could you briefly picture the status of legal tech in your Country?
In the USA, legal tech is big business that is increasingly attracting the attention of private equity/venture capital. Equally important, however, is the continuing merger and acquisition activity in the legal technology sector.
Finally, any hint you’d like to share with us about legal tech? Feel free to tell us what you want.
Technology risks shouldn’t stop us from adopting and employing technology, but we need to under and mitigate the risks.
ILTA has a strong reputation for delivering relevant, peer-developed programming to its constituents around the globe. Their history is a success story built on the capable volunteer leadership from their member law firms and corporate/government legal departments. The community’s expertise and real-world experiences provide ongoing learning and support for every professional who works in the legal sector. Beyond the knowledge that someone can acquire through educational programming, publications, and knowledge-sharing communities, ILTA believes the most significant benefit they bring its members is the opportunity to establish peer connections that will provide a lifetime of support. Their “been there, done that“ approach allows them to bridge your needs with a global support network to assist people now and in the future.
For further information, see: https://www.iltanet.org/
We owe special thanks to Joy Heath Rush and Jason Stookey from ILTA for taking the time to speak about Legal tech with us!
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