Just a couple of years ago speaking about legal tech would make you doubt. Today everyone knows that lawyers can pave their way only if they maximize efficiency and productivity. Some cutting-edge apps have left a way for no alternative if you want to make the best out of legal practice. We are going to cover certain areas and give you some hints of where to look for them.
Quick access to information and sharing the data have become an absolute necessity. A lot of attorneys are utilizing cloud-based applications to access, review, edit and send necessary documents.
Cloud applications include:
- Legal practice managements apps
- Document management and cloud storage apps
- General purpose cloud-based apps
- Private cloud apps.
Legal practice management apps are cloud apps run in a web browser, unlike server-based practice management apps. They help to manage clients and contracts, calendars, to-do lists, documents, time tracking, accounting, client portal.
Some of the favorite legal practice management apps used by law firms are:
Document management and cloud storage apps help you store and manage documents. Dropbox, Google Drie, and Microsoft OneDrive are solutions to just store documents in the cloud.
But document management apps do more than that. They do document indexing for fast search, comparing document versions, tagging/profiling/categorization, document check-in/check-out, email management, local sync with offline access.
Here are some of the popular document management apps:
General purpose cloud-based apps are useful for any business. Such apps include accounting, time/billing apps, communication apps, productivity based apps, etc.
Law firms can use the following general purpose cloud-based apps:
Private cloud apps are apps that law offices can run on server/desktop. Law firms run private cloud apps using software that would otherwise not be available on the cloud. The advantage of with apps is that they are much secure. Today they can also be run in a private cloud, accessible from anywhere with no servers required. Law firms access their private cloud via a virtual desktop. There is no need to use on-premise servers, but law firms can keep the software they’re committed to.
Here are some popular private cloud apps:
Contract Management and E-signatures
Since lawyers are heavily involved in contract management, contract automation is something that saves a lot of time. It mainly consists of having a template with blanks for some other party to complete. The party fills in the blanks, and the document is ready.
There is also a great tendency towards signing and saving important documents electronically. As lawyers are heavily involved in contract management, signing, saving and management contracts by online solutions has become increasingly common.
Here are top e-signature apps:
- Adobe Sign
- KeepSloid Sign
Legal Analytics relates to drawing conclusions that can be made based on a set of legal data. Typically, these conclusions are based on statistical analysis. These are some of the companies that perform legal analytics:
Leveraging professional network
Finally, there are a lot of startups out there that help you find clients or jobs. It has become extremely easy to find fellow attorneys to cover appearances for you.
Here is an app for finding court appearance attorneys.
AppearMe is a web-based and mobile software (just like Uber, Postmates and many others) that helps you find appearance attorneys in real time. It takes less than a minute to find the attorney you need through a 100% automated app. AppearMe is a unique platform that lets attorneys access hundreds of appearances daily. It is one of the advances that legal tech offers today.
In short, today legal work involves a lot of automation for efficiency and accuracy. No person can handle vast amounts of data which becomes possible by tech applications. Legal tech is not going to replace lawyers but will profoundly alter the way legal services are handled from discovery to legal search to the creation of briefs and legal analytics.