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Why Do Law Firms Need Tech Professionals?



The blurring line between technology and non-tech companies is the result of convergence driven by a range of fundamental factors. This phenomenon is a key factor in understanding why law firms need tech professionals as a cornerstone of their organizations.

Firstly, the widespread digital transformation across sectors serves as a major catalyst. Companies in fields such as finance, healthcare, retail, and manufacturing are now integrating digital technologies into their core operations. This profound shift encompasses everything from customer interactions and marketing to internal processes and data analytics. Consequently, businesses that traditionally didn’t prioritize technology now heavily rely on it, resembling tech companies in practice.

Another important aspect is the widespread use of cutting-edge technology. Today, it is common to see non-tech organizations adopting cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, and the Internet of Things. These technologies, which were formerly restricted to Silicon Valley and tech hubs, are now crucial tools in many types of fields. They not only improve efficiency and save costs, but they also encourage innovation, giving businesses an edge in the market.

Furthermore, the quick speed of technological progress requires that all firms, regardless of their domain, adopt a tech mentality in order to remain relevant and successful in a rapidly changing market.

In essence, the blurring of these boundaries emphasizes how important technology has become for economic success in any industry. Law firms are not the exception.

The traditional model of legal practice, once dominated by paper trials and manual research, is giving way to a new, digitized paradigm. This transformation extends beyond the adoption of new tools; it signifies a fundamental shift in how legal services are conceptualized, delivered, and evolved. At the heart of this transformation lies the growing necessity for tech talents – the innovators and digital experts who bridge the gap between legal expertise and technological prowess.

We need to look at why law firms must not just embrace, but actively seek out, IT professionals to stay profitable and competitive. These tech skills are increasingly vital for law firms, from increasing efficiency and productivity to ensuring data security and democratizing access to legal services.

Lending his expert insights to our discussion is Nick Baca-Storni, Chief Revenue Officer at InclusionCloud, an expert voice in digital transformation services. With his extensive experience in guiding businesses through their digital journeys, Baca-Storni offers a unique perspective on why the integration of tech talents is critical for the future of legal practices. 

The Growing Influence of AI in the Legal Workplace

Legal professionals are optimistic about the transformative potential of AI in their daily tasks. According to a comprehensive report by Thomson Reuters, over 67% of legal experts anticipate that AI and generative AI will usher in either a transformational or a high-impact change within their field in the next five years. This figure significantly surpasses the second-most cited factor, a potential economic recession and its associated cost of living crisis, which stands at 53%. Nick Baca-Storni shares his vision on this scenario: “The increasing influence of AI in the legal field is undeniable. It’s not just a matter of automation; AI is fundamentally changing how legal professionals approach their work. With AI’s ability to process vast amounts of data quickly and provide valuable insights, legal experts are right to be optimistic about its transformative potential.”

The report goes on to reveal that law firms are aligning their top priorities with areas where AI can have a substantial impact. These priorities include productivity (75%), internal efficiency (50%), and recruitment & retention (44%). This alignment underscores that AI solutions are not just desirable but essential for addressing the core challenges currently faced by law firms.

The emphasis on productivity holds significant meaning. AI’s ability to automate large-scale data processing and non-billable administrative tasks has the potential to significantly boost productivity. By freeing up time for fee earners, AI enables them to focus more on billable tasks, potentially increasing income even after adjustments in billing rates. This directly addresses law firms’ foremost priority.

The enthusiasm surrounding AI’s potential to drive operational improvements is well-founded. AI can streamline internal processes, addressing the second most crucial priority: internal efficiency. AI’s capacity to execute operations with precision and speed can reduce inefficiencies and help recapture revenue that might have been lost due to write-offs.

It’s evident that the legal industry anticipates a profound shift in work processes, surpassing concerns related to economic challenges. This underscores the legal field’s recognition of AI’s pivotal role in shaping its future. The high expectations regarding AI’s impact on the legal industry emphasize the urgent need for legal professionals to adapt. This adaptation involves not only integrating AI tools into their practices but also developing an understanding of AI’s capabilities and limitations. Professionals who can effectively leverage these tools are likely to gain a significant competitive advantage.

The Application of AI in Legal Firms

AI is being increasingly used in legal firms for a wide range of applications, significantly transforming the way they operate. Here are some of the main ways in which AI is adopted:

Document review and analysis

AI tools are adept at processing vast amounts of legal documents quickly. They can find relevant case law, statutes, and legal precedents, significantly reducing the time required for manual review. For example, tools like Luminance and Kira Systems use machine learning to review contracts and other documents, identifying key clauses and data points.

Legal research

AI systems like ROSS Intelligence, which uses IBM’s Watson, help in legal research by processing natural language queries and finding relevant legal information. They can sift through thousands of legal documents in seconds, providing lawyers with quick access to necessary legal precedents and case law.

Predictive analytics

AI is used to predict the outcomes of legal cases based on historical data. Tools like Lex Machina analyze past case law and decisions to provide insights into how similar cases might be ruled in the future.

Drafting documents

AI, like ChatGPT, aids in drafting legal documents by using stored data and patterns, ensuring compliance with current laws and best practices for contracts, wills, trusts, and more.

