How Are Scottish Law Firms Using Technology To Improve Their Business?

November 1, 2022
Photo by cetteup on Unsplash

In this article, we’re going to be shining a spotlight on the ways in which Scottish law firms are using technology to improve their businesses.

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Traditionally, when we used to think of Scottish law firms, we would picture offices filled with dusty tomes and weighty ledgers, but this is far from the case in 2022. As with so many other sectors, these days Edinburgh solicitors and firms around all around Scotland, are embracing technology in order to make their businesses more efficient and more profitable.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways in which Scottish law companies are using technology to make their businesses stronger and more profitable.

How Are Scottish Law Firms Using Technology?

Law firms in Scotland deal with a wide range of clients, from businesses to individuals and in a lot of cases, there are complex factors and emotions to be taken into account. For this reason skilled, compassionate employees will always be a law firm’s most valuable asset.

However, many firms are recognising the benefit of combining human talent with technology to improve their businesses. In this section, we’ll be looking at some of the technology which is transforming the legal sector:

E-conveyancing

There are around 3,480,000 homeowners in Scotland, which means that most, if not all, of these people have at one time or another used the services of a conveyancing solicitor. Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring a property from one owner to a new one and can be a fairly complex procedure.

Until recently, the process of conveyancing would largely be conducted manually, but in recent years e-conveyancing has been introduced. For both solicitors and property buyers, this technology allows for the speeding up of what can be a lengthy process as well as money savings for the property buyer.

E-filing

Court filing would traditionally require the filing out of physical forms, often to tight deadlines, ensuring that they reach the courts in time. As well as being time-consuming, this could often be a stressful business for solicitors as a case could be thrown out if papers were not filed on time.

The advent of e-filing has streamlined this process to a huge extent which has a knock on effect, allowing Scottish courts to process cases much more quickly and thereby cut down on delays in the system.

AI and Chatbots

In the past, a good deal of a solicitor’s and a paralegal’s time was taken up with very simple questions which would often take just a few minutes. The introduction of chatbots and artificial intelligence is beginning to transform the landscape for Scottish law firms in 2022.

This technology can be used to handle initial requests and simple questions from clients, thus helping to direct queries to the right person. This is particularly valuable at a time when many companies are being forced to tighten their belts, including perhaps, employing fewer staff than before.

As artificial intelligence becomes ever more sophisticated, these website chatbots are able to deal with increasingly complex queries and questions from clients and while they will never replace an actual solicitor, they can very much help to cut down on the man hours required to arrange initial consultations.

Timekeeping and Billing

The majority of solicitors work revolves around ‘billable hours’, the involves recording the number of hours which have been spent on a case and then invoicing accordingly. Past simple software that was used to record hours would leave the firm open to errors.

Now, advanced technology and management systems for solicitors mean that the company needs fewer accounting personnel, as well as reducing the risk of errors. This will in turn, ensure that the firm is getting invoices out in a timely manner and therefore, receiving payment more quickly to help with cash flow.

Social Media

Earlier in this article, we mentioned the old-fashioned perception of law firms in Scotland and while social media may not be new, it’s still something of a novelty for the legal profession.

These days, Scottish law firms are using social media not just to get their messaging out and engage with customers and potential customers, they’re also using this valuable medium to soften their image and make the legal industry feel more approachable.

The legal sector heads into the future..

At some time in our lives, we will all require the services of a solicitor, whether that’s for a divorce, buying a home or sorting out a loved one’s possessions via probate. In the past, getting in touch with a solicitor would often be intimidating due to the incredibly formal nature of the profession and the language used.

In the Scottish legal industry, the power of new technology is most definitely being used for good not evil. This technology is helping to break down barriers between solicitors and clients as well as streamlining processes which, in turn, save both solicitors firms and clients time and money.

As we head into 2023, the introduction of the virtual solicitor is not just a possibility but a reality, although the personal touch of an actual human lawyer will never go out of style.

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