Legal Industry and Information Technology
Like all other industries, the legal industry is not isolated from the enormous changes in information technology over the past decade, and the challenges and opportunities it presents. If anything, the changes are more important for law firms and departments because information management is the core of what they do - consultation with customers, colleagues or experts. Increase the requirement of compliance and regulation by solving through an ever-expanding sea of law and case law dealing with outsourcing partners; Keep up to date with recent developments or manage a mountain of material files.
Perhaps the most significant change of the legal service industry decline in lawyer relationship.
Recently, there has been increased competition, and changes in the underlying market structure. There has been a continuing trend of the decline in lawyering. Traditionally strong relationships between law firms and companies persist, with more companies choosing domestic legal departments or dealing with the best deal. Another important trend is the increasing convergence of the legal markets, where competition is likely to come from a company in another state or abroad, from a local company. These and other developments exert more pressure on legal firms to become more efficient, and it is imperative that lawyers spend their time analyzing information, rather than organizing or managing it.
Drivers of Technology Adoption of legal companies
Technical Opportunities - The main driving force for increased use of information technology from legal companies is the development of the technology itself. New technology and greater bandwidth provide great opportunities in information management, productivity and remote collaboration. Information can be transferred over the Internet with greater certainty. And unlike, by the way, law firms can access this technology at no cost and the need to set up specialized IT departments.
In 2004, Forrester Research Inc estimated that around 39,000 legal jobs would have moved outside the country by the end of 2008.
Outsourcing / Offshoring - Legal companies are now increasingly open to legal process outsourcing of tasks that they traditionally held close to - research, transcription, coding and even legal research and drafting of legal documents. It is common to see a NY-based law firm, subletting research work to a team of professional lawyers and lawyers in Bangalore, India. This enables companies to reduce costs and concentrate on key legal functions. But it also requires a greater need to communicate, collaborate and monitor how outsourcing providers work hundreds or thousands of miles away. Security is also a problem, as service performance often requires access to regulated consumer information or other sensitive data.
In 2004, almost 60% of lawyers worked at several office companies and over 10% of lawyers worked on companies with ten or more offices.
Geographic Diversification - As mentioned earlier, there is a clear movement towards several office companies, with offices spread both nationally and globally. US-based companies now serve many foreign customers or serve foreign interests with domestic customers. There was a significant presence of international customers in even the smallest law firms with 1 to 20 lawyers. There has also been a plethora of global mergers and acquisition of law firms during the new millenniums. All this requires a greater need for communication, cooperation and information exchange between branches.
Regulatory Compliance - Since the Sarbanes Oxley Act came into force, record management has become an important requirement. Organizations are required by law to retain certain documents for predetermined periods. The amendments to federal civil court proceedings entered into force on December 1, 2006 and apply to all companies involved in disputes in the US Federal Court system. The changes mean that companies are prepared for electronic detection. Companies must drastically change how they conserve, download and produce electronic data.
Competition comes from companies spread throughout the country and the world, as well as consultants and advisors who traditionally were not considered to be part of the legal industry
Competition - Due to the relationship between the relationships and a stop to trade with customers, companies can not afford to be self-esteem anymore. In addition, competition is likely to come from the opposite end of the country or the world, from local businesses. Competition also comes from other quarters, consultants and advisors who provide services that were previously the task of the jurist. In this arena of intense competition, lawyers have to double up as a rainmaker; networkers (legal business development) in addition to traditional roles.