The legal system has undergone significant technological changes that have had a major impact on the industry over time. One of the earliest technological advances that was implemented into legal practices was the typewriter, which increased efficiency and productivity. Law specialists were able to transcribe documents, share research, and write letters and internal files at a faster rate.
Commercial copiers were another technological innovation that allowed firms to make copies themselves, saving them money and time. The fax greatly improved communication speed and effectiveness, enabling law firms to communicate more efficiently. Computer systems have had a major impact on the industry by increasing productivity, enhancing knowledge and information management, and enabling secure data storage. Word processors were developed as an electronic replacement to the typewriter, enabling the editing and revision of documents electronically and saving time and money.
Computer-assisted research databases made research quicker and cheaper, enabling law firms to research more efficiently. Laptops allowed for remote work, which was particularly useful for legal practitioners who could now work from courtrooms and their clients’ premises. The internet widened the scope of remote work, enabling legal practitioners to research while in court and further enhancing their ability to work remotely. Smartphones and tablets provide similar capabilities to laptops and have also improved the ability to work remotely, albeit on a smaller scale. Current technology trends such as virtual hearings, advanced file sharing tools, computer simulations, and artificial intelligence are continuing to impact legal practices worldwide.
Overall, technology has had a positive impact on the legal system, and this trend is likely to continue in the future.