From computer automation taking on administrative tasks such as filing and invoicing to advances in artificial intelligence that streamline client intake and provide information on legal options, technology continues to transform the legal field.
Zapproved compiled a history of 15 ways that technology has transformed the legal field using information from legal news, scientific journals, and technology reports. The story focuses on specific technologies or technological milestones that have been used to make researching, filing, managing, and litigating cases more accessible and smart, such as predictive analytics and automated case management.
Technology began playing a role in the legal field in the mid-20th century. In the early 1950s, dictation machines were marketed to law firms for the first time, making it possible for lawyers to record notes for their assistants or secretaries to type at a later date. A couple of decades later in the 1970s, law firms began using computers and LexisNexis, an online information service, which changed the way legal teams performed research to prepare their cases.
Today, with big data it’s possible to forecast likely outcomes of cases and make data-driven decisions that bring the most benefit to clients while keeping costs down. Video conferencing and productivity apps allow for dispersed law firms to collaborate while the same blockchain technology that cryptocurrency is built on allows smart contracts to be exercised seamlessly and securely.
Keep reading to learn more about how technology has transformed the legal field and what the future may hold.