Yaritza Rodelo
CEO
Easylex
/
Startup Contributor

Legaltech: The Future of Law, Lawyers and Businesses

By Yaritza Rodelo | Tue, 06/28/2022 - 11:00

The world changes every day, forcing us to become more open to technology and exposing us to more technological tools in our daily lives. The way we live, drive, relate and communicate to people and even the way we order food is totally different today than 10 years ago. It is similar today when doing business, although in 2022, it has nothing to do with how we did business 10 years ago but how we did it pre-COVID in 2019-2020.

It’s important to know some numbers regarding the use of technology in business to have a clear idea of how immersed and essential its use is today in this area. According to a study carried out by Aspel de México, a software company with solutions for the digital transformation of SMEs, 83 percent of businesses in Mexico already use some type of technology to run their business. According to data from the Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey 2020 leadership survey, companies spent around an additional US$15 billion a week on technology during the pandemic, which has increased over 2022 (post-COVID).

Before 2022, companies implemented technology due to the health crisis we were experiencing; new tools arose, new technologies were implemented in internal and external processes in order to maintain operations. What some people didn't see coming is that those changes in the way we do businesses are here to stay.

Not everything has been perfect; despite the great ability to adapt to change and solve problems, companies still have challenges ahead.

Companies that develop technology and offer digital services have received additional funding of between 21 percent and 50 percent compared to others, according to the KPMG study. This has led to a further division between organizations that drive their strategy through technology and those that do not.

Talking about statistics is not the purpose of this article, however.  The point is to relate technology to traditional legal processes specifically and the technological backwardness of SMEs. Mexico is a developing country and this concept is reflected in multiple areas, especially in access to technologies.

The implementation of technologies and innovation for the growth of companies is still a work in progress in Mexico, a situation that has stopped the development of business models, specifically in the legal department of each business. Based on this problem, businesses have no idea how to implement innovative actions related to technology issues, much less know how to implement technology in their legal processes.

But due to the technological disruption of recent years that we've reviewed, we can conclude that the products or services offered have changed and will continue to change significantly due to new needs and trends. There have been important changes and continuous innovation in the Mexican corporate legal system that are now transforming the industry as well as forcing companies to do it as well.

From the legal point of view, it was not considered easy to provide the client with a solution through technology, since we were trained as traditional lawyers to charge by the hour, with the reputation of "doing less in more time." So, there have not just been changes in processes, but also in the mindset of people.

A company wants a lawyer that does things in the shortest possible time but a lawyer is interested in doing the least number of things in the longest possible time so it can be done with high quality, and to charge more. 

That conflicts with legaltech products, which free up time for the lawyer to do more tasks. This casts a contrast between the value propositions of the world of technology against the problems of the lawyer.

The use of legaltech tools does not mean that the final product will be inefficient or incorrect or that it will lack expertise, as many people may think. In particular, in corporate and commercial law, legaltech allows a more efficient and secure provision of legal services, reducing delivery times and mistakes.

Even though it has been difficult to adapt to technology in the Mexican legal environment, the emerging technologies are increasingly necessary. The use of digital documents, electronic signatures and remote bureaucratic processes are valid and also validated by the community.

Which areas are the most common for the implementation of legaltech?

  • Incorporation of new companies online
  • Automation in the generation and personalization of any legal document, such as agreements, shareholder meeting minutes, promissory notes
  • Electronic signature of documents
  • Smart repository of legal documents
  • Automatic reminders and notifications regarding your legal obligations
  • Online trademark registration

What's next? We do not know. We already see patent situations in the metaverse and it is possible that later we will see assembly minutes there as well, along with notarial certification for acts carried out through virtual reality. The options are many but the conclusions are uncertain. The only thing we are sure of is that both companies and lawyers need to start riding the technological wave now.

Photo by:   Yaritza Rodelo