The Biggest Legal Technology Trends in 2024

Photo of author

Technology has changed the legal field in a rapidly growing fashion over the past decade. 2024 is poised to see emerging trends become more commonplace in legal practice. The legal field, from family to corporate law, impacts us all in some way. Here are the fastest-growing trends expected to lead the new decade:

1. E-Discovery—Discovery is a critical stage in all forms of litigation. It is the process by which both sides of an issue must share information. That once meant reams upon reams of paper, depending on the size of the case. Now, more and more firms have the technology for e-discovery, allowing files to up uploaded and sent to the opposing party without the hassle of paper documents. This trend is well underway. 2024 should see this start to trickle down to even single shingles and small legal practices.

2. AI-driven document management software—every part of the legal industry depends on a vast generation of documents. AI-driven document management software is driving amazing innovation in keeping up with documents of all types. Specific contract management software, like Evisort, is already on the market and revolutionizing how contract management. The software can read the scanned documents, determine their purpose, and allow sorting by any number of variables. AI intelligence means that law firms can run as search for all of one type of contract, or search all contracts by dates of expiration.

Small to midsized firms have been quicker to implement artificial intelligence. Larger firms, which usually have well-established systems and more rigid structures in place, risks falling behind. 2024 should see artificial intelligence implemented throughout larger firms. These firms will realize they risk falling behind and losing business to smaller players who can work more efficiently thanks to AI.

3. Increase in global demand—the world is becoming smaller when it comes to the practice of law. From businesses that practice in multiple countries, to baby boomers and their retirement issues, the legal field will grow by at least 1% in just the next year. Large firms and boutique practitioners will have on-staff attorneys experienced in international law. The growth in the field does not only extend to licensed attorneys’, but support staff as well. Demand continues to grow for paralegals, legal secretaries, and other paraprofessionals who directly support the legal field.

4. As the need for support staff grows, firms and solo practitioners will increase their use of virtual assistants. The gig economy has more and more skilled paraprofessionals working from home. Technology allows them to do everything they could do from an office from the comfort of home. Some attorneys use virtual assistants on a full-time basis and others as needed. In both scenarios, it is a cost-saving venture. Even a well-paid and highly skilled virtual assistant saves money because they are independent contractors. They also do not need to be provided with office space, streamlining the efficient use of space. Virtual assistants also fulfill the need to fill in when regular assistants need family leave, or take vacation time. A temporary virtual assistant is an economical and easy way to get skilled help temporarily.

5. Due to ever-expanding technology, firms will continue to grow in size, and establish a presence in national and sometimes global markets. Growing market size does not mean they will need to expand their physical footprint. Small offices that contain offices for attorneys and skeleton support staff are becoming more common, especially in satellite offices. Given that the majority of legal work can happen from anywhere, firms realize the cost-saving benefits of downsizing their physical footprint. They are also able to retain more top talent with the lure of flex work. Younger attorneys and paraprofessional staff are placing more emphasis on flexible work structures that allow them to live a life outside the firm.

Leave a Comment