Legal Technology Glossary

Legal Dictionary, key definitions and terminology used in law offices

Written by Knowledge Team, posted on April 11, 2020

A

Alternate Fee Agreement: Arrangements between Law Firm and Client where billing is not based on hours spent on the case. Time and Material way of compensation is changed to contingency, fixed fees, value or success-based fees

B

Billable hours: Time spent by legal team on a Case, which will be billed to the client. Team must record in a detailed way how the time is spent
Bookkeeping: Term used to record all business transactions in a law firm including financial transactions, sources of business revenue, profits, purchases, receipts, payments, reimbursements and expenditures

C

Case Management: Client-Matter portal for tracking client and case details in a legal firm. Documents, Tasks, Journal and Appointments can be managed on case file level, with security applied as per company requirements
Contract Management Solution: Software for tracking the Contract Lifecycle, like contract creation, negotiation with external parties, and approvals. Once contract is executed milestones will be monitored. AI enabled Contract review can identify non-standard clauses and precedents

D

Digital signature: Mathematical code attached to the document, to validate the authenticity of the document and the sender. In a transaction, it acts like digital fingerprint of the signer of the document
Digital Transformation: Technology enablement to support law firm process. Current practice’s maturity will be evaluated, and objectives must be defined. Legal technology solutions will be introduced to address baseline needs or increase the KPI of SOP. Integrated solutions offer value added self-service through client portals
Document Automation: Productivity tool to generate documents based on templates, precedents and workflow. Case file details, like Client or Matter information will be merged to create personalized documents. Examples of documents that be automated are Fee proposal, Letter of Demand, NDA and Employment Contracts
Document Management System: Software used by Law Firm to organize their case files. System can track document versions, implement security to files based on business rules and archive to meet compliance regulations. Also called as DMS or Legal DMS.

E

eDiscovery: Electronic discovery is the process applied to emails, computer files, and databases (referred to as electronically stored information or ESI), for discovery in legal proceeding. Technology helps legal professionals to produce information sought in electronic documents format
Encryption: Process of encoding messages or files, so only authorized parties can access the contents. It does not prevent access to unauthorized users but denies contents to be read in an intelligible way

F

Fintech: Financial technology, for delivering banking and financial services supported by technology and innovations. Fintech attempts to provide end-to-end process by integration of technologies and competes with traditional operating ways in finance sector
Flat Fees: Fixed fees client pays the firm, instead of being charged on hourly basis or contingency fees. Fixed fee is usually paid upfront and covers all the work to be performed

G

General Counsel: Chief lawyer in a company’s legal department. GC is responsible for identifying legal responsibilities and issues within the company

H

Hard Expense: Expenses incurred that require direct (tangible) payment by Law firm to Vendor. Examples include court filing, where firm must make payment from their bank account on behalf of the client

I

In house Counsel: Lawyers employed by company to be part of their legal department, to advise on legal issues affecting the company, like Employment, Contract, Compliance and Tax

L

Legal Library: Collection of Information, for use by Lawyers, Law Students or anyone in legal field. Contents are categorized as Cases, Legislation, Journals, Commentary, Current Awareness, Forms & Precedents

M

Metadata: Information about data and contents, most common being descriptive metadata. Helpful in search, identification and discovery of contents. Examples of Metadata will be Document type, Practice Area, Author, and Title

N

No code software: Platform that allows business users or domain experts to create Apps or implement process without programming knowledge. Solution can be developed with drag and drop functionality

O

OCR: Optical Character Recognition is the conversion of images of handwritten or printed text to searchable text. Example of use of OCR in legal industry will be eDiscovery process, where evidences in images are converted to searchable text, to be analyzed by humans and computer systems
ODR: Online dispute resolution is use of technology to resolve disputes between parties. Negotiation, mediation or arbitration are handled online
Office 365: Cloud offering from Microsoft for Office solutions, like Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook and OneDrive. Available as Software as a service where users pay monthly subscription fees. Office 365 for Law firms can bring in productivity

P

Practice Management: Software to help run the law firm practice. System must support Case Management, Document Management and Accounts (Finance) Management

R

Regtech: Regulatory Technology is the management of regulatory process, specifically for fiancé industry, now expanding to other regulated business. Governance, Risk and Compliance is monitored and reported

S

SharePoint: Collaboration (external and internal) platform from Microsoft. SharePoint online which is part of Office 365 can be a good Legal DMS
Soft Expense: Expenses were no direct payment is made by firm, but indirect costs are incurred for that matter. Example will be photocopy charges, where firm cost is incurred by the firm and passed to the client

T

Teams: Collaboration solution from Microsoft, which combines video chat, voice chat, document sharing and application integration on a single platform

W

Workflow: Technology for effective management of legal process. A sequence of tasks can be created and tracked so stated objective be met. Examples of workflow tasks can be, document creation for review, scheduling a meeting and collecting additional details from client
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