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Booming legaltech begins to face legal conflicts

The systematization of information is a necessity in most areas of knowledge and social practice. Having accurate and organized data facilitates in many ways the professional practice. That is why law firms and the legal practice in general have been equipped with technological tools to face the current demands, which continuously suffer new updates and demand to be at the forefront of changes.

Legaltech (in Spanish, legal technology or technology at the service of the law) was born precisely because of this need to use technology for the benefit of efficiency and automation of the legal practice. The inclusion of the technological branch in the Law also requires a transformation in the understanding of the legal professional practice, since only the incorporation of new tools has brought with it new and so far unknown legal situations. 

In France, the first limitation for the use of a specific Legaltech application arose. The European country, through the new Law for the Reform of Justice, establishes penalties of imprisonment of up to five years for those who publish statistical information on the decisions and the pattern of conduct of judges, based on the sentences they issue. The measure does not prohibit the use of the tool internally, but only expresses the obligation not to publish the data obtained regarding the pattern of conduct of a judge's sentences. These applications have been used so far to also detect trends in the behavior of judges, assessing the number of sentences, the trajectory of those who dictate them, the lines of argument of the same and the positioning of the judge in the subject matter of the case.

In general terms, Legaltech has the following functions:

  • Automate the consultation of legal issues and processes without the intermediation of a lawyer.
  • Automation of lawyers' daily work through software or applications that simplify tasks.
  • Modification of the client-attorney relationship, thanks to the use of technological applications. The client is at the center of the entire strategy of automation systems by offering personalized solutions to carry out the corresponding procedures and acquire the necessary information.

The rise of legaltech, due to its performance and benefitsThe development of new tools for the legal sector has given rise to a number of ventures in charge of generating technological applications to provide specific services to the legal sector. These tools have provided a safe and effective response to various daily tasks of the legal practice and have also been showing the change in the profile of the current and future lawyer. A case example is that of the American chain Best Buy, which has implemented the automation of product warranty claims processes, which are fully parameterized for a first and second instance. Only in exceptional cases is there a third human instance, which intervenes through a customer service agent who finally analyzes the request and claim of the applicant.

Challenges of the legal professional

In this sense, the legal professional must have extensive knowledge in the digital legal field.This implies the intelligence to program the search for solutions or the valuation of technological tools that speed up their work and offer better services to the client. Likewise, the professional must be quite familiar with communication and digital marketing tools that allow it to be known in digital channels, which are the spaces where customers and the public are currently located.

Due to the importance of the developments that law firms must implement, in Alan Aldana & Abogados we have participated as active members of the Interamerican Federation of Lawyers in its LV Conference. Which developed as the central theme of "The evolution and digital transformation in the practice of law" held between June 17 to 21, 2019 in the city of San Jose, Costa Rica. 

Sources consulted