The concept of law has been around since the days of ancient Egypt and King Hammurabi in Babylon. But these days, the technology used to practice law is a little more sophisticated than inscriptions chiseled into stone slabs. In fact, the biggest legal industry trends revolve around how technology is reshaping the way attorneys do business. Don’t expect anything to change in the new year, either. Here are the hottest legal technology trends to look for in 2019 and how they could impact personal injury law firms.
Legal tech is all about AI
It seems you can’t swing an iPhone these days without hitting three people talking about AI. Artificial intelligence has been widely deemed a revolutionary force, with promises that it will change everything from transportation and manufacturing to the way we buy groceries. This wave is already having an impact on the legal profession, and AI is expected to continue as one of the biggest legal technology trends in 2019.
AI and machine learning look to shape the way attorneys work in a number of ways. For starters, more law firms are employing smart chat-bots on their websites that can help potential clients by answering questions and gathering information. Some experts predict that AI will increasingly factor into discovery as well, helping law firms analyze and review documents.
AI could also help automate mundane tasks, workflows, and other standard business processes. Overall, AI and big data analytics are expected to help lawyers achieve better insights into cases, identifying connections and correlations to generate more predictive outcomes.
As the technology is still evolving, it remains to be seen which AI-powered activities will become commonplace for personal injury law firms. But with such a wealth of potential, AI looks to be a steady yet ever-changing force in the legal profession in 2019 and beyond.
Virtual law firms
Technology in the digital age has created a strange paradox: we’re more connected than ever before, while simultaneously becoming untethered from physical constraints and geographic limitations. More connectivity with fewer connections. It’s a contradiction, but a productive one. It’s also why, in 2019, some personal injury law firms could forego brick-and-mortar locations altogether, instead of operating completely in the digital space.
Virtual law firms make sense, considering how new technology already allows lawyers to work from anywhere they can get an internet connection. With texting and email, communication is never an issue, and legal documents are accessible from any connected device. This is especially true for personal injury law firms that use a powerful platform like CloudLex®.
With CloudLex, attorneys can manage all aspects of their ongoing matters and business needs from anywhere using cloud-based technology. CloudLex effectively puts your entire law firm at your fingertips, no matter how far away you are from the office. It’s technology like this that will empower more law firms to go virtual in 2019, continuing one of the top legal industry tech trends.
Community and collaboration
Just as technology is changing the way individual lawyers work, new innovations will also improve collaboration between attorneys and even between separate law firms. Experts predict new technology will make collaboration easier, allowing lawyers to edit and share documents more freely within their teams. Better information sharing will make it easier to achieve the best possible outcomes for clients.
But technology also promises to increase collaboration outside the law firm catering different practice areas as well. New online communities will create networking opportunities that could help big or small firms generate referrals and make important connections.
CloudLex is already leading this legal technology trend with its Referral Engine app that allows attorneys to build a productive legal referral network quickly and easily. With these kinds of powerful innovations, collaboration — not a competition — looks to be one of the biggest legal technology trends in 2019.
Optimizing law firm performance
You can have the best technology in the world, but if it doesn’t actually improve your law firm’s performance, what’s the point? Legal technology companies realize this and are working hard to develop solutions that truly benefit your bottom line. In 2019, expect new technology to empower better data analytics, forecasting, case management and reporting to help your law firm achieve target results. What these solutions will look like depends on the individual technology provider and the specific challenges being addressed, but better law firm performance will certainly be trending in 2019.
New technology means new ways of doing business. For personal injury law firms, that may mean greater automation and business insights with artificial intelligence, the abandonment of physical offices, enhanced collaboration, increased referrals, and better performance management. But following these trends will only get PI law firms so far.
Technology is always changing, and attorneys will need to continually evaluate their needs and capabilities to keep up with the competition. Personal injury law firms that adopt cloud-based practice management software will be well positioned to truly leverage new technology and capitalize on the latest legal technology trends.
Do you want your personal injury law firm to be at the forefront of legal trends in 2019? Schedule a demo of CloudLex, the Next-Gen Legal Cloud®, and we’ll show you how you can be a leader in 2019 and beyond.