According to the Chinese calendar, 2016 is the Year of the Monkey. And according to Rebecca Eisner, partner-in-charge for Mayer Brown in Chicago, it’s also the year cloud services move from being considered “disruptive” to a “standard, integrated part of [legal service providers’] offerings.”
Technology continues to be instrumental in the legal industry. It can help departments drive down costs and keep firms profitable. For example, the time- and money-saving use of a software’s features like timeline and legal holds as well as using technology-assisted review (TAR) for review. Adopting technology gives departments and firms a competitive edge. Chicago-based attorney Andrew Greene, President of Business Law Network agrees. In an interview about the pace of legal technology adoption, he commented about the primary reason his firm adopts technology, “It either [will] get us additional business or increase profitability on existing business.”
In addition to the changing perception of cloud services, Eisner discussed the expected increase this year in “use of cognitive computing systems for reading documents, creating summaries, and identifying variances.” In a recent Mayer Brown webinar on emerging technologies, fellow partner Brad Petersen added 2016 is also the year for an uptick in the use of “video, social media, advanced analytics and other tools both as evidence and as ways to verify compliance and performance.”
Other webinar highlights include that markets will reward “data-driven and digitally based business,” and that it’s recommended that lawyers who aren’t already familiar with “cloud services, automation options and emerging technologies” gain an understanding of them. Where to begin? Mayer Brown advises attorneys and paralegals to identify and separate work tasks into two categories: routine and unique value. By automating the routine tasks, a department or firm can increase its efficiency.
As partner David Masur said, looking ahead: “Clients will continue to turn to lawyers who have blazed a digital trail, but they will also source what we traditionally viewed as legal services from an ever-expanding list of emerging and digital technology providers.”