Legal Industry Technology Report 2018
Technology has affected many industries through the last few years. There are a few industries that come to mind quickly such as the cell phone industry and the television industry. It is obvious these industries have benefited tremendously from advances in technology.
Take Apple for instance. Their latest smart phone model Iphone X (latest since the writing of this article) is a perfect example. Sold for $1,000 each, a ballsy move many experts criticized. Per an article on theverge.com during the 1st quarter of 2018 Apple sold 77.3 million iphones X.
People will pay whatever it takes to have the latest and greatest of these gadgets. It’s only normal that technology would help advance systems in other areas, including the legal field.
How Others In the Legal Industry Are Adapting
Companies like Divorce in Florida Online have fully taken advantage of the courts technology advances. Their whole business proposition is to assist pro-se divorce filers to file their divorce documents online, and if possible help their clients obtain a divorce final judgement without going to court. They are not alone in this business landscape though, there are many other websites offering the same type of services, including some law firms.
This Was Then – This is NOW
Just a few years ago law firms would hire people or companies to file cases in court. Back in 2012 when the “foreclosure boom” happened so did the court delivery services industry.
They would go to court on a daily basis with carts loaded with documents. Many documents were to file with the clerk of court to evict people from their homes. These individuals would be at the courthouse all day waiting for the clerk to finish docketing each case, only to return the next day to do it all over again.
The clerks would be working non-stop to accurately record new cases, stamp each page requiring the case number and enter in the computer the information required such as the petitioner and the owner names and addresses.
Now, most courthouses around the United States have online court document filing.
The legal field is usually last to take advantage of technology advances. It took many years for states to implement efiling. The State Congress had to approve the budget. Then contracts had to be reviewed and granted, and new processes and procedures implemented.
How Courthouses Are Adapting
Most courthouses have adapted to the advances by providing extensive training and updating the configuration of the workplace. Current clerk of courts offices have more staff on the “back” versus dealing with the public than a few years ago. At least in the State of Florida attorneys are required to use the e-filing system to file civil and family cases, and many pro-se filers are filing their documents also in the eifling portals.
How Law Firms Are Adapting
Many law firms have adopted by hiring administrative staff that can handle the efling process. Since documents no longer need to leave the office just to get a case number, court couriers are no longer needed.
How Consumers Are Adapting
While with any new technology, there is a learning curve with efiling. Most consumers attempt to efile however they quickly find out that it’s a little more complicated than just scanning documents and uploading them.
How Technology Is Affecting the Legal Industry In General
In general, the legal industry has historically being paper intensive. After cases were litigated it was not rare to have boxes stored of motions, copies of supinas, evidence and other regulatory documents. In the past it would take a long time to review a case in order to find a document. Being that most documents are now electronically stored, there is no need for this.
Hiring has also being affected since more staff is needed to work on efiling every day as a full time job. This is true in the clerk of courts as well as in law firms across the United States.