June 10 2021


Taking the First Step into Industry 4.0- a new generation for the legal industry

Ajuni Chawla

Amidst rapidly changing market conditions, firms that merely place “bandaids on the old models” will face an increasingly uncertain future. The Pandemic has given us all legal professionals the time and space to seize the adoption curve of industry 4.0 - an opportunity where we can question long-standing assumptions, re-examine traditional business models, and seamlessly plan and adjust to the newly developing market realities. The First Step? Nurture your environment.


Fourth industrial revolution: the rise and shine of the new Digital era. The fourth industrial revolution - the so-called digital era - is enhancing all economic areas and dynamically changing people's behaviours, their preferences and the way businesses in all industries are practised. The law practice area is no different. The involvement of technology in law practice is going to be unavoidable with how society and the current legal system is structured. More firms and lawyers are implementing technology into their practices in some way, with plans to add more. If before the pandemic, using certain technologies was a differentiation factor, today's reality is different: those who do not use them can hardly survive!

Chaning dynamics: digital transformation – not a final destination, but a journey that just begun.The dynamics are transforming in several forms of legal practices even at this moment. Thanks to technology, prediction of the future is made easier and the advancements and demands that technology meets within the legal system provide an idea of what tomorrow may bring. The fourth industrial revolution not only introduces new technologies of automation and AI but also other significant changes, such as (just to name a few) Integrated/Hybrid Models, Alternative Legal Offerings and Data Synchronisation. But before we move ahead, note that this digital transformation is not a destination per se, but a journey that must begin without a definite final destination. This new world that we live in today is constantly changing, and it is imperative to understand the stage of digital maturity your business is at and strategize accordingly. Pursuant to this are some internal and external tools and methodologies that will enable you to effectively layout your goals, objectives, desired outcomes, metrics for measuring your progress, timelines, and budgets.

Enhancing legal structures: the first step in exploring new avenues of practice. Innovation is at the heart of Industry 4.0- in this rapidly changing world, legal practitioners are threatened with disruption, digitalisation and demand like never before. Indeed, continuously innovating is a way to attain competitive advantage, but there is more- the changes around bring complex challenges within the firm making it complex to “solve” problems internally. Before we start discussing how to innovate and be ready to embrace the change that lies just around the corner, it’s important to take a brief look at what exactly we are looking to address. It is believed that it is hard to change people's behaviour. However, when you change their environment, people will have to adapt and change their behaviour to fit into the new environment. It is just about nurturing the garden. You nurture the soil and plants bloom into trees that yield fruits and flowers for years to come.By simply understanding this- half of your work is done- to sustain and thrive in the next-gen legal practice.

Article author:
Ajuni Chawla

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