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Technology vs. law; does it really matter who’s winning the race?

Survey finds that law firms are technologically unsavvy

Few would argue that the modern digital age is supported and driven largely by technology. And while the majority of the workforce has at least begun to move processes online or into electronic form in some way, shape or form, it’s not surprising that there are still some who have yet to make the leap of digital faith.

Given the long established, conventionalist attitude of the legal industry, it probably won’t come as a shock to you that the profession of law is one of the biggest markets behind the tech curve. A recent Above the Law report said it best, “Although legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of the attorneys toward these emerging technologies.”

The truth of the matter is, while new technologies carry the promise of the kind of disruption that causes innovation in the industry, it only makes sense why the traditional buttoned-up practice of law that has been around for centuries is one of the last to adapt to digital practices. While some may agree that the legal industry can stand to implement some process updates to catch up to speed with the digital age, being on the cutting edge of the latest technology is certainly not hurting the legal industry, as few smaller markets can match the comprehensive services a lawyer or law firm provides. 

In the recent findings of an ILTA Tech Survey, Joe Patrice noted that there is a profound lack of technological savvy among law firms. In fact, 80 percent of lawyers do not record time on a mobile device and nearly 90 percent of firms do not maximize their cyber security capabilities. In addition -- and maybe one of the more eye-opening stats -- nearly one-third of firms are using a version of Word that’s seven or more years old. 

It’s understandable that the latest and greatest new markets such as social media marketing or localized deal aggregators not only rely on technology but in reality wouldn’t exist without them.  And while there is certainly room to streamline processes or increase productivity in any vertical, the notion that technology would transform the profession of law isn’t as likely, given its solid track record.


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Contributing Author

Stefanie Mosca

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