SINGAPORE – 16 OCT 2023
1. The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) launched the Legal Industry Digital Plan (IDP) today. It is the first IDP that discusses solutions with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Generative AI capabilities, highlighting their potential applications and measures for Singapore Law Practices (SLPs) to consider using.
2. SLPs have varying business needs and levels of readiness for technology adoption. The IDP provides SLPs with a step-by-step guide to identify the appropriate technology solutions to adopt and the relevant training for their employees at every stage of their digitalisation journey.
3. Jointly developed by MinLaw and IMDA, and in close consultation with stakeholders from the legal industry, the Legal IDP is one of the key initiatives under the MinLaw Technology and Innovation Roadmap (2020) to promote innovation, technology adoption and development in Singapore’s legal industry for the next decade. The Legal IDP is the latest sector-specific IDP to be rolled out under IMDA’s SMEs Go Digital programme.
4. To date, 20 IDPs have supported more than 90,000 businesses to benefit from the SMEs Go Digital programme. To deepen digital capabilities at both the sector and enterprise levels and ensure that the IDPs continue to remain relevant to the needs of businesses, IMDA will work with the sector lead agencies to progressively refresh existing IDPs.
A guide for SLPs at various stages of their digitalisation journeys
5. Firstly, the Legal IDP, together with the resources listed within, guides SLPs in assessing their digital readiness and identifying digital solutions to adopt at different stages of growth:
- Stage 1 - For SLPs looking to build their foundational digital capabilities: Solution categories include matter management and collaboration platform (under which the Legal Technology Platform (LTP) is one solution under the Productivity Solutions Grant), document management system (DMS), document assembly software, document review software, practice management system (PMS), risk assessment solution (KYC/AML), eDiscovery tool and online legal research system.
- Stage 2 - For SLPs looking to improve or expand their business with digital solutions: Solution categories include speech transcription for legal matters, translation software, legal chatbot, and practice area-specific tools such as conveyancing software, evidence management platform, intellectual property (IP) management tool, and debt recovery software.
- Stage 3 - For SLPs looking to explore the use of emerging technology: Solution category for smart computable agreements which are legally binding contracts in which some, or all of the contractual terms are programmatically defined, and can be performed automatically by a computer program.
6. Secondly, the Legal IDP caters to the different profiles of SLPs, recognising that digitalisation is not one-size-fits-all. The solution categories are curated from the perspective of four personas and three different small and medium SLP archetypes, each developed based on the general characteristics of the SLPs and the set of common challenges they face. The archetypes are each paired with the possible needs the SLP requires, which are then mapped onto a Digital Solution Roadmap to provide the SLP with a clear, straightforward guide to the relevant and latest legaltech and digital solutions available.
7. Thirdly, the feature of AI and Generative AI elements in the repertoire of solutions that SLPs can consider adopting is also a timely addition. Emerging technology is changing the legal landscape. AI, including Generative AI can help lawyers better perform knowledge work, such as conducting legal research by asking natural questions and generating first drafts of documents. Such efficiency gains will free up lawyers’ time, so that they can focus on performing higher value work such as crafting case / negotiation strategies, identifying new business opportunities and building relationships with clients.
8. Additionally, there are two other roadmaps for SLPs. SLPs can refer to the Cybersecurity and Data Protection roadmap on measures to identify appropriate tools and practices for protection against cyberattacks and to safeguard their clients’ personal data. The Digital Training Roadmap serves as a guide to equip SLPs with the necessary skills (including change management) to adopt digital solutions at each stage of growth and tailor their training programmes according to their employees’ needs.
Assistance available to SLPs in guiding through the Legal IDP
9. Under the Legal IDP, SLPs can also make use of an online self-assessment tool, the Enhanced Digital Readiness Check on IMDA’s Chief Technology Officer-as-a-Service (CTO-as-a-Service) Platform, to do a digital health check and better understand their digital maturity and readiness as well as identify gaps in their digital capabilities. SLPs who need guidance to digitalise can then make an appointment with a digital consultant for expert help in identifying and prioritizing digital solutions for business needs and growth.
10. CTO-as-a-Service provides end-to-end support for SLPs to access digitalisation resources and includes complimentary project management services from experienced digital consultants.
11. First time usage of digital advisory and project management services is complimentary. Companies can enjoy the first round of digital advisory which includes digital needs analysis and digital solutions recommendations, among others. Companies can then choose to progress to the next stage of project management services such as establishing a project implementation plan, business process re-engineering and job redesign (where applicable). Subsequent consultation or enhancement of services will be a matter of private commercial arrangements between SLPs and the consultants.
12. SLPs can look forward to enhancing their productivity with the Legal IDP as their additional resource.
13. Visit go.gov.sg/CTOaaS for more information on the Legal IDP.