Peer to Peer Magazine

June 2010

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 28 of 111

ASK THE VENDOR Many in the industry are predicting profound changes in law firms over the next ten years. What do you think will be the most fundamental change to the way that law firms do business by the year 2020? What are you doing as a supplier to enable law firms to survive, if not thrive, with that type of change? 2020 AS SEEN BY MIMECAST: We think that the most important change in the practice of law will be the shifting of law firm interests to be more in line with their corporate clients’ interests. Obviously, this can be done a number of ways; and we see one key avenue being the advice firms will be giving their clients on how to manage their information stores in accordance with evolving best practices. In some ways, firms have been doing this for years, but there are several factors which make it more important going forward. The exploding volume of data stores and the difficulty in finding information are problems that aren’t new, and they’re not going away anytime soon. Recently, there has been greater awareness about the need to protect the many aspects of information where people may have a variety of privacy rights and expectations. Then, add in the risk to an organization in having its information inadequately secured and the need to apply proper governance standards during the rush to the cloud, and you get an area with many opportunities for a dutiful law firm to add real value to its clients. 2020 AS SEEN BY MICROSYSTEMS: The billable hour, the subject of scrutiny and vilification for years to come, will remain in place for certain specialized services. Clients will be supportive of the billable hour in many situations, as they recognize the overall value provided by the firm, and they trust the accuracy and transparency of the firm’s automated billing. Utilizing secure social and business networks, finely integrated with the firm’s central research center, knowledge capture and billing systems, firms will deliver many services on-demand. This increased access to self-service legal services will provide clients with tremendous value, and they will pay hourly rates for the highest quality legal intelligence. Firms will be invested in technology that passively collects information about work done, freeing lawyers from tedious time-tracking while also creating budgets with pinpoint accuracy. Ongoing analysis to track and improve efficiency will continue to provide firms with insights into bottlenecks or resource drains. We see a future where technology is incorporated into If you’re interested in directing a question to the vendor community, submit your ideas to 30 Peer to Peer and improves the efficiency of both the client self-service offerings and the lawyer’s document collaboration workflows. Using in-line automation and statistical benchmarking, documents will be evaluated for content consistency and accuracy as well as structure and firm/client branding. Documents that contain inconsistencies will be reformatted, with alternative clauses presented to the lawyer or client to enable a more appropriate selection. ILTA

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