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Lessons for Lawmakers from COVID-19

— June 12, 2020

Paperless methods can save the cost of paper, the time between its transit, its documentation and filing all with real comfort.

The impact of COVID-19 is reverberating through all walks of human life. The economy is on a standstill; the social life is almost nonexistent; the education system has shut down, and so on. The lawmakers, legal professionals and courts have equally suffered. The air-conditioned courtrooms with gathering in large numbers are similarly susceptible to this viral attack.

But it is in times of crisis that we look deeper within ourselves. And COVID-19 is a time of introspection for the lawmakers and legal entities. It is time for us to look into our legal systems and find out those wide gaps. Those gaps that still prevent effective delivery of justice to those who count on us. 

Justice is something that won’t wait for pandemics, it has to be as blind to the surroundings as it is to favoritism. Otherwise it will begin to lose credibility in the eyes of the public that trusts it. So here we explore some of the great insights that these testing times on the whole of humanity has given us.

The Lessons

Reforms Have Been Knocking at Our Door
There is this thing with all establishments that they come as pioneers of radical change and then become a clogged wheel that resists any further change. The establishments can only live if they spin in tune with time, time and not against it. In that respect, the legal system has been avoiding and blocking the technological upgrading of its day to day handling and hearing of cases for a long time. Covid-19 saw many urgent cases postponed as large gatherings were a potential threat.

Successful attorneys are looking for newer and more hi-tech solutions to make their work efficient and comfortable. Now, the situation is such that we all have to adopt technology without an argument against it. For example, the chatbots are helping us track groceries, update information, latest news, etc. Similarly, chatbots can help law firms as well, which has been a great learning experience in itself. We will see more applications of standard technologies influencing the legal arena soon, which is for the better.

Artificial intelligence, isometric AI robot on mobile phone screen; image by Fullvector, via
Artificial intelligence, isometric AI robot on mobile phone screen; image by Fullvector, via

Design Court Websites for Clients not lawyers
Once the need for technology finds consensus, the next thing is its proper use. Most of our court websites are so stuffed. An ordinary client would find it so difficult to see what they are looking for in the first place. The reason is most of the websites are not for the user experience but the sake of verbal digitization. It is more abysmal in the developing nations, and the United States Supreme Court Official site is an example of how to design a court website without overloading it. 

The reason for poor website design is the non-adherence to the fundamentals of UI UX design process, where user experience of a website is of paramount importance. Hence, it provides agencies to develop their websites in close association with creative and technically capable agencies.

Cost-Benefit Factor
The third lesson Covid-19 enforces on us is of cutting the cost in legal proceedings. The economy is down, and we are in a state of recession. Paying $100 bills to your attorney for every case is no more on the citizen’s budget. Adopting new technologies can help legal firms cut costs effectively. About 45% -50% of the expenses happen over office and maintenance. The advanced technologies like Document Management Systems, automated intranets, workflows, etc. can cut this cost by half. 

Moreover, other paperless methods can save the cost of paper, the time between its transit, its documentation and filing all with real comfort. Such aiding tools will highly raise employee morale and confidence.

Now, there is only one thing that can be said to those who are pointing towards the loopholes and drawbacks of technologies, and that is: more technology is the only way to solve the problem of less technology. And we are human beings; we can mindfully use technologies to create that right balance for us. And experimenting and introspection are the only way to ascertain that delicate balance of man-technology combination.

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