By Benny Henson
You might be hearing some grumbles related to bitcoins–possibly it will fade in the coming years, but its foreground technology–Blockchain will be the most significant development that will continue to grow. Blockchain will be the transformative energy behind changes that are ready to take place within the legal industry.
Businesses are heavily investing in Blockchain, which is enforcing law firms to take board this technology. Experts suggest that Blockchain will be as revolutionary as the Internet. It will considerably impact the legal sector, right from how firms serve their clients to how they run their practices.
We will explore the impact of Blockchain in detail, but first, let’s understand what Blockchain is:
Well, the Blockchain technology came into existence with bitcoins, but the level of transparency and accountability it offers has allured many industrialists across the globe. The blockchain is a decentralized public ledger that record transactions, removing the need of any external partner. Each transaction is connected to a unique user ID and password. It also offers excellent authentication and security to keep the risk of data breach minimal.
According to the Bloomberg Law, the legal industry is one of the growing sectors will join the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance.
Areas that will be transformed by Blockchain technology in the legal industry:
- Contract Management: More Consistency and Efficiency
Blockchain-based application OpenLaw is one of the most popular tools used among lawyers to prepare legal documents. This tool has set algorithms, providing templates to lawyers for generating accurate legal documents, irrespective of the type of case.
In the world of contracts, this tool integrates an essential function, enabling two parties to negotiate different factors in the contracts with the help of previous drafts.
More so, when the contract is wrapped up, it is evident that both the parties will sign the respective documents and this tool save everything along with signatures in Blockchain for further references.
Lawyers can also move to self-execution of contracts, which is known as smart contracts and it is possible in agreements like employee payment or transfer and a lot more. However, these tools will inevitably affect the lawyers, who work on such stuff on a daily basis- they can be out of the job, according to experts.
2. Legal Documents: One-Stop Solution
Well, with an unchangeable record of completed contracts and stamped signatures with time, there are fewer probabilities of disputes. Today, if you look around, many courts across the developed countries are making an initiative to emerge in this digital world by acknowledging the legitimacy of signatures in contracts stored in Blockchain.
Experts suggest that Blockchain is a very secure platform and its documents cannot be suspected at any turning point. If a signed contract is stored in Blockchain, it will be there forever, and any individual can confirm that. This technology involves the entire history of every legal document happened in the system without any error.
3. Implicates of this Technology: Expertise, Role of Lawyers
Blockchain has been introduced to simplify the law office management efficiently so that lawyers could focus on what they do best rather than doing the same repetitive contract work. Lawyers can concentrate on legal documents that require special attention or are complex, and smart contracts assist law firms in such scenarios.
More so, law firms can enhance their data analytics abilities by serving data on Blockchain and spinning it into machine learning algorithms. This doesn’t mean lawyers need to be coders, rather than training yourselves on such aspects you can seek the help of developers or opt for contract review and management services, eliminating the need of investing in technology or hiring experts.
4. Say no to Notaries
The Blockchain can record and time stamp documents till eternity. Law firms just have to trigger the smart contract to scan each phrase precisely, eliminating errors to the maximum. So the days of notaries are gone. Now you can witness your stamped documents as strong evidence for any case with blockchain, as it is equipped with a digital rubber stamp. Once the document is sealed, it will be the same forever.
5. Digitized available Case Law
In this digital world, lawyers and interns still hunt for different legal books to find the relevant precedents for each case. But as the technology is becoming more sophisticated, a digitized way to eliminate the burden of case law via libraries is becoming the need of the hour. And Blockchain is actually doing this.
The Law Library of Congress has converted 2.9 million volumes of US case law on the Blockchain including different legal definitions. So this is one of the revolutionary changes that will simplify case law for lawyers and law firms.
Challenges In the future
The conjugal between lawyers and Blockchain is exciting many, but at the initial stage, everything looks perfect. We all know that the legal industry is very much vulnerable to mistakes when to comes using any new technology. More so, which Blockchain application should be used in every law firm or we can say deciding on a standard application may raise more issues for law firms.
But law firms don’t have any choice because the clients are becoming more sophisticated in the digital environment and using secure platforms. If any of the clients prefer to interact on Blockchain, law firms have no other option left.
The Blockchain is at present a compelling technology, and its power will increase in the coming years. And according to top lawyers, Blockchain will surely do some wonder for lawyers in terms of saving costing, enhancing overall efficiency, and utilizing the workforce for the right work that contributes to the growth of the legal industry. However, it will also have some adverse effects, which is quite apparent as we know every aspect has good and bad faces!
Benny Henson is pretty much active in the legal industry. She is passionate about giving her opinion in small, medium enterprise and legal services topics. She is a recognized expert in the subject and contributing articles and blogs to top business related sites. She also likes to write on the latest development in the corporate businesses, legal departments, law firms and many more.