Even though the flying car is still a fantastical concept that is nowhere near ready for a mass consumer market, time sure does fly when it comes to new tech. Based on what we've seen this past year, 2018 surely seems poised to be another banner year for tech companies, and especially those that cater to the legal industry.
Though investment in legal tech may have slowed, it may be due to a shift in focus to production and sales of that tech. Unlike many consumer electronics, legal tech has a bit more of a learning curve. Not only do lawyers have to learn how to use it, lawyers need to be convinced that they need it. Nevertheless, if the trend continues, you can almost certainly expect the following three legal tech predictions to come true in 2018.
1. A Robot Lawyer for Your Legal Industry
There are already robot lawyers out there. Sure, the bots aren't real lawyers (paralegals at best). And sure, the bots aren't actually walking talking humanoid robots (but there's not much stopping that from happening other than cost). The chat bots and sophisticated AI legal software being developed do pose a risk to the legal market, and by the end of 2018, there's sure to be a whole lot more of them, and probably one that's trying to eat up some of your business too.
2. Blockchain and Smart Contracts
Legal tech developers have been finding lots of new uses for Blockchain, the revolutionary transaction ledger behind Bitcoin. One particular use involves smart contracts. Based on what's been done already, it is likely that there will be some form of smart contract software relying on a Blockchain-type transaction ledger debuted in the coming year.
3. New Year = New Hacks and Cyber Attacks
Every year, without fail, there will be new cyber attacks and hacks that circulate. It is inevitable that some law firms will be targeted as law firms are notoriously slow to adopt new, or update their, cybersecurity. Because of the cat and mouse nature of cyber crime, if a firm's cybersecurity is not kept up to date, the risk is much higher that hackers will be able to infiltrate their systems. Know the big warning signs and take caution.