Newsletter Edition 11 - February 2020


Lawtechs & Legaltechs and the Law of the future

According to AB2L figures, today in Brazil more than 140 startups are working in the field of technological solutions for legal issues.

The lawyer of the future already exists. He masters the language of technology, knows how to use the new digital tools and, at the same time, maintains the old skills pertinent to the profession, such as empathy, conciliatory capacity and, of course, a broad mastery of legal technique. In an outline, this is the profile of the new legal professional, sketched by Daniel Marques, president of the Brazilian Association of Lawtechs & Legaltechs (AB2L). He was interviewed by ABPI Cast in February, with the participation of Gabriel Leonardos, first vice president of ABPI and president of the Special Intellectual Property Commission of the Federal Council of OAB (the Brazilian Bar Association).

Created in late 2017, in the wake of the so-called fourth industrial revolution, AB2L started with 20 Lawtechs/Legaltechs and today brings together more than 500 members, including legal technology companies, member offices, freelance professionals and service providers. Lawtechs or Legaltechs, companies dedicated to technological solutions for legal issues, have been multiplying. According to a survey by LawGeex, an artificial intelligence company focused on law, in 2018 this market generated more than US$ 1 billion worldwide. In Brazil alone, according to AB2L, today there are more than 140 startups in this field.

Redeeming the essence of the profession
In a sector in which, according to the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), there are more than one million lawyers who manage more than 100 million cases, technology is an enabler. Marques explains that instead of replacing professional law practice, new technologies are releasing legal professionals from merely bureaucratic or repetitive tasks. “As in any field, these are tasks that the machines can do, allowing lawyers to focus on what they have been trained for”, he adds. “New technologies are helping lawyers redeem the essence of their profession”.

According to Marques, there are several repetitive tasks which already incorporated by digital technology, such as the procedural monitoring that can be done online, using an Excel spreadsheet. Business intelligence tools are transforming offices, whose operations are no longer limited to the region where they are located and can serve customers throughout Brazil and even from abroad. “In this first phase of digitization, the automation of procedures is being adopted and, in the next phase about to come, it will be the rethinking of processes, so that they become simpler, more effective and accessible”.

Gabriel Leonardos pointed out that new generations of lawyers will have to incorporate the new processes brought by technology and, at the same time, preserve the capacity for interpersonal relationships, socialization, and empathy, which characterize the good exercise of their profession. We are demanding that new generations acquire new skills without waiving old ones”.

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