The Morning Blend


COVID-19 Has Permanently Changed The Legal Industry

Posted at 3:55 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 15:55:50-04

The COVID-19 global pandemic put intense pressure on people, communities and industries across the globe and changed the way we live and work. That includes the legal sector, which had to embrace technology, evolve and adapt to a new way of conducting business in 2020. In response to increasing workloads and tightening budgets, legal departments are increasingly turning to technology solutions to automate work, increase productivity and control spending. Now that we’re on the other side of the height of the pandemic, some of these changes may be here to stay.

The 2021 Wolters Kluwer Future Ready Lawyer Survey: Moving Beyond the Pandemic asked for insight from more than 700 legal professionals across the United States and Europe on how they navigated 2020 and the trends and forecasts for the future. The two top trends cited as having the biggest impact on their organizations over the next three years were: Increasing Importance of Legal Technology (77%); and Coping with Increased Volume and Complexity of Information (77%). The use of technology in 2020 became vital to success as professionals were forced to adapt to working from home, interacting remotely with clients, colleagues and the courts. The survey also found digital transformation and technology to be key drivers of improved performance, efficiency and productivity and that increased use of technology will be part of the “new normal” moving forward.

Some key findings include:

  • 82% of corporate legal departments say it’s important the law firms they work with fully leverage technology.
  • 91% of legal organizations say technology has been very important/important to them in delivering client services during the pandemic; yet just 30% were very prepared to transition to supporting clients remotely at the start of the crisis.
  • 57% of legal departments say they will increase their technology investment, up from 51% in 2020.

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