Nearly half of all respondents in a recent survey of junior lawyers didn’t know what LawTech is, and two thirds didn’t think it really affects their job.
But the majority saw the potential of technology to improve the delivery of legal services, with just over 70% believing that their area of law could benefit from technological advances.
The Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society of England and Wales (which conducted the survey) believes that poor understanding about LawTech is due to the lack of training and education on the topic. So, we at CrowdJustice thought we would put together a quick explainer on LawTech, in plain English: what it is, who does it and how it helps the legal sector to do business.
LawTech is an umbrella term which covers any company, product or service that aims to use technology to solve a problem to do with law, the legal system or the supply of legal services.
There’s some debate over whether we should call this developing sector ‘LawTech or LegalTech’. We’ll let you figure out which one you prefer - we’ve opted for the one with one less syllable.
Many different services fall under the LawTech banner. Here are just a few examples to give you an idea of how broad the category is:
Legal document management - software and applications which automate contract creation, drafting, signing and document review;
Online dispute resolution platforms;
Legal action funding solutions - like CrowdJustice;
Cybersecurity tools and encryption technology, like blockchain;
Data protection and regulatory compliance systems;
Legal news aggregators and current awareness tools - software and applications which compile legal news in one location for easy viewing.
New kids on the block
LawTech is a rapidly expanding field of business, home to a growing number of start up ventures, from slick contract management companies like Juro, to legal recruitment revolutionaries like Lexoo. Recent reports show that the UK tech sector is growing 2.6 times faster than the economy overall.
The field is so diverse that the organiser of the now-annual LawTech conference, Legal Geek, has created a London underground-style map of start ups showcasing the variety of LawTech platforms and products.
Why should I care about LawTech?
There's a business reason for understanding and using LawTech. Using technology well increases efficiency and drives revenue for lawyers. Common issues may be fixed with an easy tech solution. Whether you’re an established practitioner or an aspiring lawyer, it’s sensible to think about how you can use LawTech to optimise your career.
Or perhaps you’re someone who cares about wider social issues, like making sure that everyone who needs access to justice is able to afford legal representation. That’s an issue which LawTech can go some way towards resolving. We know that because that’s what CrowdJustice does.
Keeping up with the times
Technology is a powerful tool, making old systems work better and opening up new areas of work. The legal profession is catching on to its advantages, doing business more efficiently and making the justice system more accessible.
Are you a solicitor or barrister & want to stay ahead of the LawTech curve?
Keen to stay up-to-date with legal news?
Questions? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.