Technology changes the way people conduct business, and the legal industry is no exception to this rule. Here are six law firm technology trends that your firm should keep in mind for 2018 and beyond.

 

Law Firm Tech Trend #1: Collaboration through Online Legal Communities

With technology encroaching on every aspect of life, the old face-to-face method of brainstorming is also getting a major upgrade. One of the new law firm technology trends you’ll see in 2018 is the push to join online, lawyer-only legal communities. Closed Facebook or LinkedIn groups, for example, are now providing law firms with opportunities to collaborate with other lawyers from various parts of the world, get questions answered, improve skills, and learn more effective ways to serve clients better. If you’re a larger law firm with multiple offices around the world, you could take advantage of your own internal Enterprise Social Networking tools, like Yammer or Workplace by Facebook, to set up your own online legal community.

 

Law Firm Tech Trend #2: Online Answering Services = First Point of Contact for Clients

Another law firm technology trend your law firm is likely to see this year is more of your clients going online for answers to their legal questions before they come to you. With websites like LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer, or Robot Lawyer LISA, your clients no longer have to come to you to get their questions answered. These will be the first place they will go to get answers to a legal question.

Want to take advantage of this trend? Become one of the contributors to these online question forums. By signing up to be a contributor to these websites, you can set your law firm up as a subject matter expert and can build up your online reputation.

More people will go online first for answers to their #legal questions before engaging a #lawyer. #LawFirmTechTrend Click To Tweet

 

Law Firm Tech Trend #3: Robo-Lawyers

“Robo-lawyers” are online bots that are programmed to help with simple tasks like creating a contract, or appealing a parking ticket. You may have heard of British programmer Joshua Browder, who, in 2016 created and launched a free “robo-lawyer” called DoNotPay – a bot that handled questions about parking and speeding ticket appeals in the UK. Since its inception, DoNotPay has disputed over 375,000 parking tickets, and has saved people $9.3 million.

How can your law firm take advantage of it? Consider working with a tech company to launch a bot of your own. Or, explore how you can partner with current bot creators to have your firm be the go-to point of contact when there are questions that can’t be easily answered by the algorithms.

#RoboLawyers have already saved people $9.3 million in parking and speeding tickets. #LawFirmTechTrend Click To Tweet

 

Law Firm Tech Trend #4: Letting Artificial Intelligence into Your Firm

ROSS, the world’s first artificially-intelligent (AI) lawyer was “hired” in 2016 by the law firm Baker & Hostetler. Using the supercomputing power of IBM Watson, ROSS can comb through huge batches of data (like old case files), offer opinions in plain language on current cases as compared to previous cases and rulings, and generally learn how to best serve its users.

AI is going to be a major game changer for the legal industry, so this is a trend your law firm will want to watch out for in 2018. As AI advances, the consensus among experts is that we’ll see a lot more law firms harnessing the power of AI to help clients.

 

Law Firm Tech Trend #5: Using Machine Learning to Redefine the Way You Conduct Research

Remember searching through page after page of research, trying to gather pertinent information for that case you’re working on? The hours that you pour into research can really hinder your ability to do your job, not to mention the incredible costs associated with all that manpower ($8.4 billion annually in the U.S. alone).

A fifth major law firm technology trend for 2018 is the introduction of using machine learning to redefine how you conduct research. Rather than wasting several human hours on this searching, machine learning applications can utilize AI and analytics to not only find what you’re looking for now, but anticipate what your next query might be. In a nutshell, machine learning will revolutionize how research is conducted.

#Lawyers spend $8.4 billion annually on research costs in the U.S. alone. #MachineLearning will utilize #AI to revolutionize how research is conducted. #LawFirmTechTrend Click To Tweet

 

Law Firm Tech Trend #6: A Continuing Emphasis on Cybersecurity

Given the number of cyberattacks that have occurred, especially in 2017, it’s no wonder one of the tech trends for law firms will be a continued emphasis on cybersecurity. It makes perfect sense – you have confidential client data that needs to be safeguarded and protected. A recent Robert Half survey showed that 35% of Canadian lawyers said their law firm plans to spend more on cybersecurity-related tools and services in 2018. How are you staying ahead of the cybercriminals? Want to learn more about how to protect your IT environment? A Cybersecurity Assessment engagement is a good place to start.

#DidYouKnow a recent Robert Half survey showed that 35% of Canadian #Lawyers will be spending money on #Cybersecurity-related tools & services? Click To Tweet