New advances in the world of law technology have prompted many law firms and legal professionals to transform themselves to adapt to this new reality. Legal professionals now have to be proficient in database management and presentation, word processing, legal research software and more. Whether it’s courtroom operation, corporate practice or private firms, there isn’t one area that isn’t affected by technology. Here are a few examples:
Traditional invoices and billing are now being replaced by electronic alternatives. Electronic billing, or e-billing for short, is now slowly replacing paper invoices in law firms. Technology also plays a major role in law firm marketing, and law firms are using blogs, their websites and social media to reach more potential clients.
Case management is another area that has been transformed by technology. Electronic case management is now the norm and allows paralegals to store, archive and search legal documents easier than ever before. As a matter of fact, institutions like George Washington University have started integrating electronic case management as part of their online paralegal program to meet these new realities.
Technology has also made outsourcing much easier. It’s not unusual for firms nowadays to scan every piece of document and send them overseas for archiving. This relieves some of the staff on hand and allows firms to reduce costs significantly.
Courtrooms have also changed significantly over the years. E-filing, which allows legal professionals to file documents with the court electronically, is now becoming the norm and State and Federal courts are now using databases to post various court filings. This allows counsel to get access to various documents remotely. In addition to E-filing technology, courtrooms are now equipped with a variety of monitors and new equipment that make trial presentation much easier.
Technology is also having a huge impact on the job of legal professionals prompting changes in how online paralegal programs are thought. Technology is affecting paralegals and other legal professionals in many ways and they now have to master database applications that are specific to their particular practice area. They also have to use electronic devices and video conference tools on a day to day basis to complete tasks.
While law libraries are not a thing of the past, new technologies have made it easier for professionals to search information on previous cases. Huge databases are now at the disposal of lawyers and paralegals allowing them to search and pinpoint information about a particular case in seconds.
New federal legislation has increased the demand for tech savvy legal professionals. The new rules obligate parties to conserve every piece of document stored in electronic form, may it be text messages, voicemails, graphics, emails, etc. The process of producing and reviewing tons of data has led to new innovations in database management tools.
As you can see, technology is transforming the legal landscape by the minute. There is no telling what the future has in store, but one thing is for sure, and that is that the trend shows no signs of slowing down.