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Legal Advice and Documents Brought to Public by Technology
Technology is moving fast into the $200 billion U.S. legal field. Law firms that are defined by tradition are also changing with the industry and with the times.
During the recession, several law firms collapsed and others have suffered downsizing that has left thousand of lawyers out of work. The lawyers that are working, are now facing new changes and ways they’re clients are asking for more flexibility and change to the tradition of being billed by the hour.
Experts in the Industry are saying that the industry is ready for a big shake up, including new ideas on social media and apps for smartphones and tablets.
Robert Granat, co-director of the Center For Law Practices Technology at Florida Coastal School of Law said, “As software becomes more intelligent, we will have digital apps that can either substitute for the labor of lawyers or will assist a lawyer in being more productive.”
In September, a new app called “The Shake” was launched. It has the options in creating contracts, freelancing, renting, lending money and it also has a feature where you can write it yourself. The app will help you to leap past any of the legal language lawyers use in contracts, and will automatically fill out an agreement after a few series of questions.
“It’s like Turbo Tax” for the law, said Abe Geiger, founder and chief executive of Shake Inc. “Legal becomes less of a hurdle when contracts are not long and full of jargon.” Geiger said that he created Shake after he saw how inefficient some law firms can be and how freelancers and entrepreneurs low and middle class earners are in need of help.
“Those people typically can’t afford pricey lawyers but still require sound legal help.”
According to John Suh, chief executive of LegalZoom.com Inc., there is a huge mismatch of supply and demand in the U.S.. “We have an oversupply of law graduates every year, but for whatever reason, the price has not come down to where most Americans can afford it.” He believes that technology can help to change that.
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