Technology Trends in the Legal Sector

July 13, 2015 by Alex Collins

The golden rule for every business: "Put yourself in your customer’s place."

– Orison Swett Marden

More than ever, organizations are keenly aware that they can have cutting-edge products, superior customer service and the best talent but, if they are not keeping pace with their customers’ needs, they don’t have a working formula for success.

In the legal industry, technology trends are rapidly changing. So, all aboard! The train has left the station and keeping pace is more paramount than ever.

Legal_Tech_Main_image

Cloud Computing

There used to be great hesitancy in the legal industry over moving documents to the cloud. That has given way to major law firms moving at least some of their applications and data to the cloud to improve efficiency of business processes and to reduce IT costs. Now, the concern is the documents that are not in the security of the cloud.

A firm must now perform due diligence to ensure that a cloud platform’s security measures meet the client’s requirements. Cloud activity routinely occurs even when the firm’s primary network doesn’t operate in the cloud, such as transmitting files with Google email or sharing files with Dropbox. Law firms must therefore implement a risk-management program for cloud platforms in addition to their own internal security measures.

Security and Compliance

Requirements are changing rapidly and account for an increasingly large portion of a law firm’s IT budget. These requirements generally mean that security risks must be identified in a way that can be demonstrated to clients, business partners and regulators. These issues have traditionally been afterthoughts in the IT department, but they’re now considered to be primary initiatives.

Law firms need to deploy advanced security and compliance measures that identify and mitigate risks to their clients’ assets. It’s no longer just about being secure. Law firms need to be secure in a demonstrable way. Hackers are gaining easier access to big corporate data through less-secure routes, such as outside counsel, and no firm wants to make the headlines as the hole in a client’s infrastructure.

eDiscovery

Zina Motley-Weaver Legal Marketing Manager Solutions Zina Motley-Weaver is responsible for strategic planning, competitive analysis, web content development, recommending technology and service offerings for Konica Minolta’s Legal Market. She enjoys hiking in the mountains of the Southwestern United States and photographing the rock formations.
Zina Motley-WeaverLegal Marketing ManagerKonica Minolta Business Solutions USAZina Motley-Weaver is responsible for strategic planning, competitive analysis, web content development, recommending technology and service offerings for Konica Minolta’s Legal Market.
Another recent trend is the increasing use of electronic discovery, or eDiscovery, which involves the exchange of information in electronic format. The handling of this data is subject to regulation and agreed-upon processes. eDiscovery has resulted in the development of many tools to streamline the process.

Client relationship management (CRM) software is also becoming an essential requirement. CRM software manages a firm’s interaction with its current and prospective clients, including the automation of customer service, marketing and technical support. The ability to capture data from social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter is one of the most significant trends in CRM software.

Managed review is a significant emerging trend in eDiscovery. This process specifies a framework of accountability that encourages the desired treatment of discoverable information, including its creation, storage, deletion and valuation. It also includes metrics, standards and roles to ensure the effective use of discovery. Managed review is a new discipline that’s ready to implement security solutions that have been optimized for the cloud.

Through a managed review offering, eDiscovery vendors can address up to 80 percent of the electronic discovery reference model, or EDRM, in order to provide clients with efficient routes to significant savings of up to 40 percent on their current eDiscovery spend.

By keeping the customer front and center, law firms can adapt to every market change and trend that comes along.