Will Apps, Robots and Chatbots Replace Your Lawyer? We Check Out the Growing Digital Trends Changing the Way Legal Advice Can be Received
Digitization of the legal industry has been somewhat slow and hesitant. Its current prevalence, however, has become more common than ever before. As technology continues to evolve and people increase their reliance on this digitalization, most things, including the way we access legal advice will change.
We have looked at the three key ways access to legal advice has changed in the last few years. While you may not have known some of these existed, you will likely see them becoming much more prominent in the coming years.
Most people are already familiar with the role of a chatbot. This automated tool appears on websites, often popping up instantly asking if you need help finding anything. Chatbots offer automated responses to the feedback you have provided and aim to direct your enquiry to a certain area or person of expertise. Law firms have taken this technology one step further. Depending on the advancement and style of the firm, businesses have and can use chatbots to make client-lawyer meetings, provide generalised legal knowledge or let people know whether their situation requires further legal knowledge.
While the legal information provided by the chatbot is input by legal specialists, it acts as a means to process enquiries and direct requests. It further enables confidentiality and makes some people feel more comfortable than dealing with a lawyer directly.
There are currently a variety of legal chatbots on the market that can analyse contracts and provide you with an overview of the key legal points and relevant legal documents based on your situation as well as help generate legal contracts.
So could a chatbot take over the role of a lawyer?
At the moment, this seems unlikely. While chatbots can help decrease the generalised tasks of lawyers, the bot must still be fed information from a legal professional. This ensures any information remains correct and the legal practitioner will likely be held liable in the case of misconduct.
The evolution of legal apps in recent years has been phenomenal. Current apps on the market enable you to do things such as find relevant lawyers in the area, compare potential legal fees for your case, break down law commentary and wording or even learn how to negotiate or mediate a situation. While these tools may not completely remove the role of a lawyer, they can help people better understand their situation and what they’re signing up for. Further, they also give clients the option to consider various legal quotes before actually committing to one specific person.
While the current app market is not on the verge of removing the profession of lawyers, it offers some great opportunities for potential clients to gain a better understanding of their options and legal standing before consulting a lawyer.
Robots are currently being used in some legal professions to analyse and structure data and generate and analyse contracts. This is a similar technology as can be seen in some apps but it is helping lawyers manage large caseloads. In some cases, Robots have already been capable of analysing data and court decisions and generating likely future outcomes based on this.
While the use of robots in the legal profession is one of the newer trends, there is still immense room for development. Robotic analyses of cases and decisions is not as prevalent as chatbots and apps, however, it is something that could have an immense influence on the role of lawyers and the legal profession as a whole in the future.
Like most things in life, the role of the legal profession will continue to become digitalized and will likely continue to undergo immense change compared to the way in which we once saw it.