“I'm not joking, but when you ask the question, 'What is the future of the profession?', assume you have a future. A better way of putting it is to think: How will we solve problems in the future for which today's professions are the best answer?
-Prof. Richard Süßkind

With thousands of cool startups springing up around the world, cool tech isn't nearly as taboo as it was a few decades ago. In fact, cool tech startups have raised millions of dollars in the last year alone. The emergence of new technologies brings changes in all sectors. Popular examples are the impact of streaming and transport services (Netflix and Uber) on the entertainment and transport industries, respectively. New technology brings change, but what impact will it have on the legal industry? This article attempts to examine some areas of daily legal practice in Nigeria that will inevitably be influenced by the advancement of technology. What is most exciting is that some of these changes are taking place as we speak.

Definition von Legal Technology

For clarification, legal technology simply refers to any innovation that serves the legal industry or provides legal services to the general public. These technologies help with many aspects of legal practice, such as: B. Document management, archiving, accounting, collaboration, marketing, investigation, communication and automation.

Current trend of Legal Tech in Nigeria

Nigeria has fully embraced legal technology for the first time in the form of online legal reports such asLaw Pavilion. Previously, lawyers had to buy the most expensive and bulky printed legal briefs. Today there are various other legal reports online such as:Judyand a number of platforms dedicated to providing information on current developments in the legal world. Despite being the largest bar in Africa, Nigeria's law firm has largely operated at a slower pace of technology adoption than most other big bars. In the US, for example, many law firms are running practice management tools and some are beginning to adopt AI software in eDiscovery.

One of the reasons Nigeria is so careless about legal tech is simply that it offers no practical benefit from today's perspective. Legal tools and solutions create costs that are ultimately passed on to clients who may not be able to afford those costs because… well, Nigeria. With this in mind, legal tech solutions that help with accounting, hands-on management, collaboration and more seem like a waste of money. The trick here is to provide technology that offers practical utility while reducing costs for attorneys and the clients who use them, and opening them up to a wider range of possibilities.

Expected future trends in the 2020s

Technological innovations generally come in three forms. It's usually about solving a need, creating a need, or doing both. Most of the inventions used worldwide, such as Facebook or smartphones, belong to the third category. Future large scale legal tech acquisitions in Nigeria will happen because lawyers/clients need them, because they offer value that lawyers/clients desperately need, or both. The following categories of tools I think fit well into this category.

  1. Document automation tools and do it yourself
  2. Criminal Investigation Tools
  3. Platforms for legal marketing and
  4. electronic filing systems

1. Document automation and DIY tools.

Let's start with document automation and DIY tools that are frankly a nightmare for lawyers. Lawyers do not necessarily need this. In fact, they hate it, just like graphic designers hate rapid template design platformsCanvas.However, the sad truth is that DIY rigs are here to stay. These services thrive because they are cheaper alternatives to more expensive personalized services. Many people want to take advantage of the formalities of a written contract without the hassle of hiring a lawyer. Although it's less personalized, document automation and DIY startups like itlegal nature,US legal formsmimake your own willThey're having a big day and I think they're just getting started. in Nigerian,Gelbdoes a good job of providing access to quality, simple legal information and services at affordable prices. Rather than arguing that these platforms aren't foolproof or how they can replace the need for legal services, it's better to stand up and get on with the show. The reality is that these platforms will inevitably improve over time. In addition, many large clients will continue to choose the more personal services of "human" attorneys. For example, despite cheaper alternatives like Canva, people still hire graphic designers for more complex projects. DIY tools like legal chatbots would help average Nigerians get legal advice at a cheaper price and with the rise of entrepreneurship among youth and the rise of new SMEs, they are certainly needed.

2. Legal Research Tools

Lawyers learn three important things in Nigerian law school: “Mind your manners, tell the truth, and know the law.” Not surprisingly, legal research tools were the first form of legal technology to be adopted. For the 2020s, I foresee a storm of legal research startups. In addition, specialized legal blogs offering information on specific areas of law will increase. It will be nice to see sites and startups dedicated solely to specific areas like entertainment or arbitration. Lawyers constantly need information and research, so a possible increase in this type of service is obvious.

3. Legal Marketing Platforms

Necessity really comes into play here, because lawyers need clients to function. Building a wealthy and loyal clientele is one of the most difficult aspects of the legal practice. In fact, it's arguably one of the key characteristics that separates the best law firms from the average. There are two irritating things about marketing for most Nigerian lawyers. The first is that it distracts from normal legal business and the second is rule 39 of the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) for legal professionals. The rule restricts advertising and bans advertising (probably for good reason). I anticipate an increase in online legal directories, which, for the record, are allowed under RPC rule 39(4). This way, lawyers get the well-deserved exposure they crave most.. Lexquiry Tech Ltd, a cool tech company from Nigeria, is about to launch such a product.

4. Electronic filing systems

When it comes to electronic filing, which is a lot easier than you might think, Nigerian courts really fail. E-filing tools enable attorneys to electronically file court cases and legal documents in the court system. A physical trip to the secretary or secretaries is not required to deliver these documents; something that might come in handy during the COVID19 lockdown. Federal ministries such as the Federal Fiscal Court and the Corporate Affairs Commission already operate filing systems, so it is not unreasonable that the judiciary could do the same. The widespread adoption of electronic filing systems is something lawyers are sure to love, and I'm willing to bet a fortune on it happening within this decade. The effects are less onerous for lawyers and court officials. Additionally, these systems can be seamlessly integrated with reminder tools to further reduce missed deadlines. Court systems will be able to track and manage cases effectively, and new bodies, or at least new specialists, will be added to maintain these systems. Everyone wins! I'm really looking forward to this one. Fortunately, three weeks ago, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Judge Ibrahim Muhammad, mentioned that the judiciary would soon start implementing large-scale digitization that would ensure electronic filing of court cases and virtual service of judgments.


Legal practice cannot resist technology forever. nothing can. The technology predates the law and will likely endure long after the profession has failed.Future legal technologies will provide tools that allow a single attorney to do work that previously could only be done by dozens or hundreds of attorneys. Some solutions do not require the presence of a lawyer at all. Tomorrow's lawyers are those who will be able to use, or even facilitate the creation of, systems that solve legal problems easily, quickly, and accurately. Prepare yourself. We have just entered a decade of exciting change. What are your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments.

Written by:

Isibor Kelvin ACIArb

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