Login | September 25, 2020

Future trends for the legal biz after the pandemic

Technology for Lawyers

Published: August 14, 2020

If we live through this and attain any state of normalcy, the legal business will have undergone numerous changes.
The most obvious change will be the permanent transition of legal services delivery to a more online set of services, including attorney-client relationships, court appearances, attorney conferences, document collaboration, and more.
But there are also less obvious changes afoot. The great Neil Squillante of Technolawyer recently broke down five of these over-the-horizon, under-the-radar changes.
First, he says that AI-based legal writing is “closer than you think.” There is a mega- Silicon Valley backed AI document/code generator called Open AI that legal document companies like Casetext are using to add that capability to their doc production. The idea here seems to be that if document companies can easily onboard AI capabilities rather than have to develop their own, that AI will more quickly and easily permeate that infrastructure. Makes sense. And it could happen in the background before most people know what’s going on.
Next, he thinks that web-based document generation that creates Word documents is harkening the “golden age” of legal document production. While there are several of these services, a startup called LexWorkplace (https://lexworkplace.com/) is dedicated specifically to legal documentation. You could check that out, as well as DocMoto and DocsCorp.
Third up, and as I covered a couple of columns ago, legal conferences are now going online, with great cost benefits to attendees and displaying companies alike, as well as the likely health benefits of not hanging out in the bar all night.
Next up, Squillante throws a bone to our favorite iPad-in-the-law purveyor, Brett Burney (hi, buddy!). About a third of Technolawyer subscribers currently run Macs in their businesses, but he sees an real uptick in this space because Apple is seriously increasing the power in Macs by going to a different kind of processor. Seems esoteric, but I’d never bet against Neil knowing his marketplace.
Finally, and speaking of online document creation, Google Docs and other services may be monitoring your document output for violation of its terms of service. Some bot does this, and you can be locked out of a document if the bot has a problem with something you write. This has happened numerous times, in fact. So be careful out there.