Technology has changed over time, altering our perception and developing alongside civilizations. Through the advancement of science, the development of all industries has skyrocketed. Science has improved studies in medicine, programming, engineering, and more. The legal industry is one such industry that has felt the significant impact of technology. Listed below are some crucial improvements technology has made to the law.
How technology changes law and its practices:
The Automation of Paperwork
Through the advancement of technology comes its most important aspect—automation. Gone are the days of low-value legal work taking most of the lawyers’ time. Companies are now making automated non-disclosure agreements to ease up their workflow and streamline low-value legal work. However, automation may cause the decline of hiring in the legal industry.
Working from home has been a mainstay for all industries since the previous year of 2020. However, long before the pandemic, lawyers have been benefiting from working on their cases at home. Through emerging technologies that help communication, lawyers can do legal research online, thus eliminating the need to always be at the office for work. Furthermore, new programs have made accessibility far easier compared to before. Applications such as Microsoft Teams help lawyers contact their clients face to face through smartphones or computers. Hence, in-person sessions have become irrelevant, notably so during this pandemic.
Through the power of the internet, people have made applications for all kinds of cases available to everyone with access. For example, clients can now hire motorcycle accident attorneys online, eliminating the need to go outside. This situation benefits everyone affected, even prosecutors and victims.
Immigration law has prospered through online applications. Appointments for passport renewal, visa applications, and immigration lawyers’ consultations are all made through the internet. Some even consider online applications as the go-to medium of appointment. Nowadays, most government buildings deny walk-in appointments.
Using AI for Decision Making
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been making the rounds for the past few years. You can find AIs produced by Google or Microsoft in households all over the world, namely on computers and cellular devices. In the legal industry, the situation is quite similar.
Machine Learning, a type of artificial intelligence, is now used for legal research and the prediction of litigation cases. Also, AI tools are helping lawyers with low-value claims and monotonous tasks. Currently, people can utilize AI software to draft non-disclosure agreements and lower-exposure agreements. Besides that, lawyers are now feeding AI large chunks of data for predictive coding.
Unsurprisingly, large law firms are keener in developing AI than smaller firms. After all, developing AI tools is time-consuming, costly, and requires additional human resources.
Forums and online-based communities are also spreading for legal cases. Websites such as Reddit have formed an online community that aims to help users with their legal troubles. Online communities are beneficial for disadvantaged people who don’t have access to pro bono legal services. Additionally, these online communities help people contact (or they have their own) lawyers and law students that can share professional information about a person’s situation.
Subreddits such as r/legaladvice and r/law are becoming more popular to ask for help online. Facebook and LinkedIn are also circulating professional lawyers to congregate and discuss topics online.
Filing for a divorce is infamously known for its time-consuming, stressful, and costly process. Often, divorce cases take six months or more. Thankfully, through technology, couples undergoing an uncontested divorce can now file their lawsuit online. Many states currently give users access to file digital divorce forms, and some states even allow them to file the whole divorce case on the internet. However, attorneys are still the best people to review the divorce papers, and DIY divorces are only recommended for amicable divorce arrangements.
Probate law refers to the management of a deceased person’s assets and debts. Before, probate law didn’t dictate digital legacies. However, through the rise of technology amongst households, digital properties amongst users skyrocketed. Hence, probate law now states that people can’t include digital assets in their will.
The Automation of Debt Collection
Back in the day, debtors needed to pay their debts over the counter. Thankfully, through mobile phones and online pay, debtors can now pay from the comfort of their homes. Most banks nowadays use online banking to transfer funds digitally. Through this, clients can automate debt collection for the ease of banks and collectors.
The legal industry is growing faster through the means of technology. Developments in technology affect laws and services more than what people have hoped for in the past. Online appointments are now the primary medium of transaction, and this won’t change soon. Hence, lawyers and law students used analog means to change their perception and embrace the legal digital wave. After all, it’s better to stay ahead of the curve rather than be swept up by the competition.