Legal practices can benefit from digital transformation and have many of the same requirements as other service providers who leverage it to be more efficient. Digital transformation can greatly aid companies processing information quickly and efficiently. Law offices process a lot of information. In this article we will cover challenges for the legal profession, the status of digital transformation in law offices, tasks that lend themselves to automation for legal practices, plus the benefits of digital transformation.
Specific Challenges for Legal Practices
Law is a dynamic and vital part of our economy. Still, it faces challenges like nearly every industry. Securing and retaining staff is one consistent challenge that we hear from our legal clients. Lawyer burnout is also mentioned. Typically, there are long hours in this field and they effect both attorneys and their support staff. Competition is unrelenting in this space and there are more law degrees awarded every year. Increasingly consumers do business online and establishing and maintaining a digital presence can also be a challenge, as can overall digital adoption. Utilizing and managing the most effective back office technology can also be a hurdle. Lawyers know law, but they are not necessarily technologists.
Additional Challenges for Legal Practices
As if the above were not enough to deal with, we also find that our legal clients have challenges around compliance. Because of the sensitive nature of law, cyber security can also be an issue. Other areas of attention that come up in no particular order include, the work from home (WFH) movement, and not having business development or business management skills in a practice. Finally, like many of our other clients, law practices find it a challenge being a small or midsized firm and keeping up with large mega practices.
Benefits of Digital Transformation in Law Practices
Digital transformation can help to alleviate many of these challenges if deployed well. It can help staff be more efficient, focused and fulfilled. When it comes to compliance, law practices can benefit from automation because companies can ensure that things are done the same way every time and actions are performed consistently. Running an efficient business, maximizing efficiency and profits can also benefit from the streamlined workflows that digital transformation provides. When it comes to implementing all of this, legal practices can outsource to an SME (subject matter experts) and leverage an MSP (managed service provider) to provide automation as a service. At Valenta we are both of these things, … an SME and an MSP.
Current Status of Digital Transformation in Law Offices
Large firms have been leveraging staff augmentation and outsourcing for years. They have also been early investors and adopters in digital transformation technologies. What exactly comprises digital transformation and digitalization in legal practices? We find that three common technologies address all the needs of the sector when it comes to legal transformation.
RPA (robotic process automation) is a valuable tool and is behind software bots that can perform routine, rules based, and mundane tasks. Typically, there are many of these in law practices. If they occur in high volume, they make great candidates for legal practices digital transformation.
Cognitive AI is another tool commonly deployed for digital transformation in the law space. Conversational AI processes and translates human spoken or written word communication with software applications. It is used in chat bots, web tools, and also to gather information for human workers when they work hand in hand with AI to perform better, faster, and more efficiently.
Cognitive AI is one more tool we find in digital transformation for law. Cognitive AI often takes the form of OCR or optical character recognition tools and allows the digital processing of documents and forms. Cognitive AI learns over time and gets better at tasks. Documents are the lifeblood of today’s information age companies and service providers … and legal practices have plenty of them.
Process Heatmap Legal
Corporate legal teams, contracts departments, and compliance teams can all benefit from digitalization in legal. General practices can also benefit from legal transformation when streamlining client onboarding and interactions. RPA and Conversational AI can be used to assist in human in the loop workflows. Cognitive AI for efficient and fast document processing can also have a big upside for process efficiency. Please find the below heatmap that highlights some of the opportunities for digitalization in legal practices.
At Valenta, we focus on SMB clients. Many of them are professional service providers including accounting, financial planners, insurance, real estate management, and investment firms. We find that these clients have similar needs as legal practices. Professional service providers fill a valuable role in our information economy, and we take pride in assisting them. Valenta brings global experience to digital transformation and has access to rich AI and digital transformation talent pools offshore. Our account teams include local managing partners plus regional managing partners with expertise in automation and law.
We help our clients address challenges with growth, process, profits, execution, innovation, strategy, AI and automation, staffing, and digital marketing. We are able to address all of these common pain points with our core services of Process Consulting, Digital Transformation, Staff Augmentation and Learning Platforms. Valenta is here to assist our legal clients with their digital transformation journey. We have considerable experience with RPA, Conversational AI, and Cognitive AI, all of which lend themselves well to digitalization in legal and legal transformation. Please feel free to contact one of our local Managing Partners to discuss if digital transformation can help automate your law practice.