The practise of law is changing rapidly.
In the last 25 to 30 years, technology has significantly changed the way in which legal services are being provided and accessed.
Technology has changed the way legal services are delivered. Lawyers and paralegals rely heavily on technology in day-to-day practise. For example, they communicate with clients and others electronically, and use technology to create, store and file documents.
Technology has changed the expectations of clients. A recent study by the American Bar Association found that the majority of Americans now look for legal services online.14 The public has access to far more information (both accurate and inaccurate) about legal issues and legal services. The offer of legal and other services over the Internet has resulted in an explosion of self-help legal remedies available to the public.
Technology has increased the risks to the public posed by unregulated service providers.
Large clients are reducing their use of traditional legal practices through expanded in-house practices, legal process outsourcing and non-traditional legal practices, all enabled at least in part by technology.
The potential exists for lawyers and paralegals to use technology to better respond to consumer demands – for example, to develop new tools for interaction with clients, new options for online assistance combined with legal services, and new billing options such as fixed fees.
(Alternative Business Structures)