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Why are law firms often slow to embrace new tech?

Sometimes lawyers can get a bad rap if they don’t adapt adopt to new technologies.

Sometimes lawyers can get a bad rap if they don’t adapt adopt to new technologies.

It’s true that the legal services industry hasn’t acclimatised to the trend towards increasingly digitised platforms and services. However, research by LexisNexis has found that a majority of legal professionals believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will affect their practice in the near future.

For some other industries this shift is already well under way.

The conveyancing industry is undergoing a digital transformation in Australia. e-Conveyancing, or PEXA, has already been rolled out in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.[1] Lawyers have had to adopt new technology as part of these changes as electronic property settlements and document lodgement becomes mandatory.

Lawyers are cautious by nature as the legal industry is highly regulated. Lawyers must meet rigorous professional standards and are unlikely to adopt products if there are any concerns around reliability, security, or efficiency.

All industries are aware of the importance of security. The protection of private data is of increasing concern as the risks of data collection and aggregation grow. LexisNexis’s research shows that legal professionals believe stronger data privacy protections and guiding ethical frameworks help to mitigate the potential risks of AI.

If technology is efficient, helps deliver better service to clients, and meets regulatory requirements and security concerns, lawyers are more likely to adopt it. If not, traditional ways may prove the more popular choice.

Already, according to market research conducted by GlobalX and the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA), 80 per cent of law firms have experienced an increase in productivity through the adoption of new technology.

In order to continue this positive trend developers need to create products that help lawyers do their job better.


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