Ride the Lightning

Cybersecurity and Future of Law Practice Blog
by Sharon D. Nelson Esq., President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Legal Tech Predictions for 2022

September 28, 2021

Legal Reader posted an article on September 24 that warrants reading as we all scramble to predict the future of law practice.

Here are some of the notable points:

According to Gartner, the legal and technology predictions for 2021 incorporate the idea that by 2024 the legal department will automate 50% of the legal work associated with key business transactions. By 2025, at least 25% of a company’s legal tech spending will go to non-professional technology providers.

By 2024, non-lawyer workers will replace 20% of generalist lawyers in legal departments.

With growing workloads and tight budgets, efficiency is becoming essential. To support the workload, legal departments must enhance their processes, legal technology usage, analytics, and other digitization methods.

Corporate transaction work has recovered from pandemic-related lows and demand is rising. As corporations recover from the epidemic, the activity of mergers and acquisitions will rise in the coming years.

It is important to success to have a multiyear legal technology plan that can adapt to changes in the corporate environment and technological improvements. According to a 2020 Gartner poll of legal experts, the percentage of legal budgets spent on technology is expected to triple by 2025.

Pre-pandemic, only 37% of lawyers desired to work remotely according to the 2021 Report on the State of the Legal Market. Today, 75% of lawyers want to work from home. If this translates to their actually work from home (as some law firms are calling lawyers back to the office), this change will impact law firm culture, especially in conventional firms where face interaction with partners is so important.

We are still in uncertain times, but it seems to me, as I talk with other lawyers, that many law firms have concluded that returning lawyers to their office is critical to the culture of the law firms – and many larger clients are pressing for more in-person meetings.

While technology helped us through the pandemic and will continue to make us more efficient, there is a human element to practicing law and serving clients that (it seems to me) is sometimes given short shrift. Sensei’s offices have been fully open since July and the consequent teamwork – and the sense of being a team member – is remarkable. It is also clear that clients, while they want to be cautious and to know that we are being cautious, nonetheless desire in-person meetings.

Does this mean that the jury is still out on what the future of law practice looks like, at least in part? I think it does.

Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., President, Sensei Enterprises, Inc.
3975 University Drive, Suite 225, Fairfax, VA 22030
Email: Phone: 703-359-0700
Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology