Staying Ahead 5 Legal Industry Trends To Watch in Future

Staying Ahead: 5 Legal Industry Trends To Watch in Future


Change is the only constant, and this holds true for every industry, including the legal industry. Law firms are adopting new technologies and workplace models, allowing them to meet their client’s requirements in an efficient manner. Legal firms are shaking hands with artificial intelligence, social media, cloud-based software and remote working to stay abreast of the latest. To stay competitive and thrive in the future, legal firms are getting on board with many legal trends. Let’s take a look at these legal industry trends:

Legal industry trends

1. Growing Importance of Cybersecurity

Legal firms have started using cybersecurity software to protect their clients’ information which includes financial information, information related to the case and personally-identifying information. Lawyers are now adopting cloud-based solutions like Dropbox and Microsoft 365 for storing and sharing files. According to a study conducted by the American Bar Association (ABA), the use of cloud-based software saw a 10% rise in 2022 due to the prevailing trends of hybrid and remote work. But here’s the catch. This shift brings with it some cybersecurity concerns. 

Currently, only a few per cent of lawyers are using standard cybersecurity protocols like local data backups, to safeguard their data stored on cloud-based services. The ABA study revealed that only 29% of lawyers have taken the time to review ethical opinions concerning cloud computing. Therefore, there is a high possibility that 2023 may witness a surge in ethical complaints due to inadequate cybersecurity practices.

In the near future, more lawyers may start spending their budget on cybersecurity software to safeguard against data breaches and hacks as issues related to cybersecurity can have devastating impacts on the firm:

  • The firm may experience a hit on its reputation due to inadequate legal technology. 
  • It may likely suffer financially as well as clients will lose trust in them. 

2. Automation of Legal Workflow 

Law firms complete their tasks in a certain manner. While some require deep expertise, there are some repetitive tasks too. For such tasks, automation is an option which saves a lot of time. 

Undeniably, many tasks in legal firms require human intervention but firms can automate numerous tasks,  including:

  • Basic intake processes
  • Initial screening procedures
  • Collecting and verifying contact information
  • Generating basic agreements, contracts, and other documents
  • Legal marketing initiatives

As lawyers save time by automating these tasks, they become more productive, hence providing top-notch legal services. 

Automation also allows risk mitigation. While humans can make mistakes, tasks done through automation can produce error-free documents. 

3. Increased Adoption of Blockchain Technology 

We all have heard of blockchain technology almost everywhere. It has the power to disrupt every industry worldwide because of its ability to store information transparently. 

Increased adoption of blockchain technology allows legal firms to store and validate records of transactions. Lawyers do not need to get buried under heaps of paperwork now. There can be a wide range of ledger-based activities in the legal industry, from UCC filings and chains of custody to court records, property records and funds transfers. 

Law firms can use blockchain technology for the following:

  • Chain of custody: Chain of custody refers to sequential documentation that accounts for the sequence of custody and control of physical or electronic evidence. Blockchain technology can eliminate the risk of evidence being tampered with or altered. It offers traceability by generating an immutable record whenever anyone interacts with the evidence.
  • Intellectual property: Blockchain technology can address all the challenges that the intellectual property (IP) industry faces, from copyright safeguarding, to royalty payments and management.
  • Smart Contracts: By incorporating smart contracts into their processes, lawyers who frequently review numerous contracts daily can free up valuable time for more complex tasks. Smart contracts, being encoded with the contract terms, cannot be modified, ensuring their integrity. As a result, the client experience is improved, and overall productivity is enhanced.

4. Rising Popularity of Hybrid & Remote Work 

Gone are the days when lawyers used to invite clients into their offices. That longstanding tradition is a thing of the past. From 2020 onwards, lawyers have started interacting with clients and offering legal solutions via video conferences. Both courts and lawyers are investing in technology to help create virtual offices. 

Law firms were initially hesitant to shift to virtual spaces because of the fear of loss of productivity and lack of access to crucial documents and information. However, with the emergence of digital and cloud-based tools, these fears have taken a back seat due to the advent of legal technology.  

Despite court appearances having mostly returned to their pre-pandemic norms, a significant number of lawyers are continuing remote work to some extent. Many private lawyers have the flexibility of choosing between working from home or their office. 

5. Focus on Employee Retention

The Great Resignation shows no signs of slowing down. As per the PwC’s Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey, one in five workers is planning to leave their job in 2023. 

The legal industry also experienced a noticeable impact from the departure of talent. To attract and retain skilled professionals, law firms must act swiftly. Providing flexible work options in terms of location and schedule can attract the emerging generation of legal practitioners, who prioritise achieving a healthy work-life balance and are less inclined than previous generations to pursue careers that lead to burnout.

The Bottom Line

The legal industry is undergoing many changes and this will continue for years to come. The change is not about replacing legal professionals but about adopting, utilising and capitalising on new skills to deliver top-notch legal solutions, thereby improving the client experience.

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