On the surface, legal work is a prime candidate for automation. There is a large amount of paperwork and research involved in much of the day-to-day work of a legal firm. Additionally, legal companies are obligated to maintain compliance over their paperwork and records, all of which could easily be assisted through use of automation.
The primary motivator for automation in the legal industry is to release high-value staff from the mundane tasks so that they concentrate on the tasks that matter more for their customers and reduce non-billable time. Law staff assisted by bots can indeed focus more on the critical components of cases, improve services with their clients and provide accuracy in a number of areas such as contract law.
Processes ripe for automation
Data management is a top challenge for any lawyer as they will inevitably have to go through huge amounts of information in order to build a strong case. There are a number of e-discovery software providers, but the costs are rather high and in many cases, human intervention is still needed to sift through what information is relevant. RPA’s capacity for flexible data management can be leveraged to simplify the process. A bot can compile and sift through large data and find the required information, collating information from different sources including law portals and the internet.
There are a number of different areas in which automation can assist in the creation and referencing of new clients. Paperwork such as anti-money laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) risk assessment forms can be filled in automatically and cross referenced against credit checks, reference checks and all of this information can be collated into an ERP or CRM. The result is an exhaustive client profile, available in a matter of hours, with administrative costs significantly lower than those of manual performance. Further to this, information can then be extracted to other systems for example probate claim forms.
Fee overruns reductions
No lawyer can foresee the future. Time taken to close a case and resources used both currently fall under the bracket of ‘educated guesses’ for most firms. It is highly important to handle fee overruns efficiently because of their potential to downgrade the firm’s image in the clients’ eyes, and open up lengthy cost disputes and satellite cases. Robotic Process Automation can help to ensure vital documents are prepared in time in particular when a client brings their own records system into the mix as it will be able to work between systems and alleviate pressure on the lawyer.
Proservartner worked alongside a busy law firm who had thousands of Property lOT records they needed to manually copy from their Microsoft Access Database to a Cloud based Environment.Read our case study
“The contemporary challenges of the legal industry require accuracy and efficiency. Leveraging automation can ensure risks are minimised whilst case management is optimised, but the starting point must always be people. It certainly still feels as though the legal industry is circling around automation in 2020. In our recent survey 53% of businesses said that they would be more willing to automate more if their peers are also doing so, perhaps it will just need a national law firm to utilise automation for the rest to follow suit.
At the moment legal secretaries and administrators take the brunt of the repetitive tasks, and perhaps firms will need to engage these team members and ensure that they fully embrace the changes that automation may bring to their role. It is key that leaders design a roadmap for their digital journey together with their team.
In the immediate future we see Legal firms explore the opportunities presented through the combination of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to scan and digest PDF and scanned documents, and then use RPA to find the relevant information and fill in a database. Legal organisations will start here and start to scale their use of automation.”