Technology is changing the way we conduct legal transactions in our daily lives. As a result, we are forced to enact new laws covering issues like cyber law, cyber security, e-commerce, etc. However, this lawmaking is still at a very initial stage and law is still very far away from catching the technological changes.
For many decades technology has been trying to penetrate the legal profession and legal services fields. However, technology has failed to achieve this task so far. Of course, some of the law firms have started using legal case management systems and even artificial intelligence (AI) for limited legal fields. Nevertheless, legal fraternity is still very rigid in adopting and using technology.
Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) started experimenting with information and communication technology (ICT) since 2002. This is the time when the first ever digital law firm of India was also born in the form of Perry4Law. A true digital law firm is not one that merely uses some form of technology but that has integrated ICT in its day to day activities. So the essential attributes of a true digital law firm is that most of its activities and services are performed in an online environment using ICT.
However, becoming the premier digital law firm of India has its own costs. Indian clients are still not comfortable with a virtual law firm and virtual legal assistants. They are more anxious to meet the people in person and face to face. They still believe in documentary dealings whereas most of the documentation and communications can safely be conducted using ICT. For instance, many Indian clients find it really difficult to interact over e-mails and chats. Even a telephonic conversation is not enough for them to start the hiring process for legal services. Naturally, lawyers have insignificant and almost nonexistent interest in technology in such cases and all they would be interested in is automation of administrative and para legal services.
Perry4Law remained persistent and even today we focus more upon being a virtual law firm than a brick and mortar law firm. We also encouraged use of open source software so that legal services in India can be rejuvenated. For instance, we are the first digital law firm in the entire world that is offering techno legal services in the fields like online internship, online skills development for lawyers and others, online dispute resolution (ODR), e-courts, cyber forensics, cyber security, e-discovery, etc. So our legal practice and services are inseparable from technology and Perry4Law is not just providing techno legal services using ICT but is itself a techno legal institution.
The story does not end here. We keep on experimenting with ICT and open source software and introduce novel and useful model for national and international stakeholders. For instance, at the Online Disputes Resolution & Cyber Arbitration Portal of TLCEODRI, national and international stakeholders can resolve their techno legal disputes by just opening a ticket. Similarly, any person located in any part of this world can avail the techno legal services of Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) or Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) by just opening a legal service request. Now this is the hallmark of a true digital law firm that can assist any person on the planet through Internet. Basically, we are using both commonly available and disruptive technologies to streamline and change the way legal services are provided using ICT. However, the task is very difficult as people and stakeholders are still not comfortable using disruptive technologies and innovative models of legal services delivery.
Nevertheless, Perry4Law is very optimistic that very soon other law firms would also follow the path suggested by Perry4Law and then people would be comfortable in availing technology assisted legal services.