Client interaction and support

AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants are being used to interact with clients for initial consultations, gathering information, and providing basic legal information, thus enhancing client service and engagement.

Litigation support

AI tools help in organizing a law firm’s internal knowledge base, making it easier to retrieve and use information from previous cases, legal research, and other resources.

Why Law Firms Need Top Tech Talents

The need for tech skills has become clearer than ever. According to Nick Baca-Storni, these tech talents are the driving force behind innovation and the right implementation of these highly efficient legal tools. In this digital era, the contributions of data scientists, database admins, AI developers, cybersecurity professionals, and other IT specialists are not peripheral; they are the backbone of legal services in the age of AI. They are the ones who ensure client satisfaction, give law firms a competitive edge, and, most importantly, safeguard sensitive information with utmost diligence. Baca-Storni also emphasizes that achieving this level of technical expertise doesn’t always require an in-house team. This is where IT outsourcing comes into play, offering law firms a flexible and hyper-specialized solution. It’s about making a strategic choice to bring in tech talent when needed, harnessing their expertise, and reaping the benefits. In an industry where innovation and data integrity are paramount, the verdict is clear: the inclusion of tech talents, whether in-house or through nearshore IT outsourcing, is not just desirable; it is a need for law firms.

Modalities to Acquire Tech Talents

As law firms understand the value of different tech roles, they need to think about how to get these talents. How they do it can really affect how well the firm works and competes. 

In-house hiring: 

In-house hiring of tech talents ensures direct control over projects and a seamless alignment with the firm’s culture. However, it can be expensive and limits you to the local talent pool, requiring a significant investment in ongoing training.

Freelancing platforms: 

Platforms like Upwork provide immense flexibility and a wide range of skills on a pay-per-project basis. While this is excellent for short-term or one-off projects, it might not offer the consistency and control needed for more extensive, ongoing tech initiatives.

Internship and training programs: 

These programs are an excellent way to build a pipeline of fresh talent, particularly cost-effective and beneficial for long-term talent development. However, they require time and resources upfront for training and may not address immediate tech needs.

IT outsourcing: 

Outsourcing is a versatile and cost-effective approach that encompasses various models, including nearshore, offshore, staffing, and dedicated teams. It offers access to a global talent pool and is particularly advantageous for law firms looking to recruit tech talents that may be challenging to find locally.

Nearshore outsourcing: 

When it comes to tech talent acquisition, one of the most advantageous choices is nearshore outsourcing. This approach strikes a perfect balance by providing access to global talent while working within the same time zone. This shared time zone greatly facilitates collaboration, enables real-time communication, and ensures efficient project management. In law firms, where time sensitivity is paramount, being in the same time zone can make a significant difference when handling urgent legal matters and client interactions. Nick Baca-Storni highlights the importance of this approach, stating that, ‘For legal firms, especially those dealing with tight timelines, nearshore outsourcing ensures seamless coordination and minimizes communication challenges with the rest of the team.’

Staff augmentation: 

Staff augmentation is another option that falls within the nearshore outsourcing category. It offers law firms the flexibility to augment their teams with hyper-specialized tech professionals on an as-needed basis. This approach proves ideal when firms require immediate access to talent for specific projects or tasks. Staff augmentation allows law firms to rapidly scale their tech capabilities without the long-term commitments associated with hiring in-house. Nick Baca-Storni further suggests that ‘Given the nature of the legal business, which often involves varying workloads and urgent case demands, staffing models provide the necessary flexibility to expand or reduce IT teams as needed, adapting to seasonal variations, case demands, and urgencies.’

While nearshore outsourcing and staffing models offer distinct advantages for law firms, it’s essential to consider other options. Offshore outsourcing and dedicated teams also have their merits and may suit certain firms’ needs. However, Nick Baca-Storni emphasizes that, ‘Due to the nature of the legal industry, which often involves sensitive and time-critical matters, nearshore outsourcing and staffing models are particularly well-suited for achieving the necessary flexibility, cost-efficiency, and efficient communication required to excel in this field.


For many U.S. law firms, the balance often tilts towards a flexible staffing model. These approaches provide the agility and specialized expertise, offering a strategic blend of cost-efficiency and global talent access.

Legal companies, much like many other industries, find themselves at a critical juncture where embracing technology is a necessity for staying competitive. The legal sector, traditionally perceived as conservative and slow to adopt new technologies, is now recognizing the immense value that the right tech talents can bring to these organizations. 

“The integration of technology and the recruitment of tech talents are not merely trends but necessities for law firms aiming to thrive in the modern legal landscape. With AI, data analytics, and automation becoming integral to legal operations, embracing these changes and harnessing the expertise of tech professionals is crucial,” as Nick Baca-Storni points out.

In essence, the ability of legal firms to stay ahead in a technology-driven world hinges significantly on their capacity to integrate and utilize tech talent effectively. “Outsourcing, especially within a staffing model, offers a strategic and flexible pathway to acquire this essential expertise,” as Nick Baca-Storni emphasizes. “It allows law firms to tap into a global pool of specialized expertise without the overhead costs associated with full-time hires. Moreover, it enables law firms to focus on their core legal competencies while leaving the technological aspects to the experts.”