Gone are the days of law without technology.
Today, law schools are producing lawyers comfortable with tech-issues such as cybersecurity, digital currency regulations and data restrictions, attorneys who are not only verbally articulate but who operate fluently in a legal environment transformed by technology.
Digital dictation, one aspect of processing workflow for law firms, is no longer merely a nice-to-have, but rather an essential requirement for improving client services. Effective integration of dictation technology has a direct impact on the bottom line through its time-saving benefits.
Lawyers can record the action required for clients quickly, efficiently, getting information directly where it needs to be. Dictating a letter or meeting notes straight away minimises incorrect or incomplete information. Recordings can be marked as ‘urgent’ and sent for immediate processing or considered for critical decisions. Lawyers can record, edit, send, receive and manage dictation from multiple offices, from cars or courtrooms, dictating on the move, reviewing documents securely with mobile devices.
The crux of the matter for any law firm with digital dictation solutions that then involve a textual record, or transcript, of the recordings, is the accuracy of such a textual record. In other words, the question for law firms isn’t: do we need a digital dictation solution? The question is: how can we ensure an accurate textual record of the recording?
The problem is the misperception of digital dictation solutions as an either/or, as a purely people solution (old school) or a complete software solution (the new). But both of these alternatives have issues. The problems arising from the former are that work is slow, human behaviour dependent, speed and volume restricted; the two significant issues arising from technology are essential accuracy and customisability.
The main problem, until recently, is that digital solutions are off-the-shelf one-size-fits-all. This software still requires ‘training’ in the nuances of a particular speaker and terminology applicable to an industry such as law. The results? Inaccuracies. Costly time. Unreliabilities. Frustration.
So what’s the future?