As other industry’s continue to offer their clients and customers various methods to communicate and conduct business with them the legal industry continues to hold on to the fear of exposing confidential and privileged information as a reason to keep technology at arm’s length. Although, there are concerns that any business that has been entrusted to protect sensitive information should have when using technology there are also ways to use it responsibly. Outside of the case management system, copier, transcription machine and automatic coffee maker in the break room the legal field has failed to realize the potential that technology can have on cutting costs and improving client relations. With the legal industry’s failure to embrace the capabilities of technology it is no surprise that poor client relations, specifically billing issues and lack of communication is one of the top reasons for malpractice and complaints to the bar? Outside of satisfaction surveys, client complaints are the next best way to get a gauge of where a business is failing its customers. Based on the complaints to the bar and malpractice suits attorneys and firms are failing in the communication arena. The reasons why clients do not feel as though they are being communicated with adequately can be argued but the fact still remains that it is an issue.
The legal industry is operating at a snail’s pace when it comes to the use of technology while industry’s like banking are using technology to improve and maintain relationships with their customers. Banking is light years ahead of the legal industry with smartphone app’s that allow customers to get market insights about investments and even trade securities directly from a smartphone. Some attorneys and legal scholars will continue to hold on to an attorney’s fiduciary duty to their clients as their reason for not embracing technology but banks have privacy laws that they must adhere to yet are still finding more ways to use technology effectively. Could it be that technology challenges attorneys in an area that is outside their comfort zone and therefore they would rather continue to do business as usual?