Are Lawyers Making the Most of Tech Opportunities?

Jun 27, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

From the call to code to a push from technology firms to fill summer internship positions with lawyers, law and technology are becoming increasingly interlinked. However, according to a recent survey from Deloitte targeted at Chief Legal Officers (CLOs) from leading law firms, the legal sector has been slow to make tech a top priority. Here’s a closer look at the findings, as reported by Financial Post.

Talking the Talk

There’s a great deal of talk about the intersection of law and technology. However, while many are talking the talk, Deloitte’s study suggests that not all are walking the walk. In fact, the survey reveals that while the majority of law firm representatives surveyed thought investing in technology would improve efficiency, just 15 percent were actually following through when it came to investing in tech.

States Deloitte, “Our view is that in order to stay relevant, legal departments must align with the key performance indicators of the broader business.” Essential to this alignment? Technology, which CLOs believe “could improve the efficiency of their workflow, contract management, regulatory compliance, and litigation management,” according to the report.

Missed Opportunities?

Said Shelby Austin, national strategic analytics and modeling leader at Deloitte, “We think this is the most exciting opportunity to come out of the data. Everyone agrees that there is still work to be done on contract management. But finally, the technology has caught up to the point where it can truly be used to have a game-changing effect.

Specifically, Austin points to technologies like machine learning and analytics for their largely untapped potential -- particularly pertaining to providing hard data regarding the value added by external counsel.

FP’s conclusion? “Talking about innovation is one thing. It’s up to lawyers to grab the opportunities that are staring them in the face.”


Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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