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How Technology Is Changing the Legal Industry

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Law Firms

Technology has dramatically influenced marketing and business practices across professions, including the legal industry. In recent years, especially since the pandemic, lawyers and law firms have leveraged new technologies to boost efficiency, gain data-driven insights into client preferences and behavior, and enhance online visibility.

Read this guide to learn about the impact of technology on the legal sector. We will discuss artificial intelligence (AI), client communication technologies, and new marketing and business development strategies.

How AI Has Revolutionized Legal Practice

The recent introduction of AI language model-based systems — such as GPT-3 and GPT-4 — has reshaped legal services in several ways.

Writing Tasks

AI technology tools have made writing tasks much more cost-efficient for law firms. Previously, law practices had to hire legal operations assistants, legal administrators, summer students, and research lawyers to draft, edit, and execute documents. However, fewer employees are now needed for writing tasks because managing lawyers and other core legal team members can use AI to quickly produce initial drafts, advance arguments, locate relevant case law, and anticipate arguments advanced by the opposing side(s).

Notably, AI has simplified the process of drafting complex legal documents that require a high degree of customization. Before the rise of AI, these documents consumed significant time, energy, and money. Examples include litigation documents, contracts, legal summaries for clients, pitches for creating client pipelines, visual aids for trials, and responses to interrogatories.

Legal Research

Machine learning (ML), a subset of AI, has enhanced the efficiency of legal research. Thanks to ML algorithms that analyze and predict data, computers can now learn without explicit programming. These algorithms create models from sample inputs to make data-driven decisions or forecasts (rather than relying on fixed program instructions).

Machine learning legal research tools let attorneys dig deeper into research by finding connections between seemingly unrelated topics, locating related insights, and providing suggestions for additional search queries. They can also fix errors in search terms to help lawyers find relevant cases and statutes more efficiently.


Law firms have also been using AI technology for eDiscovery. Short for electronic discovery, eDiscovery is a type of digital investigation that seeks evidence in business communications, email, and other data that may be used in criminal or civil proceedings. It involves scanning electronic information to gather non-privileged information relevant to a claim or legal matter.

Traditionally, eDiscovery was extremely time-consuming and required attorneys to sift through hard-copy documents for months. AI-powered eDiscovery technology streamlines the process by letting attorneys scan documents using specific parameters, giving them almost instant responses. This gives law firms extra time to discover relevant information and build stronger cases.

Case Management and Document Automation

Law firms are transitioning from physical documents to electronic storage as technology advances. However, this shift presents similar obstacles as traditional filing cabinets. Many firms still save PDF and Word files on hard drives and USBs, making locating specific files challenging. 

Department records may become siloed or isolated as the firm grows, making certain files inaccessible to other departments. For example, HR documents may not be readily available to the management team since each department has its own cloud or hard drive.

Enter AI-driven document management software. These platforms allow law firms to store legal files on a searchable centralized hub that any authorized user can access. AI document management solutions may also offer check-in and checkout privileges to maintain security and version control. They also enable collaboration between firms and departments by allowing users to connect with apps and systems like Google Docs and Microsoft Office.

Most AI document management tools have smart templates for document automation. These up-to-date templates contain all the sections and language lawyers need to create a wide range of documents, including motions, contracts, pleadings, and letters. To create a document, all someone has to do is pick the right template, complete the fields, and modify the template layout and language. They can then edit the completed document and send it to stakeholders for approval.

Emerging Client Communication Legal Tech Tools for Law Firms

Emerging Client Communication Legal Tech Tools For Law Firms
Emerging Client Communication Legal Tech Tools for Law Firms

Since the pandemic, many attorneys have embraced innovative client communication tools to save time and effort. Here are some common emerging client communication technologies.

Website Chat Bots

One of the best ways to attract potential leads is via website chatbots, robots that are available on law firm websites 24/7. They engage prospective clients with questions so they can direct them to the right lawyer or administrative assistant. Some chatbots also answer frequently asked questions, book consultations, and automate manual processes, such as client intake.

