LegalTech at the heart of the digitization of legal professions

alf article 19

In the age of digital, artificial intelligence and robotization, the world is evolving at a fascinating pace. To think that the very first email sent has just celebrated its 50th anniversary!

One figure illustrates this trend. According to a study published by Dell and the Institute for the Future, 85% of the jobs of 2030 have not yet been created.

And these transformations also concern the legal and financial professions. Whether you are a business lawyer, an accountant, a financial director or a notary, it is important to anticipate the disruptions brought about by LegalTech.

But what exactly is LegalTech? How will accounting and law firms have to adapt to this digitalization of their profession? How will it change their missions in the long term? We are going address all those in this article:

What is LegalTech ?

Before seeing how professions such as accountants or lawyers are digitizing with LegalTech, let’s have a closer look at what it is all about:

It was during the 2000s that the term legaltech, whose full word is “legal technologies”, appeared in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Thus, the term legaltech simply refers to technologies put at the service of the law. Some of these technologies are old and have simply not yet been exploited for the productivity of the legal profession.

On the other hand, disruptive technologies are emerging with the development of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies.

The type of services and technologies provided by legaltech can thus vary greatly and respond to a variety of issues. But productivity gain is almost always an essential component of legaltech.

Here are some examples of services that can be addressed by digital and new technologies:

  • search for the legal documents,
  • storage and automatic generation of legal documents,
  • electronic transmission of documents during proceedings,
  • connecting with external parties via a platform,
  • analysis of contracts and data,
  • analysis of court decisions for predictive purposes,
  • the creation of automated scenarios,
  • the creation of legal chatbots…

LegalTech can be used in both the B-to-B and B-to-C sectors.

The main recent evolutions of these new technologies concern their ease of use. For example, it is now possible to integrate complex automated scenarios without touching a single line of code.

But in a more or less distant future, these technologies could have a more profound impact on these professions. For example, there is already software that calculates the probability of winning a judgment and with what indemnities. Some Bots have already been created to answer basic questions in law. But in a few years, they will probably be able to answer much more complex questions.

To worry. This is certainly the first reflex that a lawyer or an accountant may have regarding the arrival of these new technologies in his ecosystem.

Will digitalization and artificial intelligence make these professions disappear?

Today, a lawyer’s main competitors are the 65,000 other lawyers in France (i.e. 1 lawyer per 1,000 inhabitants).

On the other hand, legaltech is often an incredible source of opportunity for accounting and law firms that are already integrating these changes into their organization. It is a differentiating element that you can use wisely compared to other lawyers or accountants in your area. Above all, it is preferable to prepare now for irreversible changes rather than to swim against the tide and try to continue using a “traditional” way of working.

On the other hand, the question arises more or less in the long run. The short-term evolutions brought by legaltech concern above all organizational changes and optimization within a law firm.

In the long-term, we can think that these evolutions will go more deeply into the nature of these professions. This is why it is important to start thinking now about the evolution of the legal and accounting professions. Support and advice will continue to grow in the future.

Thus, if it is obvious that the digitization of the legal and financial professions will disrupt these activities, it is above all an opportunity to positively evolve the ecosystem of these professions. But in order to succeed in this transition, which will happen no matter what, we need to prepare for it today.

LegalTech at the service of your clients’ satisfaction

If properly deployed, the integration of these new technologies will primarily serve the end client.

Indeed, one of the main benefits of legaltech (at least in the short term) is the amount of time and productivity gain it can optimize to these professions.

Here are some examples of opportunities that a service like Alfcan bring to your firm to help it gain in productivity:

  • Automate up to 80% of time-consuming and low-value-added tasks,
  • Reduce validation time by 60% between the different parts of a file,
  • Reduce time spent on drafting by up to 90%,
  • Minimize redundant phone and email contacts through the use of a single, common platform,
  • Facilitate internal research and thus make all employees more efficient,
  • Make knowledge sharing more efficient…

On average, a service like the one offered by Alf frees up one day of work per week. This can help you reinvent your services to your customers and bring them more added value. For example, it can be an opportunity to develop your services in accompanying and consulting.

In this way, you will become a pioneer in your field of activity and will start to prepare yourself for structural changes in your business over the longer term.

A firm that has already made the switch to digital is more profitable

This is true for both your communication and the organization of your firm.

The most profitable accounting and law firms are those that have already integrated digital developments.

The productivity gains offered by legaltech will help you boost your profitability while preparing your missions for tomorrow.

Don’t forget that the technologies provided by legaltech are not intended to replace the professions of lawyer or accountant. But it is clear that clients’ expectations of these professions will change in the years to come. It is only by preparing yourself today that you will be ready for the transformations of tomorrow.

If you are not familiar with technology, don’t panic. The majority of solutions deployed within legaltech today require no technical knowledge and no coding on the part of the end client.

Thus, we have seen that the legal and financial professions will evolve strongly in the long term due to their digitalization and the automation of many time-consuming tasks. But this concerns all the professions that exist today, regardless of the field of activity.

Nevertheless, in the short term, legaltech is already a reality and it is above all a great opportunity to gain in productivity and to increase the added value brought to the final clients.

It is now possible to create automated scenarios that allow accounting firms or lawyers to complete a task in record time.

But how can we use these new technologies to help these professions to re-invent themselves and bring even more satisfaction to their clients? And how to prepare for the more distant developments that new technologies will bring to these professions.

The first element of the answer we have provided is advice and support. Re-investing the time saved on time-consuming and low-value-added tasks by replacing them with better follow-up and more consulting support is certainly a good idea.

We hope this article has helped you move in that direction and better understand the challenges ahead for lawyers, accountants and other legal professionals.

If you’d like to learn more about the opportunities This Is Alf (Alf) can bring you, request a full demo of our service.

We’ll be happy to show you how our customized workflow platform can help you increase productivity and your efficiency.

Lawyer for 20 years with international law firms and worldwide companies (Canal+, PwC legal, Nomos, Amazon) I had experienced this observation from the inside: too much useful time wasted to regularly monitor on recurring tasks and time-consuming linked to files, with low added value.
It is to respond to this critical problem that Alf, the first platform for the automation of legal files, was designed and developed.
Customizable, collaborative and accessible in all languages, Alf is also part of a GreenTech approach that encourages responsible innovation by reducing your carbon emissions.

Sabine Zylberbogen
Registered lawyer and Founder

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