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Top Trends Reshaping the Legal Industry in 2022: Lawyers and Clients in a Time of Change

published February 08, 2022

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The legal industry is in a state of constant change. It's no secret that the profession has been undergoing some major shifts in recent years, with technology changing how lawyers interact with their clients. But it's not just about people using computers to do their jobs - there are also new innovations for law firms, courts and legislatures. Our world is changing at breakneck speed, so we've put up this collection of the top legal industry trends to help you stay current on what's most important for your business.

Practice law with ease and confidence knowing these top trends reshaping the global legal markets:


Virtual lawyers are here to stay.

The first trend that we're seeing is that more people are turning towards online attorneys. Virtual law offices have now been made more popular by the work-from-home arrangements because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual calls to clients are here to stay although in-person consultations have returned. It is important to deliver legal services online as the market remains lucrative for this approach.

Boost client service by providing more legal information online.

Clients these days would like to do their own internet research especially if they are doing retirement planning. We're seeing a rise in interactive and educational websites among legal firms, not just for marketing purposes but also to provide relevant resources to the public at large. People want answers that they can find on their own time and with a lawyer's help if necessary; all without having to pay expensive fees or travel long distances. This is called a more client centric approach. Relevant legal attention by using a helpful legal concierge 24 hours a day, seven days a week can help law firms improve client services over the internet. Discovery of your legal services online will also good for legal practice if it includes relevant internet research for legal cases.

Lawyers will have to immediately adapt to new innovations.

Legal practices need to be more accessible - lawyers themselves are going to have to start adapting if they want to stay in the game. With so many law school graduates coming out with crushing law school debt and the persisting health risks posed by COVID-19, it is possible that people will look towards online legal and professional advice for their needs instead of face-to-face consultations.

The American Bar Association's new definition for Legal Tech reflects the increasing impact on legal practices delivery by technology-related services provided outside traditional law firms. Legal practice professionals need to be open to new innovations in order to thrive without compromising a client's trust and confidentiality. Large legal firms, such as Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins, have seen benefits of outsourcing C-suite services like recruitment and employment. To increase the efficiency of legal processes, many law firms like Kohler Legal aim to reduce stages in the procedure by adopting new technology in their law firm workforce structure.

Legal professionals will continue to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to expand their operations and skills.

Artificial Intelligence, or AI for short, refers to the capability of a computer program or robot that allows it to think like a human. It is expected that lawyers will be using more online chat bots as well as interactive websites powered by Artificial Intelligence in 2022. The use of AI sounds daunting but help is readily available to traditional law firms willing to adapt new technologies to further enhance and expand their innovative solutions for the long haul.

Lawyers need to upgrade client experience with value-based services in 2022.

The year 2021 was a turning point for small to large law firms' workforce structure. Practicing law, primarily specialized legal services, saw the need to take on a systematic legal process management approach that improves internal efficiencies and client services transparency. In 2022, the legal landscape calls for more transparency in terms of contract drafting, costs, alternative fee arrangements, secured payment portals and litigation support that guarantee better client experience, manage and maximize client expectations to gain higher satisfaction ratings.

The legal industry workforce will expand its back-office functions remotely and in the cloud.

Legal market outsourcing is a key trend since the start of 2017. Some functions such as paralegal work and research had become more common in the past four years. According to the ABA 2020 Legal Technology Survey, 58 percent of law firms have stored their legal documents in the cloud for easier and more secured access anywhere, any time. The number of law firms shifting to cost-effective SaaS and cloud hosting solutions will increase further in 2022 and beyond in order to provide tailored services for clients world-wide.

Getting more tech for operations will save you more.

The second trend supports law firms' use of more technology for internal purposes as well. Lawyers don't just have to worry about things like printing costs, tedious filing to storage any longer. Online intake forms for case evaluations are now saving time for lawyers and clients alike. Plus, there's all kinds of other practical considerations related to office space and employee workflows for the existing workforce that can be streamlined through some simple technological upgrades or changes in business practices that could generate more client value and savings for legal practitioners.

Expanding your law firm's online presence should be part of your goal for 2022.

For example, many lawyers are now working remotely from home offices instead of spending time commuting back-and-forth between an office building every day. This way they're saving gas money but still getting plenty done (it must help that they're not spending their time stuck in traffic, either).

Whether you're a lawyer at an established law firm or you're new in the legal field, improving the efficiency of your law practice through technological and professional innovations for each client is vital in the digital age. Having a law practice that's ready to compete in the marketplace of 2022 will help you stay ahead of your competition.

It is now critical to review a law firm's workforce structure because of these emerging areas of law that demand deeper knowledge of local laws in other jurisdictions. The legal process outsourcing lawyers are looking for ways to improve efficiency and are now more open to diversity inclusion and gender equality policies in the legal field. Global judicial bodies will require a broader commitment and participation to programs such as the Mansfield Rule Certification in the year 2022 and beyond. The #MeToo movement has also raised awareness that equality also covers areas of law. The legal practice would need to reassess gender equality policies further, train employees for further diversity and inclusion in the workforce in order to thrive in 2022.

The broader market laid down by online legal ventures have opened new doors to better talent acquisition strategies, shape legal practices and offer comprehensive solutions to prospective clients.

Embracing e-discovery innovations will generate more clients.

