How to Future-Proof Your Legal Career with Legal Tech

Hey friend, have you heard about legal tech? Are you using it already? Thinking about how to future proof your legal career because of it (worried about AI and the robots)? 

Legal tech is the best thing to happen to the legal industry since email. It will transform your legal career.

What is legal tech

Legal tech is software created to optimize systems and processes for lawyers. Plus, it provides more people with access to legal services. We know there is a huge justice gap out there. Legal tech is closing the gap. Brilliant, yes?

Our work is still labor intensive, slow and inefficient. It is also expensive. We type. We print. We scan. We manage different versions of the same document. We collect signatures and write our billable hours. We edit, update and customize contracts over and over. We do the same things over and over again.

Technology offers tremendous opportunities for lawyers.

It allows you to focus on where you are at your best. It gives the customer the most value.

I co-founded a legal tech startup www.contractmill.com. It’s a document automation solution. The software allows lawyers to save hours drafting and redrafting contracts. It’s not only about saving drafting time. It creates possibilities. Possibilities for one-woman businesses to scale and grow. Without working harder or hiring more people. 

You may be thinking, so what? I work for big law, and the partners aren’t going to invest in new technology to make my life easier. But I encourage you to think outside the big law box.

If you are unhappy in your current job, the future is in legal tech. Consider dipping your toes in it. Move to another firm where legal tech is an anchor in their processes. It could lead to an idea about delivering legal services the way you have always wanted to. You could start your one-woman legal business.

Let me give you some other legal tech examples already in use:

For clients:

  • Online dispute resolution platforms. Everyday people can attempt to settle their disputes together online. They access lawyers only if they need one – no more expensive mediation. Clients pay for the product, not the billable hour
  • Automatic online contract generators. Create a company or a contract with a few clicks. Access a lawyer only if it is complex. Clients pay for the product, not the billable hour
  • Online legal advice platforms. Lawyers provide commercial legal advice to individuals and companies for a fixed price. Clients pay for the product, not the billable hour
  • Create your own will at home for a fraction of the cost. Again, pay for the product
  • Contract analyzers, with real-time collaborative editing. Plus, powerful analytics for risk management and potential outcomes. Businesses and lawyers can use this software
  •  Document (reports etc) analyzers. Able to extract key information. Use the data to suggest sound business decisions. Or drive costs down. Discover opportunities and manage risk and regulatory requirements. Again, suitable for businesses and lawyers

Processes: 

  • Secure file sharing
  • Case and matter management. Time and billing management. And automated client relationship management systems.
  • E-invoicing and signatures – reduce admin and time
  • Encrypted email complying with regulations 

Legal tech startups are happening all over the world. They are disrupting our rickety institution. Legal tech is a game-changer. And offers an alternative to working in a traditional law firm. 

Here are a few legal startups to look at: AL 100 Legal Tech Directory.

How can legal tech future proof your legal career?

Now you see legal tech is not a big, hairy robot hungry for your job, wrap your arms around it. It is your future in law. I’m not talking about becoming a coder or legal designer. (Although if it’s your jam – go for it). I’m talking about thinking about how legal tech could be the key to your future. 

Would you like to reclaim your time and be more efficient? How about shifting toward product-based services rather than billable hours? Imagine serving your clients the way you want to? There are practice management solutions already available for a one-woman show. 

Grow with it, learn about it, think about the possibilities and future proof your legal career. Later on, you may start your own business with legal tech, client-driven solutions. It could be your idea or the implementation of an existing solution – with your stamp on it. How amazing would life be? 

Technology offers so many opportunities for a new kind of work in the future. And plays a vital role in enabling change.

Beware. Don’t get technology for its own sake. Start with your own needs. What is the most burning problem in your work you would like to fix? Think about your internal processes as well as your client experience.

Are you ready to embrace legal tech?

Girlfriend, we know lawyers resist change like oil trying to mix with water. Lawyers laughed at email. “Lawyers communicate electronically? No thank you, snail mail works fine for us archaic beasts.” (Not so much for our clients, who want solutions, fast.) Look at us now? Hell, we even use courier bikes to deliver same-day physical documents. Sounds ridiculous, right? It is true.

And, so it is with legal tech. Only a lawyer who is ready for this change will stay relevant long term. We need lawyers like you to transform the space. Blaze your path and provide client-focused solutions. Innovation is powerful: for you and your clients. 

Are you ready to start? Because starting with something simple first is where it all begins.

I know you can do this. I believe in you and your wonderful, rewarding long term career in law.

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Who’s writing?

Hi, I’m Hannele. I am an ex-corporate lawyer, legal designer, pioneer in legal tech, serial entrepreneur and blogger.  I am the founder and teacher in Lawyer’s Design School.

I’m here to teach you new skills and mindset of legal design to thrive in the future of law.

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