There is no doubt that the pervasiveness of innovation in the legal industry has quickened. Thanks to technology, which has been the catalyst for disruption, there are an array of legal software products and service providers available. Legal service companies and consultancy firms have emerged to take over standardised legal work. At legal tech conferences, artificial intelligence has become a hot topic for the way it could even replace lawyers. It’s not surprising that lawyers are sceptical about legal technology – rumours have been swirling around for years that robots and Artificial Intelligence are going to replace them within the next decade. However, regardless of whether legal departments prefer paper or PC, legal technology is here to stay.
Here are some of the most common myths (read: excuses) why legal departments stay away from adopting legal tech.
Cloud-based solutions cost more than on-premise solutions and paper storage systems:
With most cloud-based solutions, users pay a yearly license fee that is scalable based on the number of users. In other words, you only pay for what you need. By contrast, organisations have to buy an expensive package and server for on-premise solutions, which can cost thousands. They’ll most likely have to hire an IT person to help train and maintain the software and server. If the updates exceed the current capacity of the hardware, it will have to receive an upgrade as well. Paper systems require physical space for all those filing cabinets and costs for printers, ink and paper, not to mention the time spent printing and retrieving documents.
It requires hours of training employees to use the new system:
As long as your colleagues knows how to use an Internet browser, they’re good to go. Most creditable legal technology providers have a support desk or manuals that can answer any questions. While it may take some time to get used to the system initially, over time legal technology can offer a shortcut for repeatable processes or those that are time consuming, so legal departments can focus on strategic processes and not administration.
It only applies to large legal departments/small legal departments:
Small departments say, "we don’t have the budget for legal technology" while large departments say, "the IT department makes all of our purchasing decisions".
There are solutions for every legal department in every sector that can help them manage their legal affairs more efficiently at an affordable price. Some focus on a specific area, while others, like Legisway offer an all-in-one solution and have multiple add-ons.
It’s less secure than paper processes:
Legal departments handle volumes of sensitive information that cannot be compromised. Any reputable cloud-based solution provider will have industry-standard certifications. These companies should be able to provide you with certifications and answer your questions.
I’ll lose control over my data:
Quite the opposite. Think about it this way: in a paper system it is virtually impossible to know exactly where each contract is located, who is responsible and the terms of renewal. Legal technology platforms ensure that data is stored in one place with regular backups and that you can gain access to important management insights and track and control your legal documents, without having to spend 20 minutes digging through file cabinets first.
Legal technology is often misjudged because it’s more than the replacement of lawyers by robots and computers. Legal technology is about leveraging technology to make processes more efficient and reduce the chance of manual error, so that legal departments can reallocate their time to engage in the strategic aspect of business.