TECHNOLOGY IN THE LEGAL WORLD by - Debdeep Banerjee & Bijayini Namrata Patel
Legal technology along with digitalization has gained great recognition in the modern era that gives rise to improvement in artificial intelligence in the legal industry. Today, legal industry incredibly changed and traditional methods of hearing have transformed into virtual hearings. The transformation acknowledges about the reluctances of Indians to technology and digitalisation. Though the demonetization stepped into a cashless economy, it gives the idea of interference of technology in day to day life. This article is going to enlighten about the technology in the arena of law and the challenges and opportunities with predicted vital growth of leading legal tech firms in India. It makes it possible to resolve the pendency of cases and secure open justice due to the virtual hearing. The initiative made to merge law with technology opens the door for the firms for achievable vital growth during this outbreak.
Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, digitalisation, open justice, vital growth
Usage of technology and software to the arena of law suggests the literal meaning of legal technology. It opens the door for law firms to provide innovative polices of legal service throughout India in ease of doing business too. Legal tech also creates the opportunity for the smaller firms and sole practitioners to access research tools for the betterment of efficiency for progressive India. By the outbreak of pandemic of Corona Virus, the world has adopted new methods for the accomplishment of various economic activities in legal as well as the corporate world. The conference and seminar get transformed into video conferencing and webinars. People got acquainted by the Working from home, meetings via zoom, WebEx or skype. The lifestyle of people got digitalized, everyone has started adapting the technology to their respective fields.
In India, the legal system is being empowered by technology thorough digitization. The digital legal system is accessible easily and along with AI (artificial intelligence), generates useful information for the judicial system and legal professionals2. It ensures a quicker and more transparent system by several means. Research has become way more convenient and also accurate because of the development of multipurpose tech tools. India is still in a nascent stage in the adoption of legal tech but the changes are visible with 95% of courts going digital.
After the pandemic outbreak, the court proceedings were not stopped. To adjudicate the issues and disputes, the Supreme Court of India has enabled virtual hearings. Justice delayed is justice denied so constitution mandate to access justice to everyone, hence, a virtual court hearing is rolled out all over the nation.Microsoft, PwA portion of the major parts in the worldwide legal tech man-made brainpower market incorporates Blue J Legal Inc., Casetext Inc., Catalyst Repository Systems, eBREVIA, Luminance Technologies Ltd., MC among others.
Apart from this, legal tech creates a new opportunity for dispute resolution which is the bifurcation of ADR with Technology. Online dispute resolution (ODR) is a part of dispute resolution. It alludes arbitration, negotiation, mediation and conciliation. Today, ODR is highly recommended and preferred by the firms and people too. Apart from ODR, remote notarization is also a part of virtual hearings. It uses audiovisual technologies over the web. Due to the pandemic, it’s very difficult to conduct physical court proceedings. This current circumstance host constrained the gatherings and the arbitral courts to enhance and consider holding intervention hearings for all intents and purposes, particularly in a circumstance where it could be difficult to lead actual hearings because of movement limitations. Indeed, even the Indian Supreme Court and other High Courts of India have perceived the significance of virtual hearings and are directing hearings through video-conferencing for critical issues. There is, consequently, a solid driving force for discretion in the nation to follow the rules gave by different Courts and consider the utilization of innovation in leading mediation hearings distantly.
The virtual court holds the attention of jurists and its opportunity to the society make the jurist identify the thin line between open courts and virtual hearing. Undoubtedly, virtual hearing can hold all the potential towards the replacement of open courts to virtual hearing.
Leading legal tech companies in India
It is an online platform for end to end the legal dispute which need a resolution.
It is a practice management platform for attorneys, also works as a legal help marketplace where people can buy legal opinion and also chat with legal experts.
Cyril AmarchandMangaldas launched this legal tech with 3 Indian legal tech corporations under it as a part of its programme. This is a legal tech incubator.
It is a tech-driven that mainly focuses on VC and start-up scene in India. Having an innovative approach towards legal solutions it has plans to expand into consulting, mentoring and also accounting. Algolegal offers intelligent document management and advances virtual data rooms.
It was a part of the AmarchandMangaldas incubator programme. They have AI-enabled litigation, file management and research for lawyers.
It is a part of the Prarambh incubator, which facilitates an eSignature platform where people can use Indian identity number to make digital stamps and also sign contracts.
It is an AI-driven platform to create manage and also analyse contracts.
