Why lawyers must embrace technology
The sight of nervous litigants, busy lawyers, frantic clerks, all attempting
to manoeuvre through the chaos of courts came to a standstill when the Covid-19
pandemic marked its presence in the country. A complete shutdown of our judicial
machinery was an unfeasible option as access to justice and judicial review are
indispensable and fundamental aspects of our legal system.
An alternate sphere of courts has been built in the virtual world with the
assistance of technology. Virtual hearings through video conferences and the
e-court systems have proven to be the solution to problems which we had never
Virtual courts have enabled the lawyers to argue at the comforts of their homes
and offices, eliminating the stress of darting from one courtroom to another.
Additionally, e-filing systems have converted the process of litigation into a
time-saving and cost-efficient affair. As Honourable Justice Chandrachud pointed
out, the work of twenty judges is now being handled by one judge, therefore
virtual courts have impacted positively the productivity of the judges and the
Further, this substitute legal system has successfully bridged the gap between
the litigants and courts. Litigants and witnesses are saved from the trouble of
traveling to courts at every date. This has ensured greater participation and an
effective. Additionally, technological tools like legal management software,
e-signature, and e-payment tools have also become crucial to the functioning of
the courts and law offices.
However, The Supreme court advocates-on-record association, the Supreme court
bar association, and the Bar Council of India have expressed their unequivocal
disapproval of the new system of imparting justice. Due to the sudden inclusion
of technology in the legal landscape, many lawyers grapple with putting across
their arguments effectively during virtual hearings. Lack of tech-support, bad
internet connection, and an overall alienation towards technology have lowered
the morals of the legal fraternity.
Yet, it is imperative to acknowledge the fact that technology is not going
anywhere since constant change is the new norm. Apart from the obvious inclusion
of technology in the courtroom set-up, the adoption of cloud-based services and
legal management software have also entered the market. Law firms and offices
have been forced to move away from the traditional way of updating cases,
informing the clients and tracking orders and judgments, and adopt software
tools to maintain case diaries and files. Henceforth, technology leadership is
crucial for making the transition to a virtual world smooth. The goal is to not
allow any virtual users to fend for themselves and become isolated in this
Even though virtual courts cannot completely replace physical hearings, there is
set to be a tectonic shift in the way in which law firms and offices function.
Law firms and offices have now been forced to include health and safety in their
disaster mitigation plans, apart from financial and business considerations.
Therefore, work from home and remote job roles are set to stay in the
post-pandemic world as well because the crisis has enabled us to identify
dispensable and unnecessary.
Therefore, innovation and development of project management tools tailored for
the legal fraternity, tech support, e-payment and e-signature, software are the
way forward. Alternatively, the virtual world is accompanied by a constantly
looming cybersecurity threat henceforth it is prudent to employ resources into
research, innovation, and development in the field of cybersecurity.
Henceforth, now the virtues of a good lawyer are not limited to skills of
litigation, research, oration, academia, and time management, but also a comfort
towards and understating of technology. It is prudent for the lawyers to
familiarize themselves with the new system of virtual courts, management
software, e-payment methods, e-filing systems, and virtual office management.
Technology is integrating into the real world at an exponential pace, and so it
is imperative for lawyers to keep an open mind and embrace the new changes and
The pandemic has impacted the system of litigation permanently. It involves a
shift of the status quo of the system to a new regime. Post-pandemic, the
judiciary should explore the areas of litigation which witnessed compatibility
with alternate system and incorporate a combination administration of virtual
and physical hearings. This would allow the courts to enjoy the best of both
worlds; cost-effectiveness, increase in productivity, and time management, while
also ensuring that justice prevails!
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