Whether in an acquisition or lease arrangement, most corporate law transactions are guided by tax considerations
The rise of legal tech in Canada
News flash—legal technology solutions are on the rise, and automated litigation support software programs are popping up around the globe. The US has been very vocal online about their efforts on educating lawyers on new technology, so why does Canada seem to be lagging behind? It’s not because Canadians aren’t open to change, it’s that they are only starting to get the education they need on disruptive legal tech.
Why Canadian lawyers are slower to adopt legal tech
Actually, Canadian lawyers are just as behind as lawyers in other countries when it comes to adopting new legal technology software in comparison to the US. Many lawyers are tied to their traditional “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” mindset, content with doing their jobs as they did 50 years ago. Manual legal or and administrative work is perceived as the “norm” instead of a “pain,” masking any need to change.
The US’s legal market is larger than Canada’s. This is because the US population is simply bigger than Canada’s, and there are more practicing lawyers and more clients needing legal assistance. US lawyers have more easily accessible information available through publications, tech conferences, meetups and legal blogs. In contrast, there’s a lack of technology information geared for Canadian lawyers as legal tech hasn’t been a trending topic in the past.
The rise of legal tech in Canada
With the rise of legal tech startups in Canada, Canadian lawyers are beginning to see the real value of transaction management software technologies in their practice. As of 2016, there were 41 legal tech businesses based in Toronto alone. Most legal tech startups are started by lawyers who became entrepreneurs, indicating an increasingly recognized problem in the legal industry. Our deal management platform was co-founded by Edmonton corporate lawyer Amir Reshef who noticed the inefficiencies of traditional transaction management and decided to make a change.
There’s also a noticeable growth of legal tech groups and meetups in Canada, which present opportunities to educate people in the legal space. Organizations such as the Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA) now include technology learning and the future of law as part of their conference agenda. Law.com hosts their annual LegalWeek to connect the legal professional community and to educate them about upcoming trends and new technologies.
Big law firms are becoming the country’s legal tech pioneers and many small firms are starting to consider utilizing legal technology to improve their practice.
What’s in it for the clients?
The traditional way of doing legal work may still work for lawyers but not anymore for their clients. With increasingly innovative thinking, clients are leading law firms to provide a faster and an efficient way of administering deal management process. Greater opportunities to learn about new technology will provide Canadian lawyers with better understanding about how to relate to their clients, ultimately bringing growth to their business. It may take time for Canadian lawyers to fully embrace legal technology, but breakthroughs to the future of law are on the rise!