Innovative legal tech trends shaping 2024 for lawyers

  • 12 Jan 2024
  • 3 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Waceera Kabando

In transforming the legal sector, legal technology is automating processes and enhancing the provision of legal services by streamlining legal operations, increasing the department’s visibility, and adding value to the organisation.

Briefly, the areas to be on the lookout for include Artificial intelligence and machine learning; Legal design; Legal analytics; Regulatory compliance solutions; Collaborative legal billing; Enhanced legal project management tools; and No-code and low-code process automation.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

To better understand the two, artificial intelligence refers to the general ability of computers to emulate human thought and perform tasks in real-world environments, while machine learning refers to the technologies and algorithms that enable systems to identify patterns, make decisions, and improve themselves through experience and data.

These will be integral for legal research, contract review and drafting of legal documents. Advanced AI algorithms can process vast amounts of legal data, enabling lawyers to access relevant information more efficiently and make informed decisions.

Legal design

This is the use of human-centred design principles and methods to improve the usability and accessibility of legal services and products, such as re-designing contracts, simplifying templates, streaming processes, and using interactive playbooks.

Rather than looking at law through the lens of a lawyer, legal design considers how the layperson perceives law and how it can be redesigned to better meet their needs.

Legal design can operate at various levels within the legal industry. Visual design is the most obvious example of legal design in practice. It involves transforming the way information is presented to users in a way that resonates with them best. Contracts and other legal documents are a great example of this.

Process design is another branch of legal design that can be leveraged to improve the experiences of lawyers and those who work alongside them. Legal design principles can be applied to legal processes to identify pain points and provide user-centric, intuitive solutions to inefficient workflows. One example of this is the process used to enable commercial teams to self-serve legal queries and documents.

Legal analytics

Metrics and analytics continue to identify potential issues, such as predictions about contract risks, compliance breaches, and litigation outcomes, giving room for better risk management and strategic planning.

Regulatory compliance solutions

As lawyers increasingly engage in cybersecurity, actively contributing to the development of a company’s cybersecurity strategy, there is hope for more sophisticated tools for data protection, breach response and compliance with data and privacy laws, which are integral for in-house legal teams responsible for safeguarding company and customer data.

Recent history has shown that point solutions and manual processes are simply not agile enough to quickly adapt to technology and regulatory change.

Collaborative legal billing

Platforms set for legal billing can help the concerned parties manage engagements and fee arrangements, track legal spending in real-time, discuss billing issues, and ensure that invoices align with the agree rate cards.

Enhanced legal project management tools

This is essential for budget tracking, workflow automation, and resource allocation.

No-code and low-code process automation

No-code is a method of building software applications without the use of programming languages. Instead of writing code, we can use tools that offer features in a graphical interface for fleshing out our application’s functionality.

Low-code involves a level of programming knowledge that isn’t required in no-code development.

This makes routine tasks such as data privacy compliance, document generation and contract review faster and less prone to human error.

Conclusively, the trends in LegalTech are aimed at offering systems that are deeply integrated into the business, enhancing decision-making and risk management of the legal industry. The legal industry, often labelled as a technology laggard, is gearing up for a shift as we enter the new year. When navigating change, one thing is certain: lawyers who embrace change will be the ones leading the way, and those who fail to adapt might find themselves left behind.