With technology continuing to develop at an astonishing rate, 2017 will certainly see innovative new ideas, apps, and programs that will be indispensable to running a business. Personal injury lawyers would be wise to adopt many of these top legal technology trends in order to build a faster, more robust and efficiently functioning office capable of providing the service their clients demand with a nimble and elastic infrastructure. In 2017, routine tasks will be enhanced by automation, simpler processes will be the new norm, security will be re-imagined and the cloud will reign supreme.
Our lawyers and tech experts have compiled a brief list of top legal technology trends innovative lawyers should look for in the year ahead.
1) The Cloud becomes even more powerful
The invention of the smartphone has single-handedly redefined the way data is generated and consumed by users today. As of 2015, 79% of lawyers use a smartphone for their personal as well as professional tasks, while at least 42% use tablets outside the office. Cross-platform/device apps have enabled individuals to run their entire office from any internet-enabled device while in the field.
At the heart of this major disruption in technology lies the cloud. Technology innovation no longer requires massive infrastructures, multiple software programs, and a significant monetary investment. Law firms do not have the time and often do not have the capital to invest in the massive infrastructures of old — something which CloudLex intimately understands. The allure of CloudLex is its flexibility, low operational cost, cross-platform recovery and enhanced security measures. In 2015, 59% of firms used the cloud for law-related tasks, a significant uptick from 45% in 2012. The coming year will see an even higher number of firms migrating to technologies tailored for the legal industry, such as the Legal Cloud® developed by CloudLex. These technologies allow firms to become more “agile” by utilizing the cloud for anytime, anywhere access and in-built functions for enhancing law firm efficiency, with significantly lower costs.
2) Efficiency and technology-assisted environments
CloudLex understands that streamlining processes is the key to growth in today’s legal marketplace. This is especially true for civil litigation law firms operating on a contingency basis, the quicker you can get your case to settlement/trial the better. Other highly regulated industries – like healthcare and finance – have already realized significant processing efficiencies with the use of technology. Now is the time to bring this efficiency to the legal industry.
With CloudLex, law firms can quickly become more efficient by using our applications to decrease processing time for repetitive tasks, such as data entry, standardized forms, document management, etc. These tasks are often boring, time intensive and a drain on your staff, leading to unhappy employees, an increased likelihood of errors and significant expense. CloudLex applications — industry standard templates, workflows, task management system, etc. — assist your employees with these repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on higher-value tasks like nurturing your clients.
3) Integration—configuring your programs to collaborate
CloudLex uses the latest in integration cloud-based technology to ensure that various applications you use can seamlessly collaborate with each other. In addition to its own applications, for ease and redundancy, CloudLex can sync with your calendaring system, online document storage and other third-party services you utilize to run your law firm. These cross-platform collaborations allow you to meet ethical guidelines for data backups and client information protection.
Such capabilities will be instrumental in running an efficient law firm in 2017.
4) Data Analytics—spotting the trends faster
Data is key to any law firm’s success and increases in data points allow for prediction in patterns leading to higher levels of positive outcomes. The staggering quantity of metadata is directly proportional to client size and service. The digitization of salient data such as court records, documents, depositions, trial transcripts, research material, and e-Discovery platforms will see innovation in 2017. CloudLex analytics and support services can convert your data from a mass of numbers and documents into powerful tools for running your business and prosecuting your cases.
Technologies that discover the patterns in these endless streams of data can greatly enhance your ability to be an effective advocate, for instance by analyzing historical testimony of an opposing expert witness against corresponding medical records to look for trends or biases in diagnoses. CloudLex data analysis, when applied to your firm’s specific statistics, can also assist in assessing the average processing time of each case — from intake to disposition — as well as the average amount of expenses incurred. All these functions allow you to run a more efficient, client-centered firm.
5) More data equals enhanced security
Considering all of the above, it is clear that more data is going is be generated and shared in the legal ecosystem via devices, the cloud and more. This will require powerful security measures to be implemented at the lowest level to prevent hacks, breaches and complications. CloudLex runs in data centers managed by Microsoft and Amazon, whose already robust, state of the art cybersecurity and data protection systems are constantly evolving to meet advances in technology and security threats. With an increasing number of professionals and companies embracing remote working, services with a tighter set of security covenants — such as CloudLex — will see a significant rise in adoption.
The end result
One prediction we can make for 2017, is that law firms must enhance their adoption of the cloud in order to remain competitive. Their low-cost operations, improved efficiency and enhanced levels of security make them the prudent choice for firms of all sizes, especially those who envision growth in their future. To learn more about the latest in legal technology, please contact us or schedule a demo of the Legal Cloud.