Although lawyers have traditionally been conservative when it comes to adopting technology, new developments for legal technology coupled with increased competitive pressures are changing that trend. For firms and in-house counsel alike, these technologies are reshaping the legal profession.
The rate of change and development is outpacing the ability for most of us to keep track, and librarians and other knowledge workers are expected to stay abreast of new information tools and technologies. Since we’re starting a new year, here’s an overview of several legal products that could change the way your firm or legal department does business in 2018 and beyond.
CaseCrunch for predictive analytics
This UK start-up is using algorithms, modeling and artificial intelligence to predict the outcome of cases. Particularly for situations like complaint handling, legal decision forecasting and merits-based claim review, CaseCrunch provides another data point for law firms when determining which cases to accept. While no one is predicting that a machine can argue a case in front of a judge, a system like CaseCrunch will allow attorneys to make more strategic use of their time when deciding to take a case.
Lawdroid for website chatbots
Lawyers are constantly challenged to find the balance between cultivating new business and maintaining billable hours. One useful and economical tool that can help in that regard is the chatbot—the little popup window on websites that offers the opportunity for visitors to ask questions. But not all questions have to be answered by a live person, especially when many of them are the same, recurring questions. Lawdroid lets you program answers to frequently asked questions to provide the kind of instant service and interaction that visitors expect. As firms strive to be more responsive, chatbots can be a useful and economical tool to use both externally and internally. Lawdroid is positioned for small firms and solo practitioners, but it’s an example of new technology being adapted for the needs of the legal industry.
NameWarden for intellectual property practices and trademark attorneys
NameWarden is a docketing and defense system that allows users to see and manage data for all their clients’ US, international and state marks. For a low annual subscription, NameWarden provides calendaring features that eliminate the need for manual data entry and the use of third-party calendars, like Outlook or Google. NameWarden will automatically track items such as office actions, intent to use filings, registration renewals and incontestability filings. The annual subscription also includes defensive monitoring for three marks with the ability to purchase more.
CaseFleet for law practice management
CaseFleet is a law practice management system and chronology tool that focuses on helping litigators organize facts, evidence, and witness statements as they build a case timeline. But more than that, it also includes legal billing features along with customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities. With three pricing tiers, CaseFleet is a subscription-based software service ideal for growing that will grow with any practices.
Plus Atrium: alternative delivery of legal services
While not a technology, Atrium is another example of transformation change in the legal industry. Atrium operates on an alternative legal service model based on the concept similar to what LibSource has done for library and information services—services based on fixed or pre-negotiated pricing that were created for “just in time” delivery instead of “just in case” needs. Founded by both lawyers and software engineers, Atrium offers legal services tailored for high-growth startups looking for rapid response and predictable costs for their legal needs. For a monthly fee, Atrium offers essential legal services like incorporation, governance, operations, contracts and employee matters.
Time for law firms to go from technology laggards to leaders
According to Robert Ambrogi at Above the Law,
“Tech-enabled law firms are no longer viewed as experiments, but as pacesetters.”
The companies mentioned in this article are well-positioned to leverage that trend.
While technology has the potential to decrease administrative workloads, another way is to outsource time-consuming research—learn how law firms use LAC Group virtual research services.