Technology in the digital age has put businesses face-to-face with a whole new set of challenges. It’s fair to say that for some, these changes have been negative, putting certain sectors out of business entirely. For others, the digital age has been of great benefit. Then in some areas, the digital world has done a bit of both. Within the law industry, technology and the internet have not necessarily had a negative effect. They have, however, opened up a whole new aspect of what lawyers must now take into account.
Electronic discovery, also known as E-discovery, is an electronic strategy involving the collecting of electronically stored information for law suits and investigations. This includes such formats as: websites, social media, emails, documents and video files.
These technologies can be a bit complex due to their volume of data. However, they can provide a lawyer with information that may not be available from other articles of information.
Metadata is important here. This refers to time and date of a file, author and recipient information, and file properties. E-discovery itself is still advancing. Law firms, such as the Austin law firm Alexander Law Firm, are specializing in ways to deal with clients that may require electronic investigation for cases.
This is an interesting one because it is more significant than we might know. Take the #MeToo movement, for example. This encouraged the implementation of a variety of new legislature in certain cities and states. It also encourages those who may not have stood up before to now do so.
Hashtag movements can promote a system of seeking action that may not have existed otherwise. It also acts as a platform for lawyers to discover clients they think are in need of their help.
Maybe an obvious one here. Yet, it does seem that digital communications between all people with the right technology (which is most) is growing quicker each day. From a time where a fax or an email would require a day or two for response, we now have it all at our finger tips.
Lawyers in close contact with clients can now reach them whenever they deem necessary. The same works with clients, too.
Mobile phones also act as a brilliant recording device. They can help both clients and attorneys to build cases with more solid evidence.
New Legal Challenges
The real and the virtual world pose completely different sets of issues. Take data, for example.
We are only data when we are online or in a survey statistic. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was put in place last year was one of the most significant data privacy regulations seen in decades. As consumers and participants in an online world, everyone then faces potential legal matters that are inevitably going to come with it.
From GDPR, advertising and copyright – of images, text, music and so on – to anti-spam laws, there is a whole new world of which lawyers need to be aware.
This is something that must also be taught at law schools. That way, lawyers know how to be aware and how to deal with it.
Online Platforms Expanding Communities
Online platforms have assisted in diversifying clientele. It has been especially significant for those who previously may not have been able to seek legal advice, say those from underprivileged backgrounds. Diverse groups can now access legal advice and resources.
Social networking through sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter, also help lawyers connect, collaborate and communicate. This is beneficial to professional growth, networking, and participating in topical discussions.