This past year found us settling into our “new reality.” Now, as the end of the year approaches with COVID still present, we speculate on what the new year might bring.
Steve Jobs once said, “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.” In this month’s post, we look back at four legal technology and market trends amplified by the pandemic and the questions they raise about where the market might head in 2022.
The generation gap is closing, or is it?
What a difference two years makes. In 2019 millennial lawyer Kristen Corpion commented on the gap between millennial digital natives and the older models of established firms. Now, nearly two years into the pandemic, lawyers across the generations are applying technology to maintain their productivity and resilience. Was COVID the driving force that finally bridged the generation gap? Or will firms continue to lag on innovation, as a recent survey suggests?
Too late to turn back
COVID forced the move to work-from-home arrangements. Will we ever return to “normal”? Most experts believe some measure of workplace flexibility is here to stay. The tight labor market and The Great Resignation are just two reasons firms aren’t forcing staff to return to the office, at least in the short term. They recognize that flexibility is key to attracting and retaining talent. As the pandemic subsides and the economy moves toward full employment, will we see offices bustling again?
Cyber security front and center
High-profile identity theft and ransomware attacks have highlighted the urgency for firms to close security holes. And the response is more complicated than ever, as work-from-home arrangements have staff working outside firms’ secure networks and IT oversight. As we’ve pointed out in prior posts, it’s a firm’s duty to protect client data. When sensitive data is left vulnerable to hackers, the entire firm’s reputation is at stake. Secure document sharing is one solution and, as our recent survey showed, it’s increasing in popularity. How quickly will firms move in 2022 to secure their sensitive data?
Alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) are not new, but they are gaining market share. Jae Um, executive director of legal research at Six Parsecs and former director of pricing strategy at Baker McKenzie, suggests that traditional firms will need to increase productivity to compete. Legal tech may be fueling the alternative providers, but these same technologies are available to traditional firms. Could the rise of ALSPs accelerate legaltech adoption in 2022?
While no one can predict what 2022 will bring, it’s safe to say technology will continue to be a catalyst for change in the legal market. We’ll be there for you, tracking the latest trends and offering insights to help set you up for success. Stay tuned for more.
About Michael Sauber Michael Sauber leads the marketing program for Korbitec, producer of Automated Civil Litigation Software (ACL). He has worked with document production technologies and professional services for over 30 years and is a frequent blogger on these topics.