Four Important Legal Tech Trends Dominating LegalWeek18
Last month, Doxly CEO, Haley Altman, and 17 other legal tech key thinkers and innovators were featured in a “Voices of Legalweek18” podcast (Episode 9 of the Blacklines & Billables podcast) which encapsulates some of the most important trends in legal technology and reflects the important conversations that happened at one of the largest legal tech conferences in the world.
We highlighted four themes that emerged from the podcast that should be on the radar of every legal firm today who wants to stay competitive and profitable in a quickly evolving industry.
Theme #1: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) was the most common theme that was discussed during the conference and listed as one of the most important legal trends from 2017, as well as an important trend for 2018. AI can prevent the headache of digging through stacks of paper and provide access to thousands of documents. This technology accelerates the speed in which lawyers complete legal research, E-discovery, and document research. Although AI is still in its infancy stage, it will be interesting to see how it matures in 2018 and how it’s applied towards real legal problems.
Theme #2: Collaboration
Collaboration has been a concept in many different industries over the past decade and it has been proven that some of the best results have manifested from collaborative efforts. Now we are seeing a shift towards implementing collaboration in the legal industry. The lack of collaboration can “impair the individual lawyer’s growth and career development, it can clog communication channels within the department, and at its worst, it can create unintended obstacles to the company’s business objectives because members of its own legal team cannot get on the same page,” said Monica Zen, Founder of Foxword Inc. in an article from Above The Law.
Haley Altman, CEO and Founder, spoke to this topic in the Blacklines & Billables podcast. Altman said, “I think one of the most important trends in 2018 is a real focus on collaboration. How do attorneys and clients work better together? How do they integrate more so that there is that transparency?”
Theme #3: Blockchain
Lawyers started developing an interest in blockchain in 2017 and it continues to be a hot topic in 2018. It has been predicted that blockchain will will be disrupting most industries and that the legal profession is next on the list. One of the best explanations of blockchain for legal was featured in a Forbes article that states, “Blockchain is a comprehensive, up-to-date (real-time) ledger of anything that can be recorded from financial transactions to ownership of physical assets stored in a distributed, peer-to-peer fashion. Every record is encrypted and time stamped. Only users can edit the part of the blockchain that they “own” and they gain access to the file only because they have a private key that allows them to. It also ensures that everyone’s copy of the distributed blockchain is kept in sync.”
It’s easy to see why lawyers would have an interest in the security that blockchain technology can provide.
Theme #4: Duty of Technology Competence
One theme that should be at the top of every attorney’s mind right now is their duty of technology competence and how they can securely transmit confidential information with their clients. However, it has was mentioned as “under-hyped” in the Blacklines & Billables podcast by Bob Ambrogi, Founder of Law Sites Blog.
Ambrogi said, “I think that something that is really under-hyped on the legal tech landscape is the evolving duty of technology competence for lawyers. There have been a couple of ethical opinions talking about the duty of lawyers to be competent in technology and I think that a lot of lawyers don’t understand the ramifications of those opinions and of changes in the model rules that govern this. I think the ethics rules are evolving in a way that require lawyers to have a higher degree of competence in simple things like data security, email security, any kind of technology they’re using, any kind of technology that may impact their clients. Then a lot of lawyers have. Even some lawyers that are not afraid of technology, they use technology but I think these ethics opinions are requiring a level of sophistication and understanding that a lot of lawyers don’t have. So I think it’s going to be really interesting to see as more opinions come out and how it motivates lawyers to become more educated about technology and more informed about technology. So that’s my under-hyped – that’s just not played out in a big way right now.”
This is a theme that Doxly considers every day as a secure portal for end-to-end transactions. We continue to enhance the way lawyers communicate with their clients and securely transmit confidential information. As a result, we have developed a CLE course that we will be taking on the road in 2018 to help educate the legal community on the ABA Formal Opinion 477.