How Technology has Transformed the Practice of Law Blog Post

How Technology has Transformed the Practice of Law

Over the years, the profession of law has experienced sweeping changes due to an increase in the usage of technology. Technology has transformed almost every aspect of how an attorney conducts his practice including legal research, client communication, document management and court appearances. The traditional image of an attorney being submerged in heaps of paper and surrounded by books has been replaced by applying state-of-the-art technology to deliver quality and timely services to clients.

This article focuses on some of the main benefits of using technology and some common pitfalls to be mindful of:


Benefits of Technology

1. Legal Research Tools

Technology has it made possible to access primary sources of law (Case Law, Statutes and Regulations) and secondary sources of law (Encyclopedias, Treatises, Law Journals and Periodicals) at the click of a button from a single legal research website such as Westlaw or LexisNexis instead of having to manually search through an entire law library. E- discovery platforms such as Reveal and Relativity have transformed the way relevant facts are gathered and processed. Further, generative AI tools make it possible to conduct nuanced searches, create summaries of documents with key points and spot legal trends, ultimately saving both time and human effort.

2. Document Management

Legal software and operating platforms like CLIO and Litify have made it possible to create an online profile for clients, track deadlines, organize client documents and court pleadings in a systematic manner. Consequently, this reduces physical storage and other accompanying costs such as printing and photo copying. This benefit is subject to certain exceptions including but not limited to those contained in certain statues, regulations and rules that require original physical documents to be retained or when destruction of an original document would adversely affect the client’s interest.

3. Automation

Technology based platforms are helpful as they can create fillable templates for commonly used documents. Additionally, automation by these platforms are beneficial for conducting routine administrative task such as time keeping, invoicing, and calculating financials in an efficient manner.

4. Marketing

Technology has revamped the way attorneys can promote their services online and create a positive reputation with the public especially during current times when so much work is being done remotely. Almost every attorney and law firm now has a website and can reach a larger target audience through the

website and social media presence. However, caution needs to be exercised to ensure compliance with the legal advertising rules and ethical obligations contained in the American Bar Association Rules and the State Bar Rules while advertising services online.


Pitfalls of Technology

1. Data Privacy Issues

One of the biggest concerns, with using technology is data privacy. There is always the risk of systems getting hacked and leakage of confidential data resulting in possible regulatory violations and legal actions for breach of confidential information. Attorneys need to ensure there are adequate systems in place to prevent this risk; conduct intermittent audits to ensure that the systems are working as required and upgrade their systems when needed to overcome new threats.

2. System Errors

Along with the many benefits technology brings to the legal field, the problem of computer glitches cannot be ignored. These are common and may impact continuous workflow due to data being lost and files backlogging while the glitch is fixed. Meetings with clients and court proceedings conducted through online video conferencing platforms like Zoom may also be disrupted due to technical issues. To deal with this, attorneys must incur increased costs for necessary technical support and regular backing up of data to ensure timely retrieval to avoid missing deadlines.

3. Reduction of Human Judgement

Overdependence on technology often leads to reduction of critical thinking by the human mind. Each case is different, and some have complicated legal issues involved. Technology based on algorithms which dispense with human judgement may not be perfect solution in every scenario. Importantly, the Rules of Professional Conduct require attorneys to provide competent representation to clients. Thus, overdependence on technology might result in a violation of the rules.


While technology has become an integral part of the practice of law and offers many advantages, it should used be along with human discretion to ensure it does not become a double-edged sword that might harm instead of helping.

Disclaimer: This article is prepared for information purposes only and should not be construed as any legal tax or financial advice or promoting any company.