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How to identify trustworthy legal tech

New legal tech options promise a wide variety of benefits to firms and employees but can bring risks alongside those benefits. Follow our guide to ensure risk is mitigated and find software you can trust.

There are many benefits to adopting legal technology as a law firm. As well as helping to reduce legal costs, it can improve process management through automation, add value to employees’ skillsets and help firms outpace their rivals. 

However, as much as legal tech is creating rapid change in the industry, it can also bring risk. According to the 2021 Future Ready Lawyer Survey from Wolters Kluwer, only one-third of lawyers (33%) believe their organisations are very prepared to keep up with technology changes in the legal market. To gain trust in legal tech, firms need to do their research into the transparency, ethical practices, security and data privacy policies of the companies behind the product. 

Let’s take a closer look what trust factors legal firms should consider when researching legal technology:

Transparency and accessibility

According to recent predictions made by IDC, by 2023, 50% of the Global 2000 will appoint a chief trust officer to handle business functions such as legal, security, and risk. Transparency is becoming increasingly important to businesses across all sectors, least of all in the legal industry. 

Before signing up to a legal tech product, law firms should research how the company interacts with customers online. Do they respond to enquiries quickly and professionally on social media? Do their online reviews look genuine, i.e., not all 5 star-ratings from anonymous users? What do third-party websites say about the company’s product? Firms should also check how accessible the company’s information is and how easy it is to access customer service.

In terms of marketing activities, law firms should check whether legal tech companies identify sponsored or promotional content accordingly. They should also check whether customer testimonials are voluntary reviews from verified purchasers, or whether the reviews have been solicited.

When it comes to pricing, legal professionals should look for simple, straightforward pricing structures, with no hidden costs. They should find out how much they will be billed, when payments are taken and what feature restrictions there might be on each pricing tier. It’s also important to read the small print to ensure there are no hidden stipulations that could impact the company’s use of the software in the future.

Firms should also seek clarification on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms are used in the product. For example, does the technology use explainable AI (XAI) that demonstrates how decisions are made? Companies that can explain how their technology works in a clear, understandable way enhance customer confidence.

Ethical practices

When choosing software that uses machine learning, legal professionals should consider the company’s ethical practices. Because the logic of algorithms can’t determine right from wrong, law firms need to evaluate whether the technology is being used in a way that aligns with their own principles and values. 

With emerging technologies, comes a barrage of misinformation. Law firms should ensure that tech companies are proactive in communicating factually accurate information in regards to the technologies they use. 

Firms should also check whether the tech company uses tools that encourage inclusivity and removes bias in automated processes. Likewise, legal technology should include digital controls that prevent unethical use of its abilities.

As well as verifying the ethical practices of the tech company itself, law firms should look at the practices of their partners and supply chain. Among growing public calls for increased regulation of AI, firms should verify that the sourcing, manufacturing and distribution of components follow ethical practices across the supply chain.

Cyber security and tech reliability

According to a 2021 survey conducted by the American Bar Association, 25% of law firms have experienced some sort of security breach. In the wake of several high-profile cyber attacks on firms like Allens, Jones Day and Goodwin, security has become a growing concern among legal firms. 

Before signing up to use a legal tech product, firms should research the company’s data security practices, including checking whether they’ve been subject to security breaches in the past.

Legal professionals should also check what cyber security features the technology uses. For example, a trustworthy legal tech product may use digital biometric features, multifactor authentication and voice recognition to prevent fraudulent activities.

Firms should also check how suspicious activity is flagged on their account. Many legal tech companies use intelligent threat detection tools to caution users against unusual activity like multiple login attempts, or logins from foreign locations.

The reliability of the product is also important. Firms should check how much downtime the technology has had over the last year and research what backup systems are in place to ensure minimal disruption to operations. 

Data privacy policy

A white paper published by MitraTech reveals that 56% of legal professionals say data privacy and security is a top priority for their teams in 2021. With the introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, data privacy is a growing concern for businesses across all sectors. 

A trustworthy tech product should enable firms to monitor what data is being collected, how the data is being used and how long the data is stored. Some tech companies publish transparency reports that show third party requests for user data and some allow users to delete their data at any time, or transfer it to a different provider.

At WiseTime, our automated timekeeping software is developed with privacy at its heart, giving our users full control over their data. Law firms can exclude information from ever showing on the platform and execute the right to be forgotten. All data remains 100% private until users decide to share it with their team. Most importantly, WiseTime will never see any user content and only collects relevant metadata about activity.

In summary

Legal tech can improve the accuracy and speed of legal processes, and increase profit margins. However, due diligence should be carried out before committing to adopting legal software on a company-wide basis. 

