LEGAL

Taking the legal industry through a progressive digital transformation journey, to simplify dispute resolution by the courts, reduce the burden on the government and encourage peer to peer resolution.

THE FUTURE AS WE SEE IT

Imagine the rise of “Alternate Dispute Resolution Systems” (ADRS) which puts the responsibility of dispute resolution into the hands of able individuals and teams, which can reduce the pressure on the courts to clear the ever increasing backlog of cases. With the power of technology, we can create systems where people seeking dispute resolution can easily find and connect with ADRs online, collaborate with them to move cases to closure. Lawmatters.com is one such online marketplace Codewave designed and developed to bring together consumers and legal professionals / interns / counselling experts on an online platform. People who need help, can find and collaborate with experts to handle their case, off the court. Such online platforms have the potential to bring people together, generate crowd-sourced solutions (through legal forums) and create compelling job opportunities for freelancing professionals who are experts in negotiations and dispute settlements.

Apart from relieving the courts of their big pile of cases, “smart applications” can simplify and accelerate existing manual processes and procedures of the court, that involve drafting, vetting and signing of paper documents at various stages of a case, by multiple parties. With better internet infrastructure in the courts, in situations where physical presence of an individual is not feasible, video conferencing can be enabled. Advanced scrutiny applications can auto detect fraud / crime in the electronic evidences submitted to the court (CD / Files / Video etc). With digitization of the case records, case history and judgements – Governments can better analyse the nature of crimes, root cause and get insights to nurture citizens towards creating healthier, progressive societies. Today with a lot of work happening on paper files, Government lacks quick visibility of current crime levels, number of cases (changing with time) and nature of these cases (civil, criminal, family, cyber, traffic, corporate etc). With the right advancements happening in this industry, we can create a society that makes prisons an irrelevance.

The survey of American bar association on legal industry reveals that,

90% of lawyers use mobile devices for video conferencing with clients, emails for trial preparations.

37% lawyers access the internet using Virtual Private Network (VPN) – a much more secure way of accessing public wifi.

73% of lawyers access the internet regularly (or occasionally while out of office) most likely on a mobile device.

80% of the legal professionals are dependent on an online marketplace for getting legal tasks done.

41% of respondents have downloaded a legal-specific app.

OPPORTUNITIES
Electronically Stored information (ESI)
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The old style of book-keeping and storing information in papers is slowly being supported with electronically stored data. In a law firm that employs 20 lawyers, paper documents are piled up everyday which almost exponentially increase with time. This creates a pressing challenge for lawyers – of not being able to quickly, efficiently find information that’s needed on a specific day for a specific case. With ESI, document upload, retrieval and annotations can be simplified, which is core to every court case.

Example:Virtual law firm with features like online private collaboration, file sharing, draft review & approvals and sharing comments – can all quickly replace paper documents and collaborations over phone or face to face meetings. Emails, voice-messages, text messaging, video-calls can all aid in simplifying collaboration between the client and the legal team. This also helps experts from work from anywhere, not have location barriers.

Online Marketplace (for peer to peer dispute resolution)
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Online marketplaces for legal professionals and freelance experts, can open up massive opportunities for people able and willing to help others, irrespective of their geographical constraints. Though each country has it’s own constitution and laws, approaches to solving problems, negotiating and find midways – are universal; which can come from individuals and teams, from different backgrounds and experiences. Online platforms can connect people where there’s a high match between the opportunity and talent. Professionals can learn from each other’s experiences, thereby making legal consulting, less complex and more fulfilling.

Example:Lawmatters.com, encourages citizens to sign up and privately discuss their case with experts whom they’re comfortable with. Such platforms trigger a mindset shift from comfort with “anonymity” to comfort with “transparency”, making the legal consulting engagement, one of intense learning and progress. People may hesitate to use their social logins to sign-up on a platform to fight a legal battle, however with greater adoption of such tools, this trend could change.

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