A new decade is upon us, and now that we’ve got the first month of the new year under our belts, we have a good sense of the trends that will be shaping the legal industry in 2020. As we continue into the rest of the year and beyond, you can expect to see the following issues impacting lawyers across the field.
Virtual, Remote & Paperless Are the Name of the Game
The days when being a lawyer meant being tied to an office full of files and books are long gone. Today’s lawyers are constantly on the go, handling all aspects of practice from anywhere and everywhere with the help of smartphones, mobile devices, and apps.
Paper files are increasingly being replaced by electronic files, with entire cases being run by iPad. This increased mobility has also led to a drastic change in the traditional legal work model, with more and more lawyers doing remote work or abandoning formal employment structures entirely in favor of freelance roles.
Tech, Tech & More Tech
The fact that technology now plays a major role in the practice of law is nothing new, but the uses of that technology continue to proliferate rapidly. Legal tech, particularly AI and machine learning, are continuing to find new and useful applications in every aspect of the law, from the most mundane to the most complex.
eDiscovery will continue to evolve as new file types constantly emerge, and deposition and trial practice will continue to be dominated by convenient new technologies like virtual depositions, real-time tools, native evidence capture, and online portal tools. As more and more Millennials join the legal workforce, we can only expect to see this emphasis on technology grow in the years to come.
Social Media Is Here to Stay
Once dominated by selfies and viral videos, social media has become a legitimate business tool. Lawyers are increasingly embracing the power of social media as a marketing tool while their clients are seeing social media become an even bigger presence in their personal and professional lives.
The increased prevalence and use of social media means that it’s also now a major component in discovery. Technologies capable of capturing social media activity for use as evidence will continue to evolve, and the rules regarding the use of social media in discovery and trial will continue to be refined. As all this happens, we can expect to see the ethical issues associated with the use of social media being more fully explored and established.
It’s All About Security
Few aspects of technology have dominated the headlines in recent years more than the growing threat of cybersecurity breaches. While technology has undeniably made the practice of law more convenient, it has also opened the door to all new security threats. More than one law firm has found itself in the spotlight due to security breaches.
Law offices are prime targets for would-be hackers thanks to the large amounts of confidential and sensitive information they handle every day. As technology evolves, so do the tactics of cyberattackers who want to illegally access that information. The defense against attacks needs to evolve with the threat, and we can expect the legal industry continue to devote even more money and resources to shoring up security, both to thwart hackers and to comply with a new regulatory landscape that prioritizes data security.
Staying on top of the trends that will dominate the new decade doesn’t have to be scary proposition. Veritext is a recognized industry leader in delivering today’s most cutting-edge solutions for court reporting and litigation. Our experts are on hand to help lead you into 2020 and beyond. Contact us today to learn more.