Artificial Lawyer asked a range of legal tech experts from across the market what they want to see happen in 2022, and they think will really take place next year. The interesting responses were published in two installments, with inter alia the following predictions made by VQ Founder Helena Hallgarn:
What would you like to see happen in 2022?
We would like to see a more developed market for legal services where we look at the delivery of legal services in the same way as we do with the delivery of health services.
There you can find different kinds of professionals and different kinds of services depending on your specific needs; you can contact your nurse for vaccination, your chiropractor for your aching back or your doctor for qualified medical expertise. In the same way you should be able to find different solutions and services to handle your legal issues, without always involving a lawyer.
This means we have to realise that there is a need for different competences. We need to understand that multidisciplinary teams do not mean a group of different kinds of lawyers (see Bloomberg Law’s Legal Operations Survey 2021) but a group with different competences outside law to complement the lawyers. The legal function can then include different kinds of professionals with expertise that includes computer science, project management, technology, data analytics etc. The purpose of this function is not to provide lawyers, but to provide accessible, cost-effective, predictable legal products and services that prevent and solve legal issues.
And what do you think will really happen next year?
During the last years, the enthusiasm about legal tech has been great and many law firms and start-ups have been talking about innovations on the legal market. Focus has been on tech solutions, on buying or building different systems, on teaching lawyers more about tech, on telling lawyers how they ought to change their working methods. Since it has been difficult to implement all these new solutions, we have heard about the need for more training to be able to use these different systems. Another response has been to focus more on Legal Design by approaching the challenge in the development phase.
In reality though, most initiatives have been about using tech to become more efficient in daily work. Therefore, we will see a move from looking at it as “innovative” to a more realistic look at these initiatives as regular business development, in the same way as businesses are developed in other industries.
Instead of being innovative in defining the need for a new system or solution, focus will be on the customer need. When we can define a business case based on a specific customer need, we have a much better start of the project. We can focus on an understanding of the user behavior and design a solution that supports that behavior. This way we will see much more tools and solutions that really can support and enhance the lawyer. These new tools might not even need any initial training since they are adopted for the users.
Some other especially notable responses were Kerry Westland, Head of Innovation, Addleshaw Goddard, who would like to see more clients successfully implement new contracting strategies, both using technology and using better drafting and process, and who predicted that we will probably see Litera buy a law firm next year, Lewis Liu, CEO and co-founder, Eigen Technologies, who would like to see law firms take a long-term view and actually disrupt their business models to transform the sector by using technology to benefit their clients, but who did not think this would happen, Maurus Schreyvogel, Head of Legal Innovation, Novartis, who would love to see a return on investment from all the tech investments in legal tech companies that we read about over the last 18 months, Electra Japonas, founder of tlb and co-founder of oneNDA, who thought that the future of law lies in applying and prioritising customer-focused design to ‘legal products’ (e.g. contracts or processes). In other words, I think that it will become mainstream for legal service providers (including in-house lawyers) to only put out contracts, tools and processes that are designed with the end user in mind, rather than taking a ‘by lawyers, for lawyers’ approach which is currently the status quo in most scenarios, and Kelly Harbour, Director of Client Relations & Innovation, Goulston & Storrs, Member of SALI and Changing Legal think tank, who would like to see increased adoption of standards across the legal industry in 2022, particularly with the upcoming release of the SALI Alliance’s Legal Matter Specification Standard 2.0 and the open API.
Read all predictions here: