In today’s ever-changing technological landscape, companies in all industries share one sentiment: Disrupt, or be disrupted.
We have witnessed technology revolutionize transportation, shopping, dining, and virtually everything in between. All organizations, regardless of size, are tasked with the challenge of adapting to these changes and actively seeking ways to optimize operations using the latest technology. Even some of the largest, seemingly untouchable giants such as Macy’s have been on the decline due to slow uptake in the digital space.
Despite the inherent differences from industries such as retail and healthcare, legal professionals still share in these same challenges. Choosing to forego opportunities to leverage technology and improve processes can severely impact a firm’s bottom line, and may even lead to an unsustainable business in the future.
Legal due diligence
Per the ABA Model Rule 1.1, attorneys have a responsibility to remain up to speed with the latest technology:
To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject.
Latest tech in the legal space
Over the past few years, there have been many innovations that have contributed to significant developments in the legal industry. Some of the most notable are:
- Cloud-based platforms
- AI document text analysis
- Preservation software for digital documents
- Encryption of sensitive information
Despite being aware of technological advancements, implementing subsequent changes to current practices may rank lower on the priority list for some legal professionals. Some of the most common misconceptions about incorporating technology into the e-discovery process include:
- Your specific field of law would not benefit from social media and web investigations
You would be surprised at how many case breakthroughs come from what would appear to be insignificant details that are found online. With the wealth of information available on social media and digital records, it has become invaluable to habitually explore all avenues to collect case evidence. In fact, according to a study conducted by Robert Half Legal, 52% of lawyers have reported an increase in lawsuits related to postings, images, and data from social media and mobile devices.
- Your team is always adequately equipped with the tools to access all pertinent information
While it may seem straightforward to conduct social media research, there are many intricacies involved such as potentially alerting a subject to your search, engaging in unethical behavior, and overlooking information found on alias accounts. Even the savviest researchers greatly benefit from technology that can authenticate and narrow search results based on known information.
- Technology is nothing but a supplement to the legal industry
The reality is that technology is a key component for law firms to remain competitive in today’s market. It saves valuable time and money and it is essential to expand and improve their capabilities. Doing so can boost productivity, foster collaboration across departments, and produce quicker turnaround times and lower costs for clients. According to a report from Wolters Kluwer, within the last year technology-leading law firms are 68% more likely to report higher firm profitability than transitioning or trailing firms.
In a previous post, we’ve discussed the ways in which business leaders are taking measures to learn about social media and its legal implications for businesses. Similarly, legal executives should be taking the initiative to learn about how social media and web data can impact operations.
Some simple ways to overcome nonaction are as follows:
- Sign up for a free training or webinar to become more familiar with tech that is revolutionizing the legal field
- Create opportunities for team members to give feedback about ways to continuously improve
- Consult with an SMI Aware expert about how social m
- Media and web discovery data can help drive your business
As always, when it comes to implementing new technology, doing nothing leads to inefficiencies and competitive disadvantage.