SDL legal

Why Now is the Time for Legal Firms to Embrace AI

Over the years the legal industry has witnessed many transformations, retreating away from traditional equity structures, empowering junior partners to grasp the opportunity to take leadership decisions including equal voting rights and shares in profit of the firm. The rise of the Alternative Legal Services Providers (ALSPs) industry has also set the scene for Big 4 firms and leading banks to offer legal services directly to their clients and new markets. This has created a vacuum in demand for bright and talented senior lawyers to join a brave new legal industry without the bureaucracy of traditional working practices. Fast forward a decade, and we find those traditional law firms still flourishing without much adoption of legaltech and a less comprehensive understanding of the efficiency and productivity legaltech innovation can generate.

How do you get a traditional sector to change overnight?

The start of 2021 is picking up where 2020 left off with the acceleration of digital transformation and automation platforms, such as e-Discovery and Machine Translation (MT) becoming hot topics for legal professionals, management teams and general counsel.

The consequences of COVID-19 have irrefutably raised concerns on how smart working with the implementation of legaltech innovation can be embraced by legal professionals, enabling their performance to become more streamlined and efficient, whilst considering the best recourse for their clients.

However, the benefits of implementing legaltech don’t come without concerns:

  • How might law firms engage with the right legaltech suppliers?
  • How will data security be managed and who will have access?
  • Is the legaltech platform able to integrate with our core systems?
  • Is the vendor flexible with both cloud-based and on-premise software options? 
  • How well equipped is our IT Team to embrace new legaltech platforms?
  • What are the financial implications of legaltech and the different deployment options available?

Early adopters of legaltech have embraced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and are testament to upsurges in productivity, simultaneously addressing growing pressures of working more efficiently, significantly enhancing client experience and enabling legal professionals to compete on price and quality. As the legal profession transforms, it will no doubt develop a strategic appetite with increased sophistication of how it engages and procures AI services for complex regulatory matters.

With 2020 firmly behind us, there has been an accumulation of investors seeking IPOs and M&A activity making 2021 an exciting and busy year head for legal professionals and general counsel, inevitably adding pressures of qualifying high volumes of due diligence over short periods of time, along with reassurances their data is secure working alongside AI vendors.

Legal professionals are seeking AI vendors who understand their complex ecosystem, offering cloud-based solutions with industry standard security protocols. But most importantly AI vendors who are willing to build long-lasting relationships with their firm.

Buyers of legal services demand greater efficiency and transparency and are forcing legal professionals to address cost cutting processes. In combination, AI will eradicate traditional flawed processes and systems allowing legal professionals to embrace the digital journey.

The combination of SDL and the RWS Group form the world's largest Language Services Provider (LSP), and we are proud to work alongside leading law firms and general counsel departments to drive usage of Machine Translation content services spanning 2700 language combinations. If you would like to learn more about our services, simply click here.