There’s no doubt that the face of the legal industry is changing, thanks in no small part to the always-connected global network. Rapid-pace advancements in technology are driving change across most industries, and the legal profession is simply no exception. As law firms work to integrate new technology, while also managing the dramatic age gaps introduced by four separate generations working alongside one another, new approaches to old problems are beginning to take shape.
Social Media and the Legal Profession
When it comes to tech driving change in the legal industry, few things have the power of social media. It’s not just the place where firms promote their services, reach out to potential clients, and work to woo new talent. Social networking sites have the power to discredit witnesses, bolster strong cases, and provide discoverable evidence under amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Another effect of the ability to network beyond borders through social media is an uptick in globalization efforts throughout the industry. Firms are collaborating with peers in other countries and taking a truly international approach to law, but they’re also changing the way they do things at home.
The proliferation of powerful devices and tailored online services today allow more flexibility than ever before. From allowing professionals to telecommute, to the establishment of truly virtual law firms. This best-of-both-worlds approach allows professionals to establish a work/life balance while still serving clients and employers effectively.
Outsourcing and Specialized Web Services
From databases designed to help locate and utilize depositions at lightning speed, to pure outsourcing via external contractors, tech innovation is pushing more firms to evaluate how they staff, where they spend money, and how to create greater flexibility with existing tools and services.
It’s not all about cost, either. Outsourcing some tasks is another way of building the all-important work/life balance necessary for productivity. Tools and services exist today which allow a single professional to manage what would have required dozens of man-hours in generations past.
From streamlining operations to saving money and creating a more hospitable work environment, tech trends are driving the legal profession in a new direction. What would you like to see next? Let us know in the comments.