For many years, digital has been installed in multiple professional sectors. Whether it is to improve the daily lives of employees or communicate more easily with their customers, several business lines are now turning to digital tools. This is particularly the case for the legal professions, whose digital transformation has been greatly accelerated by the circumstances linked to Covid-19, including confinements.
Although the digitization of legal professions is not new, the crisis has greatly extended its hand. Previously, law firms turned more to digital for production, such as drafting emails or contracts. Several services and tools for lawyers already existed online. Nevertheless, they have multiplied following the constraints imposed by the health situation.
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Essential digitization during the crisis
Last year, the legal professions suffered the full brunt of the consequences of Covid-19. According to the 2020 survey report “The Lawyer of Tomorrow: Drivers of Performance” by Wolters Kluwer, a global software and services provider, only 28% of legal professionals said that their structure was well prepared for new technologies. . However, this was already a major concern for 76% of them.
For the sector, this period has underlined the importance of digital. Indeed, many firms have had to opt for dematerialized options, such as videoconference hearings and telecommunication meetings. As a result, several of them have turned to software solutions to cope with the constraints imposed by the health crisis, or to the web to increase their visibility.
According to the study (pdf) of the CNB’s National Observatory of the Legal Profession of September 2020, 68% of participating law firms would have taken training on the web during confinement. In addition, 25% of them would have turned to an online appointment booking site. These figures show a real desire to digitize on the part of the legal profession.
Companies that support the transformation of the work of lawyers
To continue their digital transformation, some legal professionals are now interested in companies that develop technological innovations sometimes integrating artificial intelligence: LegalTech and other players who support lawyers in their digitalization.
” While lawyers today are well aware of the need to accelerate their digital transformation, they often lack the time to devote themselves to it and do not always know where to start. They need solutions and advice truly adapted to their profession to promote their specialties on their site and on social networks or to create links with their current and potential customers.s”, explains Cécile Cervelle, Marketing and Digital Manager at Solency.
On a daily basis, lawyers spend many hours performing repetitive tasks, such as drafting contracts or researching case law. The tools offered by LegalTech make it possible to automate some of them and to gain speed. As a result, lawyers can focus on their two high value-added activities: advising and listening to their clients.
Cloud-based collaborative software is also a popular way to work more efficiently. They make it possible to have a kind of virtual office, facilitating the connection with their customers. Some professionals opt for extranet portals that allow documents to be shared securely, avoiding numerous exchanges by e-mail. This collaborative approach strengthens the bond between lawyer and client.
In addition to this, LegalTech services offer other advantages that benefit both law firms and litigants. Electronic signature, online appointment booking, payment of fees… These solutions, which also allow lawyers to gain speed, are gradually becoming part of their daily life to potentially become a standard one day.
The constraints imposed by the various confinements during the health crisis limited contact between litigants and legal professionals. Thus, some law firms have turned to legal information platforms developed by LegalTech. Their objective is to facilitate their connection with individuals in need of legal advice. For lawyers, it also makes it easier to find clients.
The health crisis and its constraints have made it possible to more quickly democratize the use of digital tools within law firms. This transformation offered solutions to problems that legal professionals had already encountered before. Among them, the automation of certain tasks, the dematerialization of many documents as well as the disintermediation in certain exchanges, which have greatly improved the daily lives of lawyers.