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On March 12, the UK Government set 10 technical priorities. Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, said: With the power to turbocharge the rest. But the question is, should we rebuild a better version of what we had, or should we build another?

Conversion with turbocharger

Most of the government’s strategic technical goals apply directly to legal technology.

1. Deploy world-class digital infrastructure nationwide: With a pandemic, the legal department is embracing cloud computing. According to the Briefings Legal IT Landscapes 2021 report, 70% of enterprises expect most of their core IT infrastructure (that is, practices, cases, and document management systems) to be in the cloud by 2024.

2. Unleash the power of data: Legal services are already focused on data. Many companies employ data analysts, and data science is at the heart of innovative products offered by law firms and legal technology starters.

3. Building a tech-savvy country: The legal department is tech-savvy, partly due to pandemics and partly due to the high attention of legal technology starters and innovations. However, technology skills and knowledge remain unevenly distributed.

4. Keep the UK Secure Online: Like other sectors that handle sensitive information on a daily basis, law firms focus on cybersecurity, especially as pandemics emphasize remotework as a major risk. Must be placed.

5. Fuel a new era of start-ups and scale-ups: The legal department is ahead of the curve here, with a global start-up community backed by public funding and venture capital.

6. Unleash the transformative power of technology and AI: Artificial intelligence is already driving new ways of working and creating business models that are transforming the sector.

7. Advocacy for Free and Fair Digital Trading: This is probably more related to the work of lawyers than the provision of legal services, but many legal and technical products are supported by multiple legal and technical communities. Can be used in the jurisdiction.

8. Leading Global Technology Conversations: The Legal Department achieves this in professional services and with corporate and commercial clients.

9. Raising the level of digital prosperity across the UK: Again, this sector finds new ways to address unmet legal needs, brings more social diversity to the profession and goes to judicial initiatives We encourage access to.

10. Reach Net Zero Using Digital Innovation: The Legal Green Initiative includes a campaign for greener arbitration. Bundles, and offsetting carbon emissions.

The pandemic has already reduced the environmental impact of the sector. Medium-sized law firms save an average of 10,000 printing costs a month, and working from home generally reduces their carbon dioxide emissions. This can be a permanent change, as many companies plan to continue their remote or hybrid work practices.

Remote controller

In a keynote speech at the Legal Geeks Thomson Reuters Takeover event, Elizabeth Duffy, Global Head of Client Services at Acritas, a market research firm that is part of Thomson Reuters, talked about how pandemics can drive change.

During this time, she recalled that while the legal department’s workload increased, especially at the start of the pandemic, this was not reflected in the budget and therefore worsened as the client’s expectations became less challenging. The factors that attract law firms to why companies work with a particular company have been consistent in virtual relationships, but have shown an increasing focus on technology and innovation in service delivery. It was. Diversity and oneness have joined trust and personal relationships in terms of human values.

Duffy surveyed the findings of 800 lawyers on the impact of working from home. While the benefits of working from home are well covered, a new focus needs on connectivity and communications to address three major challenges.

1. Training: It is more difficult for a junior to develop his or her talent if he or she cannot work closely with an experienced colleague.

2. Business Development: Working from home makes it difficult to start a conversation with a client that is not related to a particular problem or task.

3. Collaboration: Improving Net Promoter Scores and Increasing Spending Building strong and credible business relationships is virtually difficult.

A discussion shortly after Duffys’ talk revealed that another challenge for lawyers working remotely was system interoperability, which was struggling with too many disconnected applications.

However, the benefits of flexible work outweighed the challenges, and 75% of law firm partners who responded to the Acritas survey wanted to maintain flexible work practices and some degree of telecommuting after the pandemic. A poll of representatives of takeover events showed that 91% were flexible and in favor of continuing remote work.

This represents a major cultural change for law firms, where many law firms invest heavily in office space. Their next challenge is to keep their people connected to the business and its clients, especially when they are not in the office. Duffy suggested that investing in law firms is likely to move from physical space to technology and talent.

This year’s model

Another new legal platform born of the blockade is a shortcut for Bamboo to set up a law firm. Michael Burne, CEO of Carbon Law Partners, has reverse engineered his spoke-and-hub law firm model into a platform for branded law firms. The idea came from his laptop with an Intel chip. Intel doesn’t manufacture computers, but the chip powers multiple brands, he explains. This has led to the creation of structures that strengthen the brand of multiple law firms.

Bamboo further develops the carbon law model by providing an SRA regulatory framework that includes financial and legal services, including back office operations and cloud-based technical systems and support, in addition to regulatory approvals and PI insurance. .. Bamboo charges a percentage of sales in addition to your monthly subscription. In effect, it’s a managed service for anyone who wants to set up a law firm.

Another advantage is speed. Unique Solutions Legal, the first law firm created using the Bamboo platform, took only four weeks to set up.

Pause for thinking

Pandemics have brought technology to the heart of our lives, but it has also slowed us down. It’s worth taking the opportunity to consider how we interact with technology.

This idea was expressed in a recent episode of the NPR podcast FreshAir by Sherry Turkle, a professor of social research in science and technology at MIT. She described the technology pandemic experience as a time limit, a term from anthropology that refers to the transition period between boundaries.

The rules have been broken and Thakur said he has the opportunity to reassess what he really needs. This is what we have now. This is your chance to come back without being surprised by the technology. [rather] Reassess the virtues of relationships and act more cautiously in our relationships [technology] It’s no longer just a tool.

When it comes to legal technology, this means assessing whether goals or priorities are best achieved by technology or by other means such as collaboration. One such example is oneNDA, which ultimately reduces the use of technology and increases productivity.

Club together for oneNDA

OneNDA was born when Electra Japonas and Roisin Noonan of The Law Boutique realized that lawyers were spending a lot of time creating and verifying confidentiality agreements. The oneNDA initiative is to bring the legal community together to create a universal, standardized NDA that provides commercial protection without unnecessary delays.

Legal technology is investing heavily in AI and automation, but we probably need to take a step back first to consider what we want to achieve and want to save time, says Japonas. As a community, if we agree to standardize the documents we use most often, we will review fewer documents.

Japonas broadcast the idea of ​​oneDNA on social media in February. When she received a positive response from her connection, she launched a website and wanted 100 companies to sign up to work with a Universal NDA. On March 1, she applied for 331, and the number continues to grow.

“Legal technology is investing heavily in AI and automation, but you probably have to take a step back first and consider what you want to achieve.”

Electra Japan

OneNDA aims not only to save time, but also to add clarity and minimize potential friction between the parties starting a business relationship. There are plans to automate it, but Japonas is focused on keeping it simple. She recalls talking to a lawyer who started practicing before the company used the computer. Lawyers have found that NDAs become longer and more complex as word processing makes it easier to add and modify clauses. OneNDA aims to eliminate that complexity and regain the time of a lawyer.

There are AI tools for reading and analyzing long and complex contracts, but the main problem is that contracts are too difficult in the first place, says Japonas.

Her action-inspiring phrase brought together law firms, in-house lawyers, legal consultants, and legal technology vendors to collaborate on templates that save everyone time, effort, and money. This is an example of effective communication, collaboration, and preemptive negotiation, and is an important skill for lawyers to reduce the need for technical solutions.

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