Best client firm interface Management tools You Need in 2022
TECH TOOLS FOR CLIENT-FIRM INTERFACE
By Legaltech Italia, The Italian Legaltech Community

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Technological evolution has the merit of having favored, and at times perhaps even forced, the commingling of the legal and IT worlds. From the combination of these two realities have been born several "Tech Tools" able to simplify and streamline the work done and the services offered by legal professionals.

Preliminary Considerations

Nowadays, in order to digitize your business and to provide increasingly innovative and tailor-made legal services, there are many technological solutions that can be adopted. In addition, although the numbers, especially in our country, are still limited, the market is full of innovations ranging from document automation to real virtual realities.

Nowadays, in order to digitize your business and to provide increasingly innovative and tailor-made legal services, there are many technological solutions that can be adopted. In addition, although the numbers, especially in our country, are still limited, the market is full of innovations ranging from document automation to real virtual realities.

Tech Tools: OCR Technologies

OCR stands for "optical character recognition" and is a technology that allows converting, mechanically or electronically, paper or digital documents (e.g. PDF files, JPEG images) into editable and searchable files. The software processes "raw" files or documents discerning what it detects as a font (letters and numbers) converting them from image to text.

In the current state of affairs, when the lawyer needs a document in digital format, he scans it. The scanner, however, does not transform the paper document into a text file but into an image. Consequently, the text will be faithfully reproduced in the image, but it will not be possible to select, modify, copy/paste it and it will not allow the search of key words in it.

What benefits come from adopting OCR software? First of all, the use of OCR technologies allows us to be able to select and edit the text of the document we are interested in. For example, let's imagine we have to reproduce the essential structure of a contract: without OCR the only way to do it would be to rewrite the whole text, while using OCR technology a simple copy and paste operation would be sufficient, followed by the insertion of the modifications that the concrete case requires.

Moreover, OCR allows text indexing, i.e. searching by keywords. Let's imagine we have a text of many pages and we need to search for a specific clause, without the possibility of a word search the lawyer will be forced to read the whole document looking for the part he is interested in. Without the ability to filter all the documents contained in the document using keywords, the search would take a lot of time and effort, with the added risk that some of the content would not be found.

This is where the use of this technology can simplify and streamline a firm's work, reducing costs in terms of both resources and time.

Tech Tools: Chatbot e Virtual Legal Assistants

Before going into the discussion about the advantages of using these Tech Tools, it's good to give a brief definition. Chatbots are software that simulate a real chat, the system is based on algorithms capable of analyzing the terms used by the user and giving an answer to his needs. Please note, however, that this tool responds only to specific and rigidly identified inputs, and on the contrary, is not able to understand and analyze the real needs of the user.

On the contrary, VLAs are more evolved software able to understand the natural language used by the user and therefore able to establish a relationship with the latter.

For the sake of clarity, think of chatbots as the bots used by telegram or e-commerce sites, and VLAs as tools similar to Siri, Alexa, or Cortana. Regardless of the differences between chatbots and VLAs in terms of cognitive ability and novelty, the benefits they bring to individual tasks are the same. Let's see them together.

First of all, chatbots and VLAs are available at any time of the day, seven days a week, and therefore, even when the business contact may not be present or is engaged in other activities. Chatbots and VLAs can answer preliminary questions, provide information, and even make appointments if necessary. In a world where client contacts are always on the rise while the lawyer's time remains the same, these tools are a real resource.

Secondly, they are tools that help make websites easier to navigate and read. In fact, in the course of their work, law firms produce a great deal of content that is often collected in blogs, articles, posts, and videos, but is not always read or found by website visitors. Chatbots and VLAs help users to find the content that best suits their needs, making it easier and faster to navigate the website.

While chatbots & VLAs have brought in unquestionable improvements in terms of user experience, there are still some there are some critical issues that need attention. This makes their mass adoption in the near term a bit difficult, at least untill these issues are overcome.

After all, although artificial intelligence and machine learning are traveling at the speed of light, the margins of error remain significant. For example, it may happen that the tools in question may misunderstand or not understand the questions or may provide wrong answers.

Concluding Considerations

In the final analysis, then, these new technologies make the work in a law firm much easier and more efficient, especially when it comes to repetitive tasks, but they cannot replace the added value of the individual, at least not for the time being.