Legal Tech Adoption in Numbers

The legal industry has always been characterized by traditionalism, a viewpoint that manifests itself in a reluctance to adopt new technologies and a strong trust in established practices. This can be summed up by the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, this is rapidly changing. A new focus is emerging on leveraging technology to enhance existing practices and help legal professionals tackle workloads and unexplored challenges.

The projected growth of AI in legal tech, from $317 million in 2020 to over $1.2 billion by 2024, is just one sign of this shift. But as popular as it has become, AI is just a part of a broader change. The industry is seeing new developments in many different areas, such as: 

  • User Design
  • Cybersecurity and Data Protection
  • Project Management
  • Data Analytics
  • Research Tools
  • Contract Management

But where does this change come from? Does it stem only from advancements in AI? A bird’ s-eye view presents a larger picture.

Why Ramp up in Legal Tech Adoption?

New compliance challenges, increased regulation complexity, and geopolitical tensions that permeate trade agreements and their relations with organizations have substantially contributed to the increased workload that legal professionals face daily. Unlike in other industries, adding more staff to tackle these challenges is difficult due to skill and certification gaps. This situation has led these departments and leaders to turn to technology for relief.

This shift has certainly changed how legal professionals view tech, with 48% of teams in the industry currently using AI-driven software to speed up routine tasks. Beyond individuals, organizations are also embracing this change: 63% of law firms in the U.S. use cloud-based legal technology.

How Tech Adoption is Shaping the Role of Legal Professionals

The impact of this transformation is already changing legal departments, with nearly half of teams using AI for routine tasks and over 60% of in-house teams utilizing automation tools. However, this is just scratching the surface; the transformation that these tools are having on how teams operate inside organizations is much more substantial and can open the door to many new possibilities within the field. 

One of these new pathways is the transformation of departments into more data-driven teams. Analytics tools now allow legal professionals to extract data from legacy documents, opening the door to invaluable information stored inside contracts. This new way of looking at contracts effectively turns teams into decision-makers within their organizations. Instead of being a traditionalyl reactive role, they can now use data to identify potential issues, suggest improvements, and support strategic decision-making.

CLM at the Forefront of Change

Contracts are an essential part of a legal team’s work. However, they also consume a significant portion of daily activities. Whether it’s reviewing, drafting, or renewing, the entire contract lifecycle can be demanding and time-consuming. CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management) platforms like Zeal allow contract and legal professionals to not only process more contracts in less time but also stay on top of compliance, enhancing established processes.

The legal landscape is rapidly evolving with cutting-edge tools. Is your organization at the forefront, or will you be left playing catch-up?

Click here to learn more about Zeal and how it can benefit your team.