For an industry built on trust, consistency, and reliability, the legal sector has traditionally been slow to adopt modern technologies for fear that doing so may end up getting in the way of their operations. It is true that many digital transformations fail, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to be stuck in the twentieth century when the more innovative among your competitors are using technology to capitalize on new and lucrative opportunities.
Of all the disruptive technologies making an entrance into the modern business IT environment, blockchain will inevitably have a profound effect on the legal industry. Here are five reasons why:
1. Protecting Intellectual Property
With the rise of the internet sharing, law firms have found it increasingly difficult to keep up with the increase in intellectual property theft. Countermeasures have largely proven ineffective, while things like digital rights management systems have often left honest consumers fuming at the many problems they introduce.
By making it easier to enforce intellectual property laws, the decentralized nature of blockchain may present the perfect solution. An obvious application of blockchain is intellectual property registration, which catalogs and stores content and provides indisputable evidence of ownership.
2. Safeguarding Financial Transactions
There’s a reason why blockchain technology so quickly rose to prominence in the criminal underworld – it allows people to carry out untraceable financial transactions. The anonymous and decentralized nature of blockchain does, however, make it the perfect solution for legitimate transactions as well.
Banks and other financial institutions are using blockchain to catalog and secure legal and financial transactions. Blockchain makes it possible to ensure items such as divorce agreements and wills cannot be altered or tampered with.
3. Smart Contracts
Everyone seems to be talking about running a paperless office these days, but as any practitioner of the law knows, legal contracts still require physical signatures on original documents. Aside from being increasingly archaic in the digital age, it’s also much more time-consuming to work with physical documents that need to be sent by mail.
Blockchain technology promises to change all that by turning legal agreements into digital contracts that can’t be forged. These so-called smart contracts will cost only a fraction of what physical contracts cost because they can be safely transmitted between relevant parties over the internet.
4. Managing Land Registries
For real estate conveyancers, it’s probably hard to imagine going fully digital when you’re routinely working with important contracts dealing with large sums of money. It is easy to see why this sector is still stuck with relying on printed land registries and paper deeds.
As a decentralized digital ledger that cannot be hacked by conventional means, blockchain technology provides an immutable system for storing sensitive data on property rights, land ownership, and dispute cases. Chances are it will revolutionize land registries in the near future and finally lead to the digitization of the real estate legal sector.
5. Managing a Single Source of Truth
Lawyers typically spend most of their working hours collecting and presenting case information from a wide variety of sources. Depending on how complicated a case is, there’s a high chance of contradictory evidence leading to complications, delays, and further disputes.
Blockchain-based records are different, since they provide an immutable, finalized source of information backed up by time-stamped signatures. Although blockchain records still aren’t admissible as evidence in court in many locations, this is changing rapidly as the technology makes its foray into the mainstream.
Is it time for your law firm to get up to speed with its technology? If so, Legal Imaging is here to help you ensure that your digital transformation is a smooth operation that leads to improved performance and profitability. Contact us today to learn more.