Global Legal Tech Is Transforming Service Delivery

Extract from article by Mark A. Cohen

Technology, of course, is a means to an end in streamlining legal delivery; it is not an end unto itself. To be effective, technology must not only achieve ends that produce benefits to user and ultimate consumer, but it must also be user-friendly. That requires an understanding of practice issues (what’s important); business of law (operations designed to deliver services optimally); technology (how best to build it); and users (how to make tech user-friendly to provider/consumer and compatibility with existing tools). Translation: tech solutions require an interdisciplinary effort that involves all key stakeholders in legal delivery, not just techies.

Technological applications—in contract management, e-discovery, and other high-volume areas– are standardizing, automating, and ‘productizing’ what were once labor-intensive tasks performed by lawyers at law firms. Institutional money is betting that legal services—like so many other industries—will be transformed by tech-enabled, process driven, client centric providers. This process is well underway. Consider the recent ALM Intelligence Report that revealed 73% of ‘legal’ work is now performed in-house and an additional 2% by service providers. That means law firms have only a 25% market share. Contrast this with 20 years ago when law firms were the dominant provider of legal services and handled matters start-to-finish.

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