With no industry immune to the transformative effects of advanced technology, the legal profession is going to witness developments in processes, regulation, and collaboration as a direct result of new industry technology. The adoption of computer programs is capable of taking away many of the monotonous, administrative tasks such as reviewing terms and conditions, or the tedious analysis of discovery documents that lawyers once had to spend valuable time performing. AI can sort and analyze enormous amounts of data at an unprecedented speed, leading to faster discovery. AI can also make valid predictions of actions following a thorough analysis of data. AI technology is so innovative because it does much more than reviews – instead, these programs can understand legal data and provide lawyers with information and trends they can use to decrease risk and make better-informed case decisions. The legal industry as a whole has lagged a bit in moving toward the cloud. More firms will make a move in 2019 as more applications move to the cloud. Many core legal applications are either migrating to the cloud or at least offering a cloud-based option, including popular tools like SmartAdvocate or iManage Work 10. Cloud solutions are ideal in this industry because lawyers are always on the go and need access to their files from remote locations. With mounting issues and awareness of cybersecurity, one solution becoming more and more prominent in the legal field will be that of blockchain technology. Data and information on the blockchain are completely traceable and impossible to hack. Beyond security, this advancement will be pivotal for lawyers for other reasons too, including its creating of smart contracts, in which legal documents will be verified and stored with authenticated, traced signatures, and chains of custody. This year, more and more firms are expected to adopt new tools to increase productivity and improve profit margins. Some standard process-driven technologies include tools for bookkeeping and timekeeping, document automation, client communication, template management, and billing. Just as technology is changing the way individual lawyers work, innovations will also improve collaboration between attorneys and even between separate law firms. Experts predict new technology will make cooperation more comfortable, allowing lawyers to edit and share documents more freely within their teams. Another significant advance is the adoption of analytics and technology-assisted review (TAR). These tools differ from a linear review process by focusing on the most relevant documents first. TAR uses machine learning algorithms to predict the relevance of a report by applying a learning model and then ranking the records according to their likelihood of significance so that documents that are unlikely to be relevant need not be reviewed or can be reviewed using less expensive resources.
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