Technology, Time and Money: Where Does the Law Fit?
The everyday news is full of reports about the onset of new and better technology. The effects of faster processing and better networking affect almost every aspect of our lives to some degree or another. Jobs, relationships, entertainment, domestic issues – mobile phones themselves have changed a lot of the pace of those. But one field that is using a bit different route through the technological web is the legal industry. There are several reasons for this, and it’s worth thinking about them as a curious observer, as a legal professional, or as someone who is in need of legal help at any point soon.
Exponential Advances in Technology
If you contact a law firm and begin asking about the quality of their services, their answers are going to be all about history and about results in the past. Many times, the only way to differentiate between law firms that are otherwise the same is to compare them historically. And typically, these law firms are not going to giving you a selling point about how they are using all of these exponential advances in technology. In fact, it may not come up at all. A technologically-savvy lawyer or law firm isn’t necessarily going to do a better job than one that still uses tried and true methods from the past.
Slower Uptake in Legal Systems
One interesting reason for the slower uptake of technology in legal systems is simply because of the idea of speed, with reference to time and money. Lawyers and law firms typically bill by the hour, so what would be point for them to move faster toward a desired result? If legal systems innovated to come to the same conclusion more quickly, in the end, they would just charge less for the same service. And if clients aren’t already lined up in this type of a situation, they would be lowering their bottom line for nothing.
What that Discrepancy Presents
The discrepancy between what is available and what is used in modern legal processes means that there is room for improvement in method. The actual solving of cases and crimes may be better off with new technology as far as recording devices, playback devices, in-court monitors, and things like that, but the speed of technology itself isn’t going to play a huge roll until entirely new generations of judges and lawyers are in the mix.
As far as time and money go, changes in technology are not going to effect the average person going through the legal system for some time to come yet, but each small step that leads toward more accurate justice will be a positive for everyone in the long run.