Video Conferencing

If you don't have the time to meet clients face-to-face, you can set up a video conferencing call. Even if you prefer meeting clients in person, you can still use video conferencing for subsequent calls, such as fact-finding conversations and lawsuit updates. 

Online Portals

Lawyers can also talk to clients through online portals. Online portals allow attorneys to work and interact with clients in a secure online setting. As long as clients have internet access, they can sign into your office's client portal software and review and respond to legal advice and contracts.

Many law firms prefer online portals over video conferencing technology for the following reasons:

  • Online portals are more secure. Online portals are more secure than video conferencing software and email, which can get hacked. In contrast, secure client portals encrypt and protect communications on both ends. Additionally, they usually comply with rules of professional conduct and data security laws, such as the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). As such, they take data security and privacy very seriously. 

  • Faster and smoother communication. Client portals simplify communication by centralizing communication methods. You won't have to monitor multiple communication channels, such as voicemail, email, cell phone, and landline.

  • Improved client experience. With online portal technology, clients don't have to find the best way to contact their lawyers. They can just access the portal, check their messages, review documents, and send their message(s). 

New Marketing and Business Development Strategies for Law Firms

Lawyers aren't just leveraging tech for legal practice and client communication — they are also using these tools to implement industry-leading marketing and business development strategies. Here are some fresh marketing and business development strategies adopted by law firms.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Law Firms

Creating a website doesn't necessarily attract more clients. Law firms must focus on search engine optimization (SEO) to attract a steady pipeline of clients. In other words, they must improve their website's content relevance, technical configuration, and link popularity to increase its visibility to search engines like Google and Bing.

Legal professionals have been implementing the following technologies to maximize their SEO efforts:

  • SEO auditing tools can crawl through your site to uncover technical SEO issues, duplicate content, broken links, and other factors affecting website performance and SEO-friendliness.

  • Keyword research tools can provide valuable insights into the search volume and relevance of keywords related to your practice area. You can then use these insights to target leads and optimize your website content.

  • Local SEO tools can make your website one of the top search results for prospective clients in your area. You can use them to optimize your site and Google Business profile. 

Responsive Website Design and User Experience

Many law firms and corporate legal departments are embracing new strategies for website design and user experience, including responsive design. 

Responsive website design is an approach that makes web pages adapt seamlessly to different screen sizes and devices. Law firms with responsive websites can deliver optimal browsing experiences to potential clients, whether they are accessing the site from a laptop, desktop, smartphone, or tablet.

Besides providing clients with more user-friendly experiences, responsive designs improve search engine visibility and ranking for law firms. This is because search engines prioritize mobile-friendliness when ranking websites in search results.

Content Marketing and Thought Leadership

Last but not least, law firms have been embracing content marketing and thought leadership. 

Content marketing involves creating and sharing relevant, valuable, and consistent content to attract and engage prospective clients. Examples of content marketing for law firms include:

  • Blog posts, videos, and podcasts answering common questions and concerns

  • Downloadable eBooks about navigating the legal system, such as a guide to child custody laws

  • Downloadable checklists and other interactive media that give potential clients a better understanding of the legal process

Content marketing aims to provide useful information or inspire potential clients rather than explicitly promoting a service or product. Many law firms leverage content marketing to build brand awareness, customer loyalty, and thought leadership.

Thought leadership helps establish a company or individual as an authoritative voice in a specific field or industry. To establish thought leadership, law firms can share valuable insights on case law and perspectives on judge rulings that contribute to prospective clients' understanding of the law.

Scorpion Can Help You Adopt Hot Legal Technologies and Marketing Strategies

Keeping up with the hottest legal technology solutions and marketing strategies can be challenging, especially if you're a legal tech startup with limited time, personnel, and energy.

Fortunately, Scorpion is here to help. From brand building and analytics to website development and better rankings, we have the lawyer marketing expertise to help you stand out in a crowded market.

Want to experience the Scorpion difference? Contact us today to learn more about our legal technology tools and business and digital transformation services.

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