* Exploring all things Digital Transformation
Last year we took a look at the top digital transformation trends in several industries including the legal space.
This year, we’re revisiting those trends to find out: Have things changed? Stayed the same? Any major unexpected disruptions? In law, as in many other industries, the results are a mixed bag. As we noted in last year’s piece, the legal industry has been fairly slow to catch up with digital transformation. That said, it means there is huge potential in this industry to optimize efficiency, improve processes, and offer new types of legal services altogether. The following is a brief update from last year’s piece on the top digital transformation trends in law/legal for 2019.Cloud and Mobile Imagine you’re in court fighting a stressful legal issue when your lawyer suddenly remembers: he left your files on his desk—back at the office. What do you do? These are the types of issues cloud and mobile services can help eliminate in 2019. In fact, I lump these two technologies together because without cloud, mobility would not be possible. This coming year, we’ll continue to see an increased focus on Software as a Service and other cloud-based mobile services that allow for improved accessibility of client files, old cases, and other legal resources. This is especially true when it comes to pay-as-go services that allow firms to tighten their overhead while improving service to their clients. We’ve entered an age where people expect everything to be available to them anywhere on any device, legal professionals should have the same level of access. Virtual Law Firms In 2019, we won’t just be seeing online legal services, as we saw last year. We’ll be seeing entire virtual law firms take flight. Because of the increase in cloud and mobile, legal professionals will have greater flexibility in where and how they work. This allows legal powerhouses on two different coasts to team up in one firm. With virtual meetings, it also eliminates virtual travel time. And, it will offer a greater work/life balance for legal professionals overall. For me, this is one of the more exciting digital transformation trends in law because it could lead to a healthier, less stressful lifestyle for an entire industry. Social Media Perhaps because they’re saving so much time with mobility and virtual lawyering, more legal professionals are popping up on social media, and not just in traditional spots like LinkedIn. A new wave of legal podcasts have popped up, and I truly believe it’s because today’s lawyers are utilizing the time saved from pre-digital processes to take on these personally fulfilling projects. (If you want a recommendation, one of my favorite legal podcasts is Undisclosed.) I anticipate we’ll see a growing number of lawyers find their place on social media, connecting with the public and one another—be it YouTube, blogging, or podcasting—in 2019. And when it comes to digital transformation trends in law, this makes me really excited. It makes legal issues of all kinds more accessible to all of us, and helps highlight the important work our legal professionals are doing every day. Cybersecurity I’m not sure whether to classify this under “digital transformation trends in law” or simply “common sense.” To be fair, many industries are lax on cybersecurity until something terrible happens. And that’s exactly what took place for the legal industry last year, as it saw 11 million files leaked from one firm—a firm which has since shut down. But it’s not just one company. Research shows 80 percent of the largest firms in the United States have already experienced a malicious breach. The study also found nearly 60 percent of all emails directed at the firms was classified as phishing. That’s enough for anyone to wake up and consider how well their security is protecting their client’s information. We’ll see a huge increase in this—dare I saw with blockchain—in 2019.
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