Emerging technologies like AI and machine learning can present new risks and law firms should always verify a company’s transparency, their ethical practices, the product’s cyber security features and the company’s data privacy policy before committing to long-term use.

At WiseTime, we have always been proudly transparent and forward thinking when it comes to data, privacy and security. We design our products with these in mind from the get go. We have features built in for customers to self serve and manage their data and privacy and also back that up with state of the art encryption and security. To find out more, schedule a demo today.


Great tool for independent contractor! Extremely handy while working different projects for few customers. Another use case is to recall what you work on few weeks ago. ☺- automatic time tracking - smart tags assignments - timesheets generation ☹- can't really say anything, it covers all my current needs
Konstantin K.
WiseTime I was previously at a firm where I did not need to bill my time so this is new to me but I am very thankful that we use WiseTime because all I have to do at the end of the day is to group my time together and post it. It's simple and fast. ☺I enjoy the fact that I do not have to worry about timing myself when allocating a certain amount of time on a project because I know WiseTime will do it for me. I also love the fact that the software is integrated with Clio, our management program, to bill our clients so no extra steps involved. ☹Although you can pause WiseTime and have it start recording your time when you select maybe having a daily time schedule so when you're done with your day and use the computer without having to remember to stop recording non-work items.
Renee M.
WiseTime's Three E's: Easy, Essential, and Earns You Money The three E's come to mind when using WiseTime. It's Easy: Training employees to use WiseTime is quick and painless. It's Essential: I can work all day and not think of billing one time. This frees me up to do more billable work throughout the day. An essential tool in my productivity. It Earns you money: Before WiseTime, our firm was losing thousands of dollars in small daily tasks like sending a quick email or checking the status of a shipment. With WiseTime, we are able to track every single keystroke and mouse click throughout the day for an accurate count of what happened that day. There is no forgetting about a small task that can be billed out. I will never work without WiseTime running again. It is as simple as that. ☺In addition to its automatic time tracking, Wisetime is so easy to deploy and use. Getting new members set up to use WiseTime is a 1 minute process without all of the clunky steps most software makes you do. Training new employees to track their time is a quick 5 minute process that lends itself to earning more money for your business. ☹There is only one thing I do not like about WiseTime. When tracking time, there are too many clicks that are needed to track. While I understand the thought process that goes behind why it is set up the way it is (tracking one item throughout the day all at once), there are those that track by the hour at the end of the day. This causes more clicking and confusion.
Jason E.
Best thing I've come across to clear my head LOVE this software so mujch. ☺I love this software because I can now get on with my day and I have a bunch of different clients, this takes the stress out of chopping and changing which happens ALOT. I may be in the middle of something and a client calls and I chop over to them and it tracks it all without me having to worry or billing wrong. ☹I bill some clients in 10 hour blocks. I would love an option where I can choose for it to alert me when a certain number of hours are up for a particular client. Maybe add a date and say example: From 10 March let me know when 10 hours is up. It to send an alert...so then I know to invoice again wiuthout having to continually check and then sometimes I'm over the hours by the time I check.
helen n.
Great Priduct ☺WiseTime helps me track the hours worked and the clients I did work for. Thus, it helps me record my time and do my billing. ☹Not the easiest to use. Also, does not track phone calls.
Marc H.
Best Time Tracking Application on the Market WiseTime's passive time tracking feature is what helped me make the decision. I don't have to start or stop a timer. I log in my computer for the day and don't worry about anything. WiseTime does the heavy lifting. ☺I've done the research, WiseTime provides the best passive time tracking on the market. ☹The only issue I've had with WiseTime is a few glitches with the desktop app.
Donna C.
Invaluable to my Busy Practice Wonderful product and I have been very happy. ☺It is very helpful that I can access it online from anywhere so that I can log my time. The integration with Clio is wonderful. ☹The logging of time away from my computer could be better. Would love to have the ability to see it all the time away for the day and lot it all at one time.
Elizzabeth S.
Excellent product ☺It's so easy to set up and use! It has paid for itself 10x over. ☹I haven't found a negative yet. Works great
Allison H.
Easily Manage Time Tracking I have been using for almost 2 years in my consulting practices and it has really simplified my time tracking ☺It is easy to deploy and set up. Basic reporting meets my needs for the most part ☹I would like to be able to better automate and customize reports. Also - the ability to add more tags
Cathleen G.
Great tracker Weekly usage ☺Compiling features that takes all of my activity and puts into one tracker. ☹Price - I wish the price were less given how little I use it.
Paul D.