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Mobile Technology and Advancements Are Changing The Landscape In The Legal Industry
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Mobile Technology and Advancements Are Changing The Landscape In The Legal Industry

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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 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.

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  • 1. 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
  • 2. 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
  • 3. 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 transcriptionists. 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.

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