The world is becoming more and more digital, and the legal sector is no different. However, for a subject so steeped in traditional values, the switch to digital ways of working is a dramatic change that many in the industry are unprepared for.
To compete in an increasingly technological world, today’s law students must learn digital skills. So should these skills be added to the law syllabus? The future of law could depend on it.
What are digital skills?
Digital skills involve the ability to navigate, create, use and examine content through the use of IT and the internet. Digital skills in the workplace range from writing and sending emails to re-writing web code. Having a basic understanding of digital technology is a requirement in most industries, and being without these skills can leave workers (and the businesses they work for) lagging behind.
It’s not just individuals who need to think about upskilling. Businesses also need to consider the impact of digital working on their organisations. By 2020, there will be an estimated 150,000 digital jobs and not enough people to fill them. Business leaders understand the need for digital workers, but they aren’t always sure which skills to look for in a candidate.
Digital skills and law
Digitisation is transforming the legal sector. An increasing number of legal documents are now drafted and shared online, making processes between legal teams and clients faster and more secure. Specialist platforms like HighQ are becoming commonplace in law firms, and it’s important that students learn how to use them as part of their legal education.
In a bid to equip students with the skills they need for the working world, many universities now provide access to digital learning, improving employability across a variety of sectors. Making these skills a part of the law syllabus can help ensure that the next generation of legal professionals have the skills and confidence required to adopt digital working in modern legal practices.
Legal education has remained largely unchanged over the years, with newer modules focusing on modern elements of the law, such as media and the environment. Adding mandatory digital education to the syllabus means that students will not only leave university with the skills required for a career in law, but also be able to embrace the digital change that is taking place in the legal industry.
The future of legal tech
The ways in which law professions use technology is also changing. The future of legal tech means many firms rely on the cloud to handle client services, while automation saves time and makes processes more efficient. It’s an exciting period of change for the legal sector, but firms need to have the right skills in place to remain competitive. If digital skills can be made a firm part of the law syllabus at university level, then the next generation will be able to drive much-needed change.
City Business Solutions provides a number of IT services, specifically tailored to the legal sector. From tech solutions to training and maintenance, you can ensure your firm keeps up with the increasing pace of technology. Find out more by contacting us today.