A Kenyan legal firm has unveiled a virtual workspace that enables lawyers and advocates to work from anywhere, using a phone, tablet or personal computer. In a move that will open up more opportunities and career paths for lawyers and advocates, the Legal Point is feature-rich and is designed to make legal work easier, more efficient and more effective.
According to Legal Technologies Kenya, with the digital economy continuously growing and consumers spending increasingly more time online, lawyers & advocates are yet to maximize their presence in these spaces and build legal practices that respond to the changes in customer behavior and meet the new customer demands that are a result of the growth of the digital economy. Legal Tech further says that at Legal Point, advocates can set up their legal practice at very low costs.
‘Our call to advocates is to facilitate the expansion of legal practice into digital spaces and to empower young advocates to create new ways of earning income by taking advantage of the expansive but underutilized digital marketspace’, says Nelson CEO and Founder Legal Technologies Kenya.
Legal Point holds the opinion that the disruption in the legal space is driven by the failure of enterprises building traditional goods or providing traditional services to adequately respond to changes in customer expectations around products and services. He says the uptake of technology within the legal space has been customer driven to a large extent.
Nelson says that the uptake of technology with the legal space has been spearheaded by the Judiciary in a big way, from the digitization of recording keeping, to virtual court sessions, that were given the final push after the Covid 19 pandemic. “The changes that the Judiciary has implemented are very progressive, much needed and long overdue, ” says Nelson. “Our profession stands to gain a lot from these changes, and we laud the Judiciary on the sustained initiative to improve judicial processes through technology” added Nelson.
The uptake of the product according to the startup has been good, with over 60 registered Advocates and Lawyers, who have used our platform to handle over 110 legal matters. The company also says that it has recorded increased interest in its product especially for legal practitioners of between 0-5 years of practice.
“On the other hand, the feedback from existing customers has been overwhelmingly positive. Our work now is focused on improving the already existing product and finding ways to reach an even wider base of legal service providers” says Nelson. “Legal Tech innovations are not just a preserve of the younger generation of legal service providers, they should be simple and robust enough to cater to the needs of all age groups within the legal profession, ” he adds.
Nelson attributes the slow uptake of technology in the legal space to the fact that legal practice is built on procedure and a necessity to maintain the highest standards of privacy and confidentiality. According to Nelson, technology comes with inherent risks related to privacy and data security, adding that this could have brought about the hesitation to migrate to computerized systems that may be vulnerable to data security breaches.
“Further, the well-defined procedures and modes of legal practice that have, in some instances, been in existence for decades, makes it difficult for the adoption of technology in legal practice to occur at a pace similar to what is being witnessed in other professional services.” “Herein lies the problem and the reason why legal practice lags behind other sectors in terms of adoption of technology. Tech innovation in legal practice requires a reimagining of these procedures in ways that allow them to be translated into efficient and effective software applications.”
Legal Technologies Kenya at the same time sees the possibility for Legal Technology to perpetuate injustices where enough considerations are not factored into the development of products. For instance, accessible technology should be a key consideration for all development efforts.
The Startup says there is need for infrastructure considerations to be factored into the development of Legal Tech products, affordable internet connectivity rates and access to smartphones also being key factors that have the potential to further entrench injustices, because remote and marginalized communities are at risk of falling outside the scope of coverage of most legal tech applications.
Legal Technologies Kenya also says it is working on new innovations in Artificial Intelligence and BlockChain Technology that it hopes launch in the coming months, in its efforts to contribute significantly to the digital transformation of legal practice in Kenya and Africa.