Benefits of technology in the legal world
The use of technology in the legal world have several benefits as it has automated the process as now the in house legal tasks are performed by legal software like word processors and eDiscovery software allowing attorneys to focus on more productive tasks. The legal research solution has eased the process of research also keeps lawyers updated with each change in the regulations. Previously junior attorneys were given the job of gathering, managing, processing titles and also to inform their seniors about their daily schedule. The legal title manager and calendaring software do the same work more effectively and efficiently allowing the senior attorney to allot the junior attorney with more productive work hence helping in resource management3. Introducing technology in the legal world has cut down the margin of errors that occur because of overlooking or misinterpretation of any fact but with legal tech solutions it allows practitioners to look at any evidence from different angles and use it in a better effective manner. Since law practices have always been confined to offline resources, clients have always been doubtful with every lawyer they connect. This outlook towards lawyers can change with the help of some of the legal practice management solutions these provide platforms where clients can chat with different lawyers and stay in touch in real-time with the best legal professionals getting to know their basic law requirements allowing them to partner with the right professional and increasing transparency in the process. Legal tech bridges the difference between lawyers and others and helps in understanding the common problems faced these days and provides with relevant solutions4. No doubt that legal-based software makes the legal ecosystem more convenient for everybody. The addition of AI has enhanced the quality of customer services in the legal sector.
Today, it is only possible because of the growth of technology in the legal arena. Legal Tech Artificial Intelligence Market gives a definite investigation of Market Overview. Likewise, Legal Tech Artificial Intelligence Industry research report incorporates the future effect of significant drivers and difficulties and, backing chiefs in production financially savvy proficient choices. As per Investigator worldwide. The worldwide Legal Tech Artificial Intelligence market is foreseen to increase at a significant rate during the figure time frame, in the range of 2020 and 20245.
Drawbacks of technology in the legal world
Like two sides of a coin the marvels of technology have been vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches, examples of such incidents are Facebook’s data breach and the DLA Piper cyber- attack. Such incidents act as sobering reminders that technology comes with its flaws. Even though with the presence of General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) in place cyber-attacks and data breaches will have adverse effects on legal firms. This questions whether the benefits provided by the legal tech is worth the risks.
Even though AI enables firms to work more effectively and efficiently reducing the cost, the safeguarding of information and technology and to employ a technology specialist could prove costly for law firms6. Also, small-town law firms do not have such huge capital to invest in this sector as these services, though are cost-effective in the long run, are a huge initial investment. In the era of massive technological advancements now question arose whether AI and legal tech would one day fully replace humans but the law requires a human touch and technology can be best used as a compliment that works alongside professionals in the day to day activities to provide best in class results7.
Our judiciary along with legal tech can be considered as a foundation to the new era and a long excursion towards innovation, which must be done responsibly with a positive mind-set. For efficient vital growth on both micro and macro scale lines, the role of legal technology is important in today’s technology-reliant world. We can conclude that both legal professionals and legal technology are symbiotically related to each other for a bright future.
1B.B.A.LL.B (3rd semester), 2nd year, KIIT School of Law, KIIT deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.
2Maulik Vyas, Legal-tech is disrupting Indian market faster than people’s anticipation: Arvind Singhatiya, founder LegalKart, Economic times (Dec 25, 2019, 01:34 PM IST), https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small- biz/startups/newsbuzz/legal-tech-is-disrupting-indian-market-faster-than-peoples-anticipation-arvind-singhatiya-founder-
3 Absolute Markets Insights, Global LegalTech Artificial Intelligence Market is Expected to Grow at a CAGR of More Than 37.7% Over the Forecast Period Owing to Digitalization Trend in Traditional Law Practices and Practioners, Says Absolute Markets Insights, PRNewswire (Feb 04 , 2020, 09:30 ET), https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-legaltech-artificial-intelligence-market-is-expected-to-grow-at- a-cagr-of-more-than-37-7-over-the-forecast-period-owing-to-digitalization-trend-in-traditional-law-practices-and- practioners-says-absolute-markets-insights-300998297.html
4PrateekSaxena,What’s the Role of Technology in the Legal Sector?,Appinventiv(Sept 11, 2020) https://appinventiv.com/blog/technology-in-legal-sector
5 Vivek Kumar, How Legal Tech Startups Are Looking to Redefine the Industry?,Industry Wired(July 29,2020),How Legal Tech Startups Are Looking to Redefine the Industry? (industrywired.com)
6LlyodLangerhoven, The Symbiotic Relationship Between Lawyers and Legal tech, Herbertsmithfreehills,(October 8, 2018)
7 Darrell M. West and John. R. Allen, How Artificial Intelligence Transforming the World, Brookings (April 24,2018)