The third trend on our list coincides with the use of electronically stored information such as instant messages, e-mails, e-calendars, voicemails, graphics and other forms of data that are acceptable in litigation. Recent changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have made it necessary for digital litigation support to be made a priority.

Courts are finally starting to embrace e-discovery innovation. It's important for lawyers dealing with litigation cases to be able to review all of the documents related to a case quickly and efficiently - which means being prepared ahead of time. A broader commitment to cyber security and client centric approach as value added services will also be highlighted in the years to come.

The future for law firms is bright, thanks to internet-based resources.

It's critical to have an efficient and secure electronic process for the growing practice of obtaining legal support services from outside sources in order to save money while improving efficiency. New talent strategies for recruitment and hiring of paralegal staff and legal researchers will make legal tasks and legal processes more efficient and eligible to tailored pricing models. Legal process outsourcing could be tapped or offered by law firms on a lookout for new business in the new year.

It's time we all started getting used to the idea that not everything can or should be done through face-to-face communication. Instead, law firms are turning towards more tech solutions to handle things like depositions and discovery which will save them money in the long run.

One law firm that has adjusted to this new wave of technology is Jones and Associates, a leading law firm in New York City. They've gone completely paperless and have been able to cut back on expenses such as printing costs because they no longer need paper copies of their legal documents. Nevertheless, legal documents stored in the cloud still means a layer of online security that law firms have now considered vital in their operations to assure client confidentiality.

The demand for lawyers with high-tech skills is going up.

We're seeing a fourth trend in law offices related to technology - which is that more law schools have been adding classes on topics like cyber security and digital forensics to teach available for e-discovery and trial technology.

As technology continues to advance at an exponential rate, it's important that players in the legal field stay on top of their game in practicing law and providing professional advice.

Offering legal services directly from your law firm's website instead of just relying on referrals from other lawyers or law firms is essential in the legal industry going forward. Preparing for new technologies is essential in the legal field these days.

In 2021 law schools began offering courses in advanced legal tech skills, such as e-discovery and using cloud computing platforms for data storage. This trend will continue into 2022 because law students are being taught how to harness new technologies so they can work together with other lawyers in the virtual space and in law offices where there are many people who need to work together closely on a daily basis. In a market of uncertainty, new legislation and rapidly changing industry standards, you'll need to have an eye for detail. On the judicial side, lawyers must be able to assess complex legal questions in a split second while weighing out different considerations and mitigating impact on their clients or causes.

Technology is reshaping the legal industry.

The law industry is facing many changes in the next few years. There is plenty of room for innovation. Big law firms, which are more adept to international and business law are beginning to open to technological innovations and are willing to accept some appropriate changes to increase productivity.

Another important trend that we're seeing in 2022 is how technology has not only created new opportunities for lawyers, but other service providers who brought about changes to legislation and court proceedings. For example, there are now online courts allowing people access to their day in court without having to travel or undergo COVID-19 testing.

The legal industry is in transition into an era of more efficient data management and law firms that adapt quickly will be the ones standing out from the competition. Accounting law firms could take advantage of the blockchain technology further.

Legal industry professionals will be using more blockchain technology.

Blockchain, also known as distributed ledger technologies (DLT), is a secure and decentralized method of storing data in a transparent manner that offers real-time verifiability for legal service providers to verify transactions occurring on the network. Taking advantage of the blockchain to improve legal technology could be your way to expanding towards the global legal services markets.

Blockchain technology could also give way to alternative fee arrangements that could include e-payments and even cryptocurrency fees for large law firms involved in legal tech.

Technology has become an essential part of our world today. With technological progress accelerating at an exponential pace, it's critical that individuals stay up with the latest advancements in order to harness this expanding power for the global legal industry.

Law firms will tap emerging virtual and augmented reality tools for training and court proceedings.

Legal offices into more efficient data management could adapt quickly and could compete more openly.

Part of the legal industry's expanding array of services will include secured legal data management, comprehensive research solutions and augmented reality case management.

Law firms should not be afraid to adopt the latest technologies in order to be more efficient. Evolving SaaS solutions for the legal industry are now available to get the job done at a timely but efficient law practice.

It's critical that legal firms keep up with the times since the law is a dynamic and changing field. Virtual reality (VR) technology, which allows customers to experience what it would feel like to sit through a trial themselves before going to court so they can better understand their case is now a good alternative.

These new IT solutions are part of the comprehensive solutions that could meet higher client expectations in 2022 and beyond not just in the world of business law but in the legal market.

A work life balance will be at the core of the legal industry outlook in 2022 and beyond.

If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught citizens world-wide--it is to attain a work life balance that prioritizes one's health and well-being.

Another important trend in the legal profession in 2022 is keeping a work life balance among lawyers and staff after a challenging pandemic year. With COVID-19 not fully resolved, lawyers should be mindful about keeping a work life balance to avoid burnout.

Priorities at work have shifted dramatically across the global legal markets and has shape legal practices anew. Today, health and safety is a must-have for businesses of every size. To survive the era of the great resignation due to COVID-19 anxiety, your legal practice should be more open to flexible employment practices that can still get the job done.

It is important for law firms and legal organizations to take note of emerging trends to remain competitive, relevant and efficient amid these challenging times. 

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published February 08, 2022

( 4 votes, average: 4.8 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.