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Another 2016 trend summary

This one is also from LegalTech about the top 5 items to consider for 2016 (subscription required). The 5 trends from the article include:

  1. going paperless
  2. communicating with clients through alternative means
  3. AI in a legal environment
  4. ditching the office to work at home
  5. technology to reduce malpractice risks

Increased reliance on electronic documents (#1) will continue for no reason other than necessity and portability of practice. How to communicate with clients (#2), that is always an interesting point. The focus here is on less face-to-face. Makes sense depending on the type of matter. The notion is that video conferencing continues to replace in-person meetings:

Video conferencing enables visual contact, which is one of the advantages of face-to-face meetings, while also allowing both sides to share information on the fly. Clients and attorneys are also familiar with text messaging, and both groups appreciate its simplicity and ability to get quasi-immediate responses.

AI (#3) has many promises. This area will be explored, but based on discussions we've had with experts deep in the field, beyond legal practice, this is not going to emerge in the next couple of years in the way currently imagined. Right now, it's categorization techniques at best.

I like the notion of working outside of the office (#4) for a number of reasons, but different from what is generally discussed. For me, it's a cost-containment idea to avoid escalating real estate costs. The point raised is true, but to me this will accelerate more because of cost-savings. The problem - long-term real estate deals for space. Joe Kelly writes:

Lawyers can successfully run a practice by working remotely, visiting client offices, meeting virtually and renting meeting spaces as necessary.

Reducing malpractice risks (#5), I just don't know much about this perspective. If decreased rates are represented by technology implementations (therefore greater enterprise profitability), this should be something that will be expansively pursued by law practitioners.