The legal industry is sometimes characterized by a preference for traditional practices and a hesitancy to adopt change. But in the face of rapid technological advancements, now many law firms embrace new tools and technology to stay competitive.
In the era of AI, clients no longer simply seek legal expertise; they expect efficiency, speed, and convenience. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have the potential to revolutionize the legal industry by streamlining processes, reducing costs, and increasing efficiency.
In addition, many Kiwi law firms are struggling to attract and retain lawyers and staff. Software and tech tools help enhance efficiency in response to the shortage of staff.
The Value of Investing in Technology
Investing in technology can help law firms stay competitive by improving their operational efficiency, lowering costs and enhancing the client experience. By automating routine tasks, such as transcription, document creation, document review and case management, law firms can free up time to focus on more important things. Technology can also help improve data management and analysis capabilities, allowing law firms to extract valuable insights from their legal data.
Top Tech Tools for Lawyers in 2024 include:
Speech recognition, dictation and transcription solutions
There is a rising burden of admin in the legal profession, with over half of legal professionals spending at least four hours a day typing for work. 28%* of legal staff spend a staggering 6 to 10 hours per day typing. 62% say that admin tasks take time away from adding value to their clients and that technology could be used to save time.
Many law firms and corporate legal departments are deploying speech-to-text tools like Dragon Legal Anywhere and networked digital dictation & transcription solutions like Philips SpeechLive or Winscribe broadly to speed up document turnaround, reduce transcription costs, and streamline repetitive workflows – without having to change current business processes or existing information systems.
Imagine completing detailed briefs and contracts in a third of the time usually taken. Consider the efficiencies gained by using support staff to proofread documents instead of typing them from scratch.
Time tracking and billing solutions
Effective time management is crucial for any law firm seeking to ensure accurate client billing hours. User-friendly and versatile legal time tracking software provides an efficient solution to streamline these processes.
As lawyers might not have access to their laptops during the working day, the possibility of using their time-tracking software on a smartphone is crucial.
Legal research tools
Good legal research is essential for any law firm, and having the right precedent or statute at your fingertips could be the game-changer in winning your case. Most cloud-based legal research software does not require much training.
Back in the day, pricey research platforms were the only option, but times have evolved! Nowadays, law firms also have access to powerful free online research tools. This means law firms can potentially free up funds for other aspects of their practice without sacrificing the quality of their research.
Case management software
New Zealand lawyers can select from a range of practice management systems. Some are locally developed and some are adapted from overseas. Each law practice has its distinctive needs and specific requirements that influence their choice of case management software.
A practice management system can help law firms increase productivity, improve communication and keep track of important documents and deadlines.
Blockchain-based smart contracts.
Blockchain is the next technology that lawyers shouldn’t ignore. Mainstream acceptance of blockchain is pending, and the opportunities to expand a lawyer’s practice are rich.
In its simplest form, a smart contract is a self-executing computer program embedded within a decentralized blockchain network. Noteworthy features of smart contracts include transparency, immutability, and efficiency.
As various industries increasingly incorporate smart contracts into their operations, it becomes imperative for lawyers to familiarize themselves with the functionalities and potential risks associated with these innovative applications.
Adopting new technology can seem challenging for any business, but with the right approach, it will improve your operations, enhancing overall efficiency. Here are some recommended steps for successfully implementing and leveraging new technology in your organisation:
- Recognize your organisation’s requirements. Prior to integrating any new technological solutions, it is important to identify the specific needs of your law firm and specify the challenges you aim to address. This strategic approach ensures the selection of technology that seamlessly aligns with your firm’s objectives.
- Evaluate current tools. Evaluate your existing technology tools and determine if they meet your firm’s needs. If they don’t, look for alternative solutions.
- Talk to industry experts to help you identify the best software solutions for your firm’s needs. The Sound Business team has vast experience in matching the right products to business requirements with specialist knowledge in the products developed for the healthcare and legal industries. We consider factors such as ease of use, cost, security and scalability.
- Establish a clear understanding of what you intend to accomplish with the new technology. This will help you focus your efforts to ensure alignment with your firm’s goals.
- Ask for input from all team members. Involve your team in the decision-making process and ask for their ideas and needs. This way, everyone is on board with the new technology and you ensure it meets their needs.
- Provide ample training and ongoing support to ensure your team members are confident with the new tools. You definitely don’t want your team feeling disconnected or disheartened during this process.
We at Sound Business Systems help practices and organisations implement speech recognition and digital dictation solutions on a daily basis and know how challenging it can be. We work with all sizes from sole practitioners to some of the largest firms in New Zealand.
Our team will guide your company to introduce new hardware and software seamlessly, so you can start enjoying the benefits as quickly as possible.
Are you thinking about implementing speech recognition or a digital dictation/transcription solution, but you are not sure how? Talk to our friendly experts!
*Nuance Dragon legal admin report