18 October 2021



ROOX Observatory for the legal sector

ROOX officially launched in October 2021, at the 10th ASAP meeting, the platform "ROOX Observatory for the Law Practice Sector". This platform graphically presents 27 groups of questions, out of a total of 140, which address several perspectives of the adoption of information systems by lawyers in Portugal.

In Portugal, the adoption of information systems in the sector began at the end of the 1980s. At the time, the productivity increments provided by word processing in substitution of a typewriter, the access to legislation in electronic form in substitution of paper, the introduction of management software, or later on the replacement of a fax machine by an electronic mail system, amongst many others, led to huge increases in productivity and independence of lawyers.

However, it is not necessary to go back very far to understand how information systems are part of our day-to-day life. If this 2020/2021 pandemic had happened in 2001, everything would have stopped, because the software platforms that exist today did not exist, let alone the communications that have enabled us to establish broadband connections from our homes.

In 2001, how would the legal sector have adapted, without the technological means it has today?
However, the challenge of information systems in law firms, that is, the much talked about Law Practice 4.0, are today on a completely different level. Innovation is not only discussed in the context of better productivity, or in the access and sharing of information, but also in the transformation or better adaptation of services for a market with needs for greater proximity, integration and client service.

Despite these challenges, we detect the existence of a sector at different paces, whether because of the different sensitivities of lawyers in relation to what they can do with technology, or because of the cost of acquiring and operating information systems. Therefore, we consider ROOX Observatory to be an extremely important tool, not only to understand the current situation, but also to have a perspective for the future.

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