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Embracing Innovation to Unlock the Future of the Legal Industry

By Alejandro Esteve de Miguel Anglada.


In today's rapidly evolving world, technological advances are reshaping industries and revolutionising the way we work. Fortunately, the legal profession is no stranger to these changes. As the CEO of Bigle Legal, a leading company in Contract Lifecycle Management, and with a background as a corporate lawyer advising major corporations, I have witnessed first-hand the state of innovation in the legal sector. In this article, we embark on a journey to explore the evolution of technology, delve into the latest trends and groundbreaking innovations already existing in legal tech, and highlight the opportunity that AI presents to the legal industry.


Myth-busting: Technology is Already Making Inroads into Legal Departments


Often known for its traditional and conservative nature, the legal sector has undergone significant change in recent years. Technology has been a driving force behind this change, with numerous advancements aimed at streamlining processes, increasing efficiency and improving client service. Gone are the days of relying solely on paper-based documentation and manual research.


Today, legal professionals have access to a wide range of tools and technologies that enable them to work smarter and more effectively.


Legal tech companies are developing innovative solutions that address the unique challenges faced by legal professionals. Document automation tools have revolutionised the creation of legal documents, reducing the time and effort required to draft contracts, agreements and other legal documents. These tools use templates and pre-defined clauses, allowing lawyers to create accurate and consistent documents with just a few clicks. This not only saves time but also minimises the risk of errors and inconsistencies.


In addition, e-discovery platforms have transformed the way legal teams deal with the vast amounts of electronic data involved in litigation and investigations. These platforms use advanced algorithms to analyse documents, emails and other digital records, enabling lawyers to quickly identify relevant information and make informed decisions. Using machine learning, these platforms continuously improve their accuracy, making them indispensable tools for efficient and cost-effective legal processes.


We cannot forget about predictive analytics tools. Advancements in technology are driving the development of predictive analytics tools specifically designed for the legal industry. These tools leverage historical data and machine learning algorithms to forecast legal outcomes, assess litigation risks, and even predict judges' decisions. By analysing patterns and trends, these tools can help lawyers make informed decisions, optimise litigation strategies, and allocate resources more effectively.


The list of technologies is long, and we are often tempted to look even further into the future for more and more innovation. Personally, I believe that innovation is an unstoppable force and we should embrace it as an invaluable asset. But when it comes to applying innovation, solutions that address key concerns and are already transforming an industry that has historically been inflexible and conservative.


So let's appreciate the solutions that the legal sector has at its fingertips. The spark of innovation has already been lit, and not only will this make them more efficient, more secure and better at their jobs, but it will also bring them several steps closer to the business, the place where they belong.


Current Technologies to Address Historical Concerns


Solutions that enable seamless collaboration and remote working, while making operations more efficient and secure, are the current game changers in the legal sector. Those platforms offering secure storage, version control, and real-time updates, fostering efficient teamwork and enhancing productivity, are set to mark a turning point in the legal department.


Data security and privacy are paramount concerns in the legal industry. With an increasing amount of sensitive information being stored and shared digitally, legal tech solutions have focused on robust security measures to protect client data. Advanced encryption protocols, multi-factor authentication and secure cloud storage have become standard features of legal tech platforms to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of client information. In addition, legal tech vendors have taken a step forward by certifying themselves as secure solutions for the world's leading corporations.


Legal professionals can now access their documents and collaborate with colleagues from anywhere in the world, breaking down geographical barriers and enabling global legal practices. And they can do so securely, in compliance with these safety standards, with full control over documents and legal transactions. This is an evolutionary leap that legal departments in large organisations are already enjoying, thanks to solutions such as Contract Lifecycle Management.


Another historic concern within the legal sector is the control of information, the elimination of errors and the precision of the content. It is an industry dedicated to detail, with professionals striving to perfect every aspect of their work. Today's reality, however, is more pressurised than ever, with lawyers overwhelmed by a sea of cases, internal requests and legal documents to approve. While the commitment to excellence remains, today's technology offers two unprecedented opportunities for improvement.


