Contributed By: Damian Turco
The next generation of lawyers will drive the greatest evolution in the delivery of legal services that we have ever seen. The opportunity is there for incoming tech-savvy, entrepreneurial lawyers to enact great change in the legal industry. Those who lean into advances and incorporate systemic and automated solutions will reap the rewards. And here’s why.
The technology is available for lawyers to do better now
There is more technology available to lawyers than ever before. The industry is leaps and bounds beyond word processing and email. Today your computer won’t allow you to send a grammatically incorrect communication without first warning you. Clients send all of their relevant information via secure web form, which can then be integrated into a document-building program. Consultations are scheduled online and pop up on your calendar, perfectly batched in a couple afternoons each week.
Integrating these and other technologies to advance your practice is only scratching the surface. Tech savvy lawyers around the globe are doing their jobs more efficiently, delivering better service, more quickly, and at a lower price by employing form builders, chatbots, artificial intelligence, and other tech available now.
New attorneys will see adopting tech as a necessity sooner than seasoned colleagues
In many industries the most experienced, well-established providers are the first to adopt new technology. They have the resources, and their customers expect it. In legal, even your most experienced colleagues don’t have the same incentive. Many of them are solo practitioners or work in small firms where adopting new tech means either setting the time aside to learn and implement something new, or paying someone else to do it for them.
The experienced attorney may see multiple pain points in the implementation of new technology, all correlating to lost time and money sacrificed to doing jobs more quickly in an industry in which many bill hourly. It’s this dynamic that causes the experienced attorney to kick the can down the road. New lawyers, on the other hand, have incentive to innovate now. It’s now that new lawyers are building their systems and seeking to distinguish themselves from their more senior colleagues. For newer lawyers, understanding how tech can give them an edge is a necessity.
The justice gap persists, but technology can help
The justice gap is the population in need of legal help without the means to pay for it. It’s substantial and it’s fueling the legal tech evolution. While thousands of lawyers have dedicated meaningful thought, if not their careers, to reducing or eliminating the justice gap, it still encompasses a large portion of civil dockets nationally. The vast majority of litigants in domestic relations cases and defendants in eviction and collections cases are unrepresented by counsel.
However, lawyers may now use client-facing web forms and chat bots, document automation tools, online dispute resolution, and other tools to serve these clients with expertise in a fraction of the time and a fraction of the expense.
Are you ready to capitalize on technological advancement in your legal career? Here’s where to start.
Damian Turco is an '08 graduate of New England Law | Boston and founder of Turco Legal, a divorce and family law practice with locations in Andover, Boston, Newburyport, and Newton. He’s also a co-founder of JusticeApp, a consumer-facing mobile app designed to help people better navigate the legal system.