How Technology has Changed the Practice of Law

The practice of law has been around for a very long time. As civilization evolves, so does our approach to practicing law. Nowhere is this more obvious than how technological developments, even just over the past few years, have changed how legal professionals approach their job. Here’s a few examples.

Electronic Document Filing Makes Life Easier for Lawyers

No one in the legal profession likes dealing with preparing and filing court documents. It’s a tedious, expensive process, made even worse by how absolutely crucial it is — even the slightest mistake can lead to the courts rejecting your documents. In some cases, the delays caused by having to re-file could cost you cases and clients, simply because someone put the wrong case number on a document.

Not so when jurisdictions accept documents that can be prepared and sent electronically. Instead of having to hand-deliver a stack of paper documents by way of a courier, law firms can upload PDF versions of these same documents. The time and money saved in doing so provide ample opportunities to ensure each document is thoroughly vetted before upload, thus reducing errors overall by a sizable margin.

Heightened Connectivity Democratizes Individual Access to Legal Professionals

Access to the internet is increasingly common as time and technology march on. Whether it’s a netbook, a mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet, or even just access to a friend with these items, individuals have the option to use the internet when it comes to pursuing a need for an attorney.  As a result, the ability to find and speak with a legal professional is much easier today than in years past.

People can use a search engine to find the address and phone number of a nearby law firm, read any pertinent online reviews, and then reach out to speak to a lawyer directly. In some instances, there’s no need to even leave the comfort of their own home. For instance, video conferencing technologies like Skype make it easy for those with mobility issues to still seek, and get, the legal aid they need.

Cloud Computing Makes it Easier to Work from Anywhere, with Anyone, at Any Time

Many legal professionals spend just as much time out in the field as they do in the office. Whether it’s meeting with clients, attending depositions, representing clients in court, or simply traveling from one location to the next, there’s a lot of legwork involved in practicing law. This meant that a lot of catch-up work needed to be done once you got back to the office.

Today, however, this simply isn’t the case. Being able to stay connected with your law firm remotely through cloud-based technologies means you don’t have to sync work done in the field once you get back to your desk. Uploading documents on the fly to a cloud-based server provides you have the access needed to work efficiently and productively and makes it easier than ever to collaborate with colleagues in real-time wherever they are.

There’s Even More Innovation on the Horizon

These examples aren’t the limit of how technology has changed how we practice law. New innovations on the horizon are sure to be even more revolutionary in ways that we might not even be able to predict. It might be uncertain as to what the future holds, but there’s one thing you can bet on: it’s going to change things even more.