The legal profession is a far cry from what it used to be. The advent of computers, databases and the internet has changed it for the better and the worse. Personal injury lawyers and other practitioners today have to deal with very different and more complex cases than they ever had to. However, technology has also directly benefited the legal profession. Today’s lawyers are able to do more effective research, communicate with their clients better, and do their jobs far more efficiently than ever before.
It is Easier to Audit Companies and People
The legal industry deals with a lot of financial crime and fraud investigation. Because of this, many lawyers have to work with accounting firms and law enforcement agencies to get their investigations done. Many defendants today are being sued for fraud and embezzlement from companies. To get the information necessary to prove or disprove these claims, audits have to be done. Back in the day, this would involve getting down and dirty with the books of the company.
Each record would have to be pored over and compared to the rest of the financial records. It was a long, arduous process that took up a lot of time and manpower. In the case of a large company with multiple branches, the entire firm would have to place its processes on hold while the investigation was conducted. Thankfully, computers have made the process infinitely faster than before. Audits that took months can be done in a matter of days using special software and tools.
Research Can be Done Easily and More Effectively
Research is a lawyer’s best friend. With the right research and the right methods, any case can be defended or prosecuted strongly and with a good foundation in fact. The problem is that many lawyers in the past were unable to do the research they wanted to the depth they would have liked. This is because research in the old days involved interacting with multiple witnesses, talking to the parties involved, and otherwise using word of mouth to get information.
This was unreliable, took time, and usually would not stand up in a court of law. Today, everything is recorded digitally. Excerpts from cases dating back to the early 1900s can now be found online in legal libraries. They can be searched easily using databases and advanced algorithms. A lawyer looking for a particular resource can find it in seconds, which is a huge upgrade from the weeks of research it would have taken a few decades ago.
Administrative tasks can also be performed far more easily than ever. In the old days, managing a law firm was a lot of paperwork. Multiple people had to be hired just to keep the firm up and running. This took time, money, and manpower. Today, a computer can do all the administrative tasks for a fraction of the cost. Fewer people have to be hired and there is far less paperwork involved as well. Technology and the legal profession really do go hand in hand!