Technology has changed the practice of law – from the way legal teams prepare for trial and present cases, to how they communicate with clients and colleagues. This article looks at the impact of technology on the legal profession.
Mobile Technology and Advancements Are Changing The Landscape In The Legal Industry
Mobile Technology and Advancements are Changing
the Landscape in the Legal Industry
Technology has changed the practice of law – from the way legal teams prepare for
trial and present cases, to how they communicate with clients and colleagues. This
article looks at the impact of technology on the legal profession.
Technology has changed the practice of law – from
the way legal teams prepare for trial and present
cases, to how they communicate with clients and
colleagues. With the new technological
advancements, a lawyer’s office room with
thousands of case files piled up in shelves is a
vanishing image; now it’s more of a paperless
room with the case files stored away safely in digital format.
Whether it's for drafting documents, trial preparation, creating visual presentations at trial,
registration of cases, knowledge management for improving the law practice, conducting
research, or communicating with clients, the latest technologies are helping lawyers provide
better representation to their clients and enjoy increased productivity.
In this competitive era defined by technology, it is crucial that attorneys stay productive and
successfully manage their practice. Advanced technologies for videoconferencing, presentation
technologies, online document storage and real time court reporting have become the norm in
the new law office.
Innovative Technology Trends in the Legal Industry
Lawyers are adopting innovative technologies ranging from knowledge management software to
cloud computing for practice management, and voice recognition software for easy
documentation. Mobile computing is also on the rise among legal practitioners managing busy
practices. Smartphones are by and large the most popular mobile device in use. According to
the latest Legal Technology Survey 2013 from The American Bar Association (ABA), 85%
lawyers use mobile devices in their law practices, of which 91% use Smartphones, 62% use
iPhones and 48% use tablets. Usage of mobile apps such as Fastcase, Westlaw and Lexis are
also increasing among lawyers.
Cloud computing technology positively benefits
lawyers and their clients. Lawyers are
increasingly taking advantage of all that cloud
computing offers their busy law practices. The
survey also reports the rise in usage of cloud
computing software among lawyers. 31% of
lawyers are using cloud computing to access
their data anytime, anywhere. Cloud computing
software can assist lawyers with practice
management, document management and collaboration, data back-up and storage, time
tracking and billing management, and digital dictation. 46% lawyers say that timing and billing
capability is the core functionality of cloud software followed by case management, document
management and calendaring.
With voice recognition software, lawyers can convert their recorded notes and comments into
documents quickly without the delay involved in transcribing the dictated notes. The software
takes the human voice and converts it to text. Designed specifically for the legal community,
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Legal12 from Nuance is said to provide records three times faster
than manual typing, speeding up document turnaround and reducing transcription costs. The
manufacturers claim high level accuracy as the major advantage of this speech recognition
software, compared to other tools. It delivers up to a 20% improvement in accuracy compared
to Dragon 11.
Legal Transcription in the New Era of Technology
New speech recognition technologies come with more capabilities but cannot fully replace a
human transcriptionist. There are many factors that affect even advanced speech recognition
software. These include the challenge involved in transcribing similar sounding words such as
for instance “wear” and “where.” Other problematic areas are dialects and accents, and speaker
variables such as speech quality, emotion and stress. Thus the files that are transcribed using
speech recognition tools need not be accurate. Considerable editing may be necessary to make
them accurate. Here comes the demand for experienced legal transcriptionists. Professional
legal transcribers are armed with a good knowledge of legal terminology, legal systems and
legal procedures. Unlike a machine, human transcribers will have a clear understanding of what
they are transcribing and will therefore produce more accurate and sensible transcripts.
Another important consideration is the interpretation of punctuation marks and the speaker’s
tone of voice that are highly relevant when transcribing phone calls, interviews and
interrogations for legal purposes. These can be incorporated only by experienced
It is apparent that legal transcription will continue to have relevance in the new age, assisting
legal professionals in developing their case. Accurate transcription of audio and visual data as
well as transcription service for legal letters, briefs and general correspondence provided by a
professional legal transcription company will surely reduce the workload of lawyers and
attorneys, allowing them more time to practice law. Reliable legal transcription companies can
also provide their clients with the latest technology advantages saving the money involved in
incorporating the latest technology in their law offices.