4 Ways to Drive Legal Tech Adoption in Your Firm
In the fast-paced world of law, where accuracy and efficiency are paramount, the integration of technology has emerged as a game-changer. And, while some areas of law like mergers and acquisitions (M&A), have historically embraced and utilized technology due to the very nature of the work, other areas fall behind when it comes to technology adoption. In a recent webinar on this topic hosted by Caroline Hill of Legal IT Insider, Litera's own Josephine Good was joined by Shoosmiths LLP commercial partner Simon McArdle and commercial associate Dan Greatorex to discuss what's driving the adoption of technology in law firms.
So, what are some factors to consider when trying to have technology adopted into your firm's day-to-day practice? Below are highlights of what was discussed during the webinar.
- Addressing Pain Points
Every technological advancement is born from a need, and the legal industry is no exception. If no pain point exists, there's no purpose in adopting a new technology. Each panelist agreed that when developing a technology, vendors need to work backwards, first identifying a problem and then creating the proper technology to resolve it. For example, a decade ago, the introduction of Kira to the market marked a significant milestone in the world of due diligence and contract review. At the time, there was a glaring pain point in this crucial process. Kira's innovative solution brought speed, efficiency, and collaboration to reviewing contracts and other documents as part of the due diligence process, transforming it from a time-consuming and arduous task to a more streamlined and productive endeavor. Now, with the introduction of generative AI (GenAI)-powered Smart Summaries, Kira continues to lead the market in contract review and analysis for legal teams.
- Client Demand and ROI
For law firms, client demand acts as a compass guiding the adoption of technology. The technological solutions implemented must offer a clear return on investment (ROI) and address specific client needs. The integration of technology should not merely be driven by its novelty; instead, it must fulfill a genuine function or requirement. Simon McCardle emphasized that successful innovations stem from identifying client problems and friction points. In essence, while inventions arise from problems, as mentioned above, their widespread adoption is fueled by demonstrated client demand and a proven business model.
Introducing technology is one thing; ensuring its usability is quite another. A lesson learned from the unprecedentedly fast adoption of technologies like ChatGPT is that usability and reliability are paramount. Just as businesses and educational institutions set limitations on technology due to its occasional unreliability, the legal field recognizes that technology is a tool that augments human capabilities rather than replaces them entirely. The "invisible" integration of technology, where it seamlessly supports legal professionals' work, is key to its effectiveness. At Litera, we firmly believe that humans and AI work better together than either one alone, and it's crucial to find a solution that combines the power of humans and AI to streamline the business and practice of law and allow lawyers—and the business professionals that support them—to focus on their most impactful work.
- Setting Realistic Expectations
Perfection can be the enemy of progress, particularly when it comes to technology adoption within complex organizations such as law firms. Stakeholders seeking buy-in from various teams must understand that the pursuit of a flawless solution may hinder advancements. It is more productive to set clear expectations of what constitutes improvement and to evolve through incremental enhancements. Bolting new technological capabilities onto existing processes and refining them as you go allows for continuous innovation without waiting for a perfect solution that may never materialize.
The Explosion of GenAI and Adoption
Firms should approach AI with a strategic and cautious mindset, acknowledging its role as a tool rather than the ultimate replacement for other resources, including human expertise. While the transformative potential of technologies like GenAI is undeniable, it remains essential to recognize that human involvement remains crucial. As with any technological advancement, the adoption of GenAI must be guided by a thorough assessment of its return on investment, efficiency gains, and its ability to enable legal professionals to dedicate more attention to their core strengths. Reliability and accuracy are key factors to consider in ensuring that AI technologies align with the high standards of the legal profession to avoid high-risk errors.
Ready to learn more? Download our free on-demand webinar now for the full discussion, including FAQs, use cases, and more! And, don't forget to check out how Litera is helping firms amplify impact with our new GenAI capabilities.