LegalSeptember 27, 2023

Legal technology – increasing value for the clients

What does the future of the legal profession look like? Wolters Kluwer’s Future Ready Lawyer survey leaves no doubt: lawyers recognize that technology will play an important role in boosting productivity and efficiency. Moreover – at a time when client attrition is a major challenge – LegalTech solutions can greatly improve customer service for law firms and corporate legal departments.

Clients are increasingly expecting their attorneys to have technical knowledge that can help them navigate the complexities of the digital world. With client attrition continuing to be one of the biggest challenges to the legal industry in the next year, leveraging technology is one of the ways firms can elevate customer service, promote satisfaction, and ensure loyalty..

Legal technology 2023

A significant majority of legal professionals (91%) say it’s important to have technology that enables lawyers to adapt quickly to change, and to have access to the latest tools and technology to aid productivity and have technology-enabled work processes (91%). Lawyers from law firms (85%) and legal departments (84%) expect to make greater use of technology to improve productivity.

Corporate legal departments are looking at their legal firms’ use of technology as a factor to evaluate them, and this is spurring law firms to invest in technology. In fact, the survey shows almost half of law firms (46%) rank the need to use technology to improve productivity and efficiency as a top need to meet client demands, as well as improve collaboration and work processes.

Despite a slight downward trend – in 2023, 85% of attorneys surveyed understand the importance of fully leveraging technology (down from 89% in 2022) – the survey shows that legal professionals believe they are well prepared to apply technology to its best effect.

Slow decision-making

Yet, even though lawyers see the importance and benefits of technology, there are barriers to investing. The survey reveals the biggest barrier to investment is organizational (44%), with some firms remaining stuck in familiar ways, internal processes, and slow decision-making.

Other barriers to adopting technology include a lack of knowledge, with about a third of lawyers (36%) saying they simply don’t have sufficient skills, knowledge or understanding of legal technology. But this shows improvement from 2022, when 48% cited lack of knowledge as a barrier to technological change.

Despite the evident barriers to tech adoption, most law firms and legal departments are investing in technology-enabled processes and services. A significant number (75%) say they are prepared to make the necessary strategic investments in technology, while more than half (58%) of both law firms and corporate legal departments expect to invest more in technology in coming years, although there is a decline compared to 2022 (64%).

However, some experts remain critical.
We have not seen true tech transformation – yet. A new technology can only be transformative if an organization’s business model supports the full use of that technology – points out Richard Tromans, Founder of Artificial Lawyer, legal-innovation news site.

To read the full legal industry AI report, download the Wolters Kluwer Future Ready Lawyer 2023 Survey >>
The Wolters Kluwer Future Ready Lawyer: Embracing innovation, adapting to change
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