How is LawTech going to affect junior lawyers of the future?
In April last year the Junior Lawyers Division of England & Wales (the “JLD”) launched a survey on “LawTech” to try and better understand how technology is affecting the profession and to find out what junior lawyers think the legal landscape will look like in years to come.
Just as is the case with so many areas of industry, the legal profession is currently undergoing a tech revolution with new products appearing all of the time, promising to make law firms more efficient and technologically advanced. Supporting the growth of this burgeoning industry, the legal media reports daily on the possibilities of AI and machine learning and you would be forgiven for thinking that robot lawyers were already here.
Despite this, the JLD’s survey found that 50% of junior lawyers didn’t already know what LawTech was, prior to responding to the survey, and just under two-thirds reported that LawTech was not having an impact on their current job responsibilities.
However, more than two-thirds of respondents (71%) did believe that their area of law could benefit from advances in LawTech and nearly half (43%) that there would be a decrease in the number of those qualifying in the next 10 years. So, while LawTech perhaps isn’t quite as advanced as it’s sometimes said to be, the consensus is that it will have a significant impact on the profession moving forward.
As a junior lawyer myself, I believe this is an exciting time to be a solicitor. The effects of tech are felt in all areas of life, so it is not surprising to see my own profession being changed by it too. I do not think that I will be replaced by a robot, but I do expect my role as a solicitor to change. Luckily, tech is something that I’m already an avid follower of, and I’m fortunate that my interests and profession are able to intersect.
Clients expect the best service that we can possibly provide and using tech in the right way is now becoming a part of that. While we as solicitors embrace and engage with new forms of tech in our own work, we are able to better understand our clients’ businesses and how tech is having an impact on how they work.
The lawyer of the future won’t be a robot, but as the training of lawyers develops in line with new tech, this should hopefully offer an ever more supportive service that goes beyond just a legal solution and helps support your business grow.
If you are interested in knowing more about the JLD’s findings, you can find the full report here.
James Kitching is a solicitor in the Corporate team and a member of our Tech sector. James is also an elected member of the Executive Committee of the JLD and worked on putting together the LawTech survey and report.