It is impossible to deny how technology is changing the legal sector. Digital transformation is not something any legal firm can ignore, but where does this leave law students and graduates? A recent study carried out by the Law Society found that young lawyers are amongst the most technophobic of young professionals. This is something that needs to be understood and changed. Legal tech has become a mainstream essential in the sector and not something that can be ignored or simply chosen on a whim. This is something all professionals need to get to grips with, including younger lawyers who may not have expected their roles to be so tech-centric.
Understanding the importance of legal tech
The research carried out by The Law Society found that 50% of junior lawyer respondents did not even know what legal tech was. In addition, a further 66% said it did not impact their responsibilities. This is a strange anomaly compared to other sectors, where it is the junior staff who have more of a grasp and a focus on technical developments. In law, there seems to be a skills and knowledge gap that needs to be filled.
Key to understanding and embracing legal tech is being trained in exactly how it is used and how it can benefit your work. Junior lawyers are open to the idea of technology, with the same study showing that 75% believed their law specialism could benefit from technological developments. It just seems not enough is being done about it. Some argue that lawyers are worried about the impact of technology on their roles and of losing control of their work. However, with dynamic firms embracing technology with open arms, along with the launch of virtual lawyers and online-only law firms, those with a traditional approach cannot afford to fall behind.
Embracing legal tech while enhancing professional skills
More and more law firms are recognising that tech advancements cannot be ignored. A report entitled New Technologies in Lawyers’ Work and Transformations of Legal Divisions by PwC Legal found that 24% of organisations recognised a need to invest more in legal processes and technologies in 2019. However, only 3% had the budget set aside for this. It seems that embracing legal tech is something firms are keen to do, but they aren’t recognising the resources required to see results.
What’s more, in embracing technology, lawyers can fully recognise their most valuable skills. The key areas in which technology is advancing the industry are processing and automation. Algorithms can be designed to quickly process data by organising it and making it easier for lawyers to use effectively. They allow for a more productive chambers and quicker, more efficient access to data.
Technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning do not yet have the sophistication to make the kind of human decisions required in most legal environments. Real lawyers will therefore always have the upper hand when it comes to negotiation, mediation and ethical judgement. Legal tech is about enhancing what your law firm can do and bringing more skills and benefits to your company, rather than detracting from or taking over existing roles.
Legal Tech benefits you and your clients
Investing time and money in legal tech is beneficial to every legal firm and their clients. While young lawyers have a good grasp of the technologies they use in every day life, this needs to translate into the workplace. Working with professional specialists like our team at City Business Solutions ensures everyone has the ability and understanding to embrace legal tech. Our IT services for chambers ensures lawyers are primed to succeed from a technological aspect. For more information, you can contact us directly on 020 3355 7334.