Technology offers efficiencies for legal profession

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Lawyers and legal firms around Australia are being encouraged to ditch the old ways of practising and embrace new technologies like paperless offices. This is according to Michael Williams, a partner at Gilbert and Tobin, who was quoted in the Australian Lawyer as saying document processes within the court system were slowing the legal industry’s ability to be more efficient.

In fact, the legal industry is the most likely to print documents and store them in filing cabinets, according to research by cloud computing company Nitro. Lawyers who were surveyed were not happy with how backward their industry was, with 44 per cent saying they were “annoyed with the human and resource waste that comes with paperwork”. Nitro CEO Sam Chandler pointed out the immense time wasted in the legal industry through these practices.

The legal profession was only beginning to upgrade the way it was doing business. In many cases, the industry was relying on out-dated management of services systems and information storage that were holding them back.

Lawyers and other companies that deal with them should always be looking to update their systems around information and management. One way is to employ a legal services management system, like Yarris Legal Gateway, which can improve the way large enterprises procure and manage external lawyers digitally.

A recently as last year, a federal court judge made headlines in the Sydney Morning Herald when he revealed if someone were to stack every document held by the federal and family courts, they’d stand about 24 kilometres high.

Deputy Chief Justice John Faulks was reported to have said It can also take up to three days to access some documents stored across the country. “Some of my colleagues are less enthusiastic and want to stick with paper and pen,” he said. “I think it’s probably a generational thing. It will take some time for a fully digital system to take over.”