On the one hand, in terms of efficiency, technology enables each lawyer to handle a greater number of cases and provide them with the level of detail they require, without neglecting the less important ones. It is a way of driving the work of the department, meeting the numbers without losing sight of the excellence of a job well done. It also eliminates the human error that was prevalent in traditional methods.


On the other hand, there are technologies that allow lawyers to integrate their work with the power of the data at their disposal. Technologies such as Named Entity Recognition (NER) help lawyers extract data, generate reports and monitor all processes within the legal department from a bird's eye view. In the business world, what isn't measured doesn't exist, so having a tool that makes this task easier is a real game changer in today's world.


AI: Technology that Broadens the Horizon Even Further


As we have seen, the legal profession today is full of opportunities to enhance its work thanks to technology. However, I have already said that innovation is key and I believe that it is never healthy to turn a deaf ear to novelty. Even less so when it comes in the form of a tsunami. Yes, I am talking about artificial intelligence (AI). It is the technology that everyone is talking about and has created so much excitement worldwide. Let's see why the legal sector, like all other sectors of a company, should start to consider its use.


Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to play a central role in shaping the way legal professionals practice law. With a boom that has left no one indifferent, IA and machine learning algorithms can analyse vast amounts of legal data, extract relevant information and provide valuable insights for case strategies or contract negotiations. Natural language processing (NLP) capabilities enable sophisticated contract analysis, allowing lawyers to identify risks and opportunities efficiently.


Some may view AI as a threat to the legal profession but it is, in fact, an incredible opportunity to enhance and expand the industry. AI-powered legal tech solutions can handle routine and repetitive tasks, such as contract review and due diligence, freeing up lawyers' time to focus on higher-value work that requires critical thinking and creativity. This enables legal professionals to deliver greater value to clients, provide more strategic advice, and tackle complex legal challenges. Moreover, AI can quickly identify relevant cases and extract key insights, saving lawyers countless hours of manual research. AI-powered tools can also help lawyers stay updated with the latest developments in their practice areas, ensuring they have access to the most current legal information and precedents. With LLM (Large Language Models), lawyers will be able to summarise, translate or generate text based on knowledge of large amounts of data, enabling them to produce legal documentation and legal research more efficiently.


Another significant trend is the integration of AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants. These intelligent tools can respond instantly to common legal queries, assist in legal research, and even automate simple legal tasks. By leveraging natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, these chatbots can engage in conversations with clients, provide preliminary legal advice, and help streamline the initial stages of client intake.


Reimagining the Way We Practice Law


As we have seen, we have a horizon full of innovation ahead of us, both in terms of current tools and those yet to come. In any case, we have seen that technology has brought a lot to the sector in recent years and we have a favourable scenario that has nothing to do with what it was 20 years ago. Right now it could be said that the legal industry is standing at the precipice of a technological revolution, and embracing innovation is key to unlocking its full potential.


As we have explored in this article, the state of innovation in the legal sector is rapidly advancing, and technologies like AI are poised to shape its future. By embracing legal tech solutions, legal professionals can streamline processes, improve efficiency and deliver exceptional client service. The future of the legal industry is bright, and those who embrace technology and adapt to the changing landscape will thrive in the era of digital transformation.


So, let’s seize this opportunity, reimagine the way we practice law, and unlock a future where innovation and legal excellence go hand in hand. By embracing technology and leveraging the power of AI, the legal industry can deliver enhanced services, promote access to justice, and usher in a new era of efficiency and effectiveness. The time to embrace innovation is now, as we unlock the full potential of the legal industry and shape its future for the better.

 

About the Author

Alejandro Esteve de Miguel Anglada is Co-Founder and CEO of Bigle Legal. He is a corporate lawyer with a Master’s in International Business Law. After working at the prestigious Spanish law firm Roca Junyent, he wanted to start a solution to meet a need that he experienced firsthand. Dedicated to business consulting for large companies, Alejandro realised that the excessive time spent on repetitive tasks was compromising the productivity of his daily work, making it inefficient and unsafe. He found that the market lacked a solution and decided to create it: he founded Bigle Legal with his brother Sergio, in order to automate those repetitive tasks of drafting contracts and documents that every day occupy much of the work of a lawyer. #AlejandroEstevedeMiguelAnglada #legal #innovation #legaltech #digitaltransformation




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