Your privacy is important to us.
Legal technology is key to delivering legal services in the modern world. Legal technology streamlines and enhances various aspects of the legal industry and can be harnessed to deliver many environmental benefits.
Utilising legal technology enables legal professionals to improve the efficiency of large-scale document review and discovery services, enhancing accuracy and reducing cost for clients. By using legal technology, as opposed to manual document review, legal professionals can have a more positive impact on the environment in a number of ways. Below are some of the environmentally-friendly advantages of using legal technology:
One of the most tangible environmental benefits of using legal technology is the reduction in paper consumption. Traditional legal processes often involve the use of extensive hard-copy paperwork, from contracts to pleadings. Legal technology solutions, such as electronic document management systems and e-filing platforms, can significantly reduce the need for printing and mailing physical documents. Legal technology solutions also offer more secure storage options than traditional hard copy storage.
Legal proceedings often require lawyers, clients, and other stakeholders to travel for meetings, hearings, and negotiations. Legal tech tools, such as video conferencing and virtual collaboration platforms, can facilitate remote communication, reducing the need for travel. By utilising these tech options, legal professionals and clients alike can reduce their carbon emissions from transportation.
The use of secure cloud-based solutions and data rooms/centres for storing legal information and documents can lead to energy savings compared to maintaining physical servers. Cloud-based services are often designed to be more energy-efficient and can scale resources based on demand, reducing overall energy consumption.
Legal technology enables broader access to legal services, especially for those in more rural areas and those continuing to take precautions related to Covid-19 and other health issues. In providing access to legal advice and services through secure digital platforms, individuals may be less likely to need to physically travel, reducing the carbon footprint associated with transport.
In many legal processes, documents need to be physically transported between parties, courts and other institutions. The use of digital signatures, secure online platforms, and e-filing systems can help minimise the need for physical document transportation, thereby reducing carbon emissions associated with courier services.
It is important to note that while legal technology offers many potential environmental benefits, the extent of these benefits will depend on the specific technologies adopted, their widespread implementation, and the willingness of legal professionals to embrace new practices.
In addition, the environmental impact of any technology should be evaluated holistically, considering factors such as the energy consumption of data centres and the lifecycle of electronic devices.
Cleaver Fulton Rankin is the first independent law firm in Northern Ireland to launch a Legal Technology Group and ESG Hub. We are also pleased to be the first independent law firm in Northern Ireland to sign the Greener Litigation Pledge.
Cleaver Fulton Rankin offers legal technology and document review solutions to our NI business clients, English and Welsh law firms and public sector clients. For further information about our Legal Technology or ESG services, please get in touch.
This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor.