The single largest private provider of legal services in the world today is not a law firm. It’s Deloitte, the big four accounting firm. And LegalZoom, valued at $2 billion, is pulling millions of consumers away from local attorneys.
What does that mean for your own practice?
This enlightening article from the ABA Journal, “Law firms either keep up with tech or get left behind,” paints a vivid picture of what attorneys and law firms must do if they are to stay relevant, particularly in the consumer legal services arena.
A few CLE classes on technology are not enough. This is not about using the latest document preparation software or billing system. It’s about embracing new technologies that are changing how legal services are delivered.
Some law schools are getting with the program and their graduates are being hired for positions that didn’t exist five years ago: “legal solutions architects” and “knowledge management supervisor” are some of the new titles and functions.
Is your firm ready for what’s already here?
For the trusts and estate law firm, the biggest issue is helping clients prepare for distribution of digital assets. Family photos, videos, cryptocurrency, hidden accounts and social media posts are just a few of the digital assets that are being left out of the estate plan by most attorneys. Court cases are starting to pile up as business owners die and their families are left without access to years of emails, financial information and business data.
The problem: the laws have evolved. A provision naming their executor as the executor of their digital assets is in violation of most Terms of Service Agreements from the platform owner, like Google, YouTube, Facebook or LinkedIn.
One solution is offered by Directive Communication Systems (DCS). This highly focused company offers an estate management solution assisting attorneys and personal representatives to organize and contact personal accounts to fulfill an individual’s final wishes. No passwords have to be shared. When the time comes, notification of the individuals wishes is provided, and instructions, which may include deletion, transference, memorialization or other instructions, are in full compliance with the law.
Lawyers ignore new legal technology at their own peril. DCS is on the forefront, serving the estate planning attorney today.