Changes in society brought about by the technological, social and cultural revolution have revolutionized many industries. For example, Uber, Airbnb, Netflix companies have transformed the transportation, hospitality, entertainment industries and even the same social dynamics. The same thing happens in the legal industry.
Often within the lawyers’ union, we find these changes remote because of the peculiarities of our profession; however, Legal Zoom and Rocket Lawyer companies have been using the “Do It Yourself” model in the preparation of contracts for about 15 years. That is, a user can create an agreement by following a series of sequential steps, and once the fields are filled, the agreement can be printed and ready to be signed.
Richard Susskind, an expert on the future of law, notes that law is subject to three main transformative drives: market changes, technology and liberalization of competition. First, recent economic crises have reduced the budget for legal services. Second, increased access to the Internet makes it easier to find solutions to problems, for example, there are web consultation forums where customers voice their problems and find legal solutions. Third, the easy entry of new service providers increases competition in the market. Undoubtedly, our guild needs to reinvent itself.
Legal innovation relies on creating a cultural change in the way one receives legal education, provides legal services, or administers the judicial system. First, the change consists of the use of new technological tools that reinforce the concept of “Legal technology”. This application of technology to legal business is exemplified by the use of artificial intelligence in automation to prepare legal documents or resolve cases.
Second, the application of design principles and techniques to law under the concept of “Legal design”. In this way, it is aimed to change the legal service practices focused on customer experience, both for external clients for law firms and internal clients for law departments.
Third, combining principles and techniques to increase the efficiency of your applications. This is how the terms “Legal operation” or “Legal Project management” originated, which aim to implement project management processes, activities and professionals to speed up deadlines and reduce the costs of providing legal services. In addition, the judicial system must be prepared to face the challenges posed by legal innovations involving adequate information management and protection of personal data.
Teacher Eduardo Couture had already said this in his first order to the lawyer: “Read. The law is constantly changing. If you don’t follow in his footsteps, you become less and less a lawyer every day.” A current reality based on all the above-mentioned transformations accelerated by the pandemic crisis. Therefore, we encourage the legal community to explore new areas that are transforming legal practice and to confront the challenges of legal innovation.
Likewise, we invite you to continue learning the fundamentals of law, such as legal interpretation methods and constitutional law, in order to avoid highlighting constitutionally unfounded positions and attacks on democracy. Ultimately, a democratic society will facilitate legal innovation and development.
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