We are all familiar with the industrial revolution, which led to the implementation of process efficiencies, automation, and a reduction of human resource spent on what is now seen as routine tasks and far greater leveraging of data. This has all contributed to a far lower cost of production. Knowledge work, including law, has also started to evolve, driven by increased business complexity and pressure to do more with less. Technology has been used in legal services, for decades, in the form of document management systems, law firm practice management systems, and various forms of electronic communications. More advanced technology, such as document automation, has also been used by law firms for over two decades.
Several factors in the last few years have caused the emergence of legal technology as a distinct and rapidly growing market category. Law firms, and more recently corporate legal departments, are focusing on its application, and investors—whether venture capital, private equity, or trade buyers—are taking this segment very seriously.
Technology has become a significant area of focus for legal service providers and corporate legal departments alike. Everyone has high expectations of the benefits that it will bring. So why has this heightened recently? I believe this increased focus is a result of:
In leveraging technology, organizations, whether legal service providers or corporate legal departments can:
Technology has to date predominantly focused on driving efficiencies in service provision and enabling the capture of the most basic management information. The overall proposition from service providers has largely remained unchanged. Technology is now being applied in the creation of very different delivery models and data is starting to be used for more sophisticated analytics and prediction.
New delivery models made possible by technology include:
There are two broad categories of data in the legal world:
There are also three perspectives from which we can look at data:
Organizations typically start with the first perspective—having current information about their processes and matters. As the organization continues to capture information, it builds a history and can then mature into undertaking more trend-based analysis. Finally, once enough history has been captured and trends identified, more mature models can be developed to predict trends.
Deloitte Legal is engaging with industrialization, collaboration, self-service, and data in multiple ways. Our Legal Management Consulting team advises the world’s largest organizations on their legal operating models and digital transformation. We also apply these models to our own service delivery. By using both market leading and our own bespoke technologies, we industrialize our legal service delivery to clients, we provide clients with sophisticated collaboration and self-service solutions and by using such technologies can provide clients with advanced dashboards and analytics into the work we do for them. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with technology providers and our clients to further digitalize the legal ecosystem.