Codelex Legaltech CEO Zolo Mundur had a chat about legal tech and innovation with June Low Founder, EasyLaw (Malaysia); Aditya Mehra, Founder, Instadraft (India); and Avimukt Dar, Partner, IndusLaw (India) about legal tech on LawWiser, an online video platform for legal professionals. Below is the script of her answers.
ZM: In simple terms, legal tech is a use of technology, any type of technology. to enable both legal practice and the provision of legal services to be more efficient, faster, better quality, and cheaper.
ZM: The need for legal tech is the result it brings to the practice of law or the legal industry in general. Because the goal of legal tech is to make legal practice efficient, faster, better quality, cheaper, as I mentioned. And, the goal is not to make lawyers jobless or to create competition between lawyers and robots as some would think, for instance, automation of repetitive tasks will decrease the time and money spent on providing legal services. Also, it will improve the quality of legal services by reducing human errors. And there's also improvement of access to justice by turning services into products, so-called commoditization. So these are all the benefits that we take from the legal tech that brings the need to adopt the legal tech.
ZM: We've been trying to promote two different products in two different markets, practice management software for the Mongolian market, and a lawyer-to-lawyer document marketplace Lexub to the Southeast Asia market. The two markets have different levels of legal tech adoption. For Mongolia, we are the first legal tech company and we introduced the first practice management software. Legal tech products existed before our practice management software is mostly online legislation or court decision database. So legal tech is very new in Mongolia. On the other hand, Southeast Asian lawyers in general have better familiarity with legal tech. However, I think there's a common side to lawyers in both of these jurisdictions or markets. That is lawyers are slow to take action when it comes to legal tech adoption. When we market our products, the overall perception of the concept is surprisingly positive, and they seem to be impressed by the idea. However, it's another story when it comes to taking action and really starting to adopt Legaltech products in their practice, because I think they are very used to the way they work, and changing their working habits takes some time. So they got promotion and marketing requires consistent efforts towards spreading awareness of the product to lawyers.
ZM: We’re all seen this boom of discussion of legal industry transformation and COVID-19’s impact on it over the past few months. I've actually read that according to LinkedIn, the legal industry is number one in an online discussion about industry change, which is very impressive. And discussion of legal industry transformation was actually going for quite some time now. But adoption of legal tech and the real industry-wide transformation was not so visible in real life.
I think COVID-19 can be the trigger for wider adoption of legal tech and more flexible working. Because it can be said that law firms are surviving COVID-19 thanks to technology such as video conferencing software, and even there's a rise of online court hearings in some countries. So despite all the tragedy, I think COVID-19 gave the industry a chance to see the different and more flexible way to work using technology, and law firms and in-house departments are starting to realize that they can be more profitable and ahead of their competitors by adopting technology efficiently. I can’t say that the after-Corona legal industry will be completely different than the before-Corona world, but one thing for sure, there will be at least some positive impact on the adoption of legal tech.
ZM: I would like to say to all lawyers who are watching this discussion to be a little bit more open-minded to legal tech adoption. We didn't imagine how we can attend court hearings online before the time of COVID-19. So, this time we have seen it. We have seen that we can work more flexibly or agile using technology. As June also said, the adoption of legal technology and actually seeing its benefits take some time and effort. So I would like to say to all the lawyers to just be a little bit more curious and a little bit more willing to actually get the benefits of legal tech.