Over the past few decades legal practices, like other sectors, have embraced digitisation. From digital dictation to online searches, it has affected virtually every aspect of law firm operations. However, various trends and technologies now have the potential to further impact them, improve efficiency and drive innovation.
Take data to the cloud
Most legal practices have embraced cloud computing to some extent, whether planned or not. Moving data and processing to the cloud increases flexibility and access to data and systems and can reduce costs.
Many are already using services like Microsoft’s Office 365 for email. Replacing local Microsoft Exchange servers with cloud-based versions and paying moderate fees has reduced reliance on local servers and technical staff, improved reliability and enabled more flexible deployment.
However, it is crucial that firms deploy cloud technology securely and in line with rules and guidance by the Law Society of Society of Scotland in relation to GDPR obligations.
Enable intelligent case management
Today, very few firms have not put in place some kind of case management system (CMS). Early generations of CMS were often inflexible, cumbersome or did not provide the functionality needed to assist with running their cases. They also required a lot of time and money to be invested in making them work and then in keeping them updated and maintained, often outweighing any efficiency gains.
Modern CMS take a much less prescriptive approach, allowing users to adopt new functionalities in a more evolutionary way. Legal practitioners are the experts, not the computer, and a more dynamic CMS will assist rather than hinder. Combining this with flexible cloud computing and access from mobile devices, systems become “more than the sum of their parts”.
Find the right technology partners
Many solutions we now see across the sector offer the general functionality needed to help practitioners digitise most aspects of their operations. However, having the right support in place when using these tools is also essential for firms wanting to drive digital value.
Technology providers must continue to develop their services and employ staff with the expertise to support customers fully. Meanwhile, law firms must consider whether their suppliers are meeting the requirements imposed by regulators and legislation.
Enhancing digital innovation in the legal sector cannot be performed instantly. However, taking the necessary steps towards more agile, cloud-based case and practice management can see firms benefit from better working and a greater competitive edge over their counterparts.
In this issue
- Brexit: prepare for impact
- Continuity and compatibility
- The Disability Convention: clearing obstructions
- Policing review: the priorities
- Five investment practicalities for lawyers managing trusts
- Reading for pleasure
- Opinion: Aamer Anwar
- Book reviews
- Profile: Serena Sutherland
- President's column
- People on the move
- Lifting the lid on the law
- The article 50 case: how it happened
- Forum for business
- Relevant persons: an alternative
- Three ways to enhance digital innovation
- Brexit north of the border
- Roberton – a way forward?
- Interest that runs for years
- Minimum pricing: what next?
- A bill not as planned
- Consumer contracts, choice of law and time bar
- Entrepreneurs' relief: tightened too far?
- Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal
- In the name of justice
- Views from the bar
- Design the Journal front cover!
- Public policy highlights
- OPG update
- Police station interview training – an update
- Easier caution with Marsh online service
- Fantastic locums – and where to find them!
- Navigating competencies
- C1s – why they bounce
- Conference content?
- Turn on the black box
- Ask Ash