Think Tank: 20+ Legal Tech and Business of Law Predictions for 2018 – Part 2

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Think Tank: 20+ Legal Tech and Business of Law Predictions for 2018 – Part 2

By Craig Dekshenieks, Director, Content & Marketing Operations, Aderant

We hope you enjoyed the Business of Law predictions from last week! As promised, here is part two of the predictions which includes these categories:

  • Legal technology predictions
  • Law firm marketing predictions

We are thankful for the contributions and delighted to share them with the legal community. Without further ado…

Legal Technology Predictions

13) “With more and more firms recognizing the value of agility, by reducing their footprint and going paperless, secure cloud-managed solutions will reach the tipping point and see mass adoption in the marketplace.” – Deane Price, Aderant (Also see: Five Questions with Aderant President Deane Price)

14) “The era of the Client is firmly entrenched in legal now. I think 2018 is the year firms realize that hiring more people to grow their revenue and manage the new client complexities is a dead end. Investment in efficiency and agility solutions are key for success, and tech spend will reflect this in 2018. Mobile, collaboration and automated solutions will be a necessity to grow and serve a more complex client base.” – Chris Cartrett, Aderant (Also see: How Collaboration Is Changing Inside Some Law Firms)

15) “By the end of 2018, some clients will be asking their lawyers about smart contracts. Think of a digital agreement with artificial intelligence, blockchain tools and escrowed funds creating a contract that is self-executing and self-enforcing.” – Jim Calloway, Oklahoma Bar Association

16) “I predict that we will see more mergers of server-based practice management systems as the cloud-based practice management systems expand. Security issues will be paramount and I predict that a law-related, cloud-based system will have a security breach.” – Pegeen Turner, Legal Cloud Technology

17) “The artificial intelligence bubble will burst as law firms begin to realize AI is the triumph of hype over substance and that while it may be the latest shiny, shiny, new thing, focusing on what their clients actually want by way of improvements in legal service delivery is far more effective – if not so headline-grabbing – way to generate improved profit margins” – Charles Christian, WordsandVision Limited

18) “One of the most exciting areas of blockchain technology for the business of law is the emergence of smart contracts. The focus at the moment is on FinTech, but by the end of 2018 more law firms will be using smart contracts as a differentiator to offer their clients value-added services for lower fees. Meanwhile, LegalTech vendors will race to develop smart contract tools for lawyers, to fill the skill gap between legal professionals drafting agreements and developers writing blockchain code.” – Hugh Logue, Outsell, Inc.

19) “Automation has been talked about for some time; but, small business owners have remained largely unengaged, to this point. But, as driverless cars – and to a lesser extent, additional vehicle safety features and services like Uber – begin to proliferate, some business owners will feel the pinch, including lawyers, who will have fewer personal injury and drunk driving cases to pursue. In the end, though, this will be a good thing, as it will force small business owners to see the value of automation, and to adopt it in their own practices – first by necessity, lastly by choice.” – Jared D. Correia, Esq., Red Cave Law Firm Consulting

20) “I don’t think it makes much sense to make predictions for 2018 because the trends shaping the practice of law in 2018 will be the same trends that were shaping the practice of law in 2017, and they’ll still be shaping the practice of law in 2019. In the small-firm world, the driving forces are continued downward pressure on pricing plus increasingly viable lawyer substitutes, including starting-to-feel-like-a-thing AI-powered legal solutions. In response, innovative and entrepreneurial firms are adopting design thinking and disciplines like Lean and Agile to build client-centered law firms that take advantage of those forces to improve client service and efficiency with the result the clients can get better service for less. Traditional law firms don’t have much to offer by way of competition.” – Sam Glover, Laywerist.com

21) “People will continue to spend time focusing on AI and blockchain while ignoring the procedures and products that are not as sexy but would make a larger impact.” – Craig Bayer, Optiable LLC

Law Firm Marketing Predictions

22) “Lawyers will take control of their marketing and stop relying on overpriced agencies. Attorneys will fret less about design trends and start focusing on their client’s experiences on their firm’s website. Lawyers will stop wasting time on SEO tricks, and instead, invest time producing content and thought-leadership.  Law firms will abandon generic do-it-yourself platforms like WordPress, and seek systems that are designed for lawyers, by lawyers. Because legal keywords are the most expensive terms, lawyers will move away from overpriced PPC advertising, especially in large jurisdictions and highly-competitive practice areas like auto accidents, medical malpractice and impaired driving. Lawyers will pay attention to online reviews, and consciously cultivate their online reputations.” – Larry Bodine, LawLytics Legal Marketing Suite

23) “This is a prediction in [law firm] website design and development. The DOJ is expected to start enforcing Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), sponsored by the Bureau of Internet Accessibility (at least to Level A compliance) in early 2018. Law firms are not immune to these lawsuits, a loss of reputation (because of not being compliant) and declining SEO performance of their websites. I predict that smart law firms will seek to retrofit current sites and ensure they are at least Level A compliant on redesigned sites over the next year.”  – Deborah McMurray, CEO, Content Pilot LLC

If you’d like to be invited to make a prediction next year, please click here to add your name and contact information to the business of law predictions invitation list.

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