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How legal tech is helping change the practice of law across the world

Jeremie Eskenazi
30th May 2018
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Legal tech startups in the fields of AI, research, and notarisation tools are helping law professionals cater to clients in a more efficient and productive manner.

The advent of digitalisation and globalisation has led to great advancements in technology. From smartphones and digital watches to banking and virtual dating apps, technology has completely transformed life. Most businesses now use technology to keep pace with the highly competitive market. Legal tech is one such domain, and this is affecting the legal industry in a number of ways.

Innovation and the law

The introduction of technology in the legal space has a vibrant future. A whopping 2.81 crore cases are pending in the district courts of India. The main reason for the backlog is the shortage of judges and lawyers in the judicial system. Legal tech will clearly play a major role in the Indian legal space.

There are many legal tech companies that have bridged the gap between justice and legal help. Online legal services provide a range of online legal services to consumers and businesses. Legal tech players are functioning in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), research, and notarisation tools.

Affordable prices and easy access

The introduction of legal tech has made legal services easy to use and affordable. Till now, the legal industry was not regulated and the customers had to pay high prices for accessing any legal service. But legal tech has now made it possible for consumers to know pricing structures.

The legal documentation market in India is estimated at a whopping US$4 billion (Rs 27,146 crore). Legal tech startup like Wonder. Legal are capitalising on this market by providing high-quality legal documents priced between Rs 99 and Rs 999, which is far cheaper than the fees usually charged.

Not against the lawyers

Against common perception, legal tech is not against lawyers as legal tech companies/firms neither offer personalised legal advice nor go to courts. One will still need a lawyer to fight his/her case in the court.

Lawyers are professionals with comprehensive knowledge of the law. They not only have legal knowledge but are also adept at the application of the law. This is possible through years of experience in dealing with a multitude of cases and cannot be achieved with the aid of any technology. The attorney’s sagacity, wisdom, and legal acumen will always be of utmost importance in the legal profession.

Supreme Court Judge Justice AK Sikri has stated that AI will augment lawyers’ capabilities but cannot take the place of a lawyer as advocacy is a matter of emotions and human empathy.

Offering assistance

Legal tech is basically a tool to help law professionals cater to their clients in a more efficient and productive manner.

There are reportedly 17 lakh lawyers practising in India. The number is far too less when one looks at the requirements of people in our country. Lawyers are inundated with administrative work and paperwork that wastes valuable time. Legal tech can help them with routine activities like writing documents in a particular format or reviewing or managing documents. This would help save time and use human resources aptly. One such legal tech company is e-discovery, which allows users to gather data that can be used as evidence in a case.

Law is ever-changing, but so is technology. With time the number of laws in a country increases and so do the complexities of the law. As with every other industry, adoption of advanced technology transformation and innovative strategies in the practice of law will help ring in a social and economic change in the country.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.) 

 

 

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