Legal Technology Round-Up 2022

Athennian continues rounding up the most informative reports and publications on legal technology, providing valuable analysis and insights into how lawyers use legal software. This article summarizes data from five major sources outlining legal technology trends lawyers should consider to stay competitive, improve productivity, and ensure success through digitization. 

Keep reading to find out about existing challenges lawyers face when embracing technology, learn more about suggested focus areas for your technology roadmap and check the most recent analytics based on industry reports.

Lawyers' Top Legal Tech Tools—And Biggest Blind Spots | Bloomberg Law 

Bloomberg Law Survey has revealed that 9 out of 10 legal professionals recognize considerable benefits offered to them by legal technology. Lawyers have reported improvement in productivity (noticed by 86% of respondents), workflow (71%), quality of work (65%) and in meeting clients' and organizational demands (66%).

In the survey, participated by 190 law firms and in-house legal teams, lawyers have mentioned billing (79%), timekeeping (63%), cloud storage (62%) and record management (59%), among other most popular legal technology tools. 50% of legal professionals have reported an increase in technology spending within their organizations.

During the survey, more than half of the respondents recognized that they lack the technical skills to work with the technology. Meanwhile, only 23% of lawyers reported that they saw an increase in training with new tools. The report concludes that the disproportion between the increased use of legal software and lack of focus and time spent on training is one of the main barriers to be addressed by lawyers willing to take full advantage of the technology.

2022 Top Legal Technology Predictions | Gartner

In its 2022 Report, Gartner highlighted all-time record spending on legal technology by venture capital in 2021. The report analyzes activities related to legal tech tools and identifies five main predictions which are worth following by lawyers and in-house legal teams when building their legal technology roadmaps.

Gartner highlights the increased environmental, social and governance  (ESG) concerns and the need to capture relevant data. The report suggests legal professionals have a closer look at third-party risk management solutions, which can assist in fulfilling their ESG responsibilities.

The survey also mentions embedded compliance controls available with legal technology software, helping to reduce overworking and increase effectiveness. In their report, Gartner suggests lawyers get a broader outlook on the legal tech market and pick those tools which meet their unique demands. The full text of the report mentioning all 5 predictions and detailed suggestions are available on Garner's website. 

5 Legal Technology Trends Changing In-House Legal Departments | Gartner

In yet another report, Gartner reveals its discoveries on how pandemics made legal technology and automation ever so important given increased workload and constrained staffing budgets in legal departments. The report helps both lawyers and C-suite executives draw their legal technology roadmaps based on 5 main trends spotted in Gartner's research findings.

While many legal professionals are increasing their investments in legal tech, Gartner warns lawyers to avoid ad hoc purchases of software. Instead, lawyers are advised to consider a multi-year strategy for legal technology that can develop along with the ever-changing legal environment.

Gartner's report mentions an increased demand for M&A and other corporate transaction work, which would call for more extensive application of automation and other legal technologies. Meanwhile, Gartner warns C-level executives and shareholders against unrealistic expectations for the legal technology payback period. Such expectations could force lawyers to abandon technology initiatives and fall short of their goals of using legal software to improve performance and efficiency. 

How Do You Connect the Digital Dots in the Legal Ecosystem? | EY

The article by Ernst & Young provides a concept of the legal ecosystem. The report urges lawyers to adopt a shared approach to facilitate the flow of legal data and improve performance, risk management and compliance. 

The article used the results of the EY Global Law Survey 2021, which provides a forecast of a 25% increase in legal workload with budgets shrinking by 20%. In this situation, legal professionals have no other option but to involve third-party players, such as external counsel firms or internal centers of excellence and other legal stakeholders. Such involvement requires an ecosystem approach and wider application of legal technology.

EY echoes Gartner's recommendations by suggesting to rely less on word-of-mouth advice for legal technology when picking your next best option among a gamut of available software. Instead, it is recommended to examine the organization's needs and have a clear roadmap before trying to choose the most fitting legal tech solutions.

The article mentions the marked shift towards working on legal platforms. Such legal solutions benefit law firms and in-house legal teams by offering easy access to legal technology and innovation. The report highlights the need to digitize the whole legal ecosystem to leverage the power of legal technology, including AI, machine learning and automation and drive transformation into the legal teams.

ABA 2021 Legal Technology Survey Report | American Bar Association

The ABA has released its annual 2021 TechReport covering the application of the technology across the legal industry. 

In the 2021 survey, the ABA has shown that 65% of firms budget for technology which is a 3% increase compared to the previous year. Interestingly, this number grows exponentially with the size of a law firm, making 43% for solo attorneys, 50% for smaller law firms and 87% for law firms with 100 and more attorneys.

In one of the ABA's next articles sharing more results from the 2021 Survey, cloud cybersecurity is mentioned among the top concerns by lawyers, which results in slower adoption of cloud applications. The ABA Report demonstrated that while most lawyers (60%) have embraced cloud usage, only 35% of them take cybersecurity measures listed in the survey. These findings suggest lawyers and their clients take cloud cybersecurity of their data among the top priorities in the next year.

In Summary

This and previous year's reports on legal technology have demonstrated its ever-increasing role for law firms and in-house legal teams. Yet the reports show where legal professionals can do more to reap all the benefits provided by the legal tech. These recommendations include having a holistic approach to a legal ecosystem and focusing more on cybersecurity and training.

Fortunately, legal professionals can be assisted with these and more when working with advanced legal technology platforms, like Athennian, helping lawyers address those areas. If you are interested in learning how entity management software can boost productivity and assist with data security and cloud migration, please don't hesitate to request a customized demo with an entity management expert today.

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