Digital disruption, AI (artificial intelligence), legaltech – all these phrases have become synonymous with the change affecting traditional private practice. Lawyers are facing competition from unexpected quarters – the ‘Big 4’ professional services firms expanding their legal teams, while the ranks of in-house counsel also grow.
In addition, startups and disruptive technology are turning their attention to the legal profession, hoping to address simple queries via AI-powered chatbots, streamline and automate due diligence workflow or predict judgements or the compliance requirements of new regulations.
In the midst of this slew of technological activity, lawyers are increasingly asking how best they may adapt to remain relevant as the role of the lawyer evolves. To future-proof your legal career, Elias Recruitment has compiled a few useful tips.
Gain exposure to legaltech
Wherever possible, gain an understanding of what is happening in terms of tech disruption. For example, Gilbert + Tobin and the Centre for Legal Innovation recently hosted the AI in Legal Practice Summit, which featured Heads of Innovation from major firms and legal entrepreneurs developing apps and tech solutions for the profession. In attendance were not merely technology lawyers but also in-house counsel from universities and industry bodies, as well as lawyers in private practice. Conferences, roundtables and events like this offer lawyers an opportunity to understand key trends emerging in the profession, and become champions of change within their organisations.
To code or not to code?
It’s a matter of a debate as to whether lawyers should learn to code. Some firms have run workshops on introductory coding for their lawyers, simply to allow lawyers to better understand their clients’ business. While there is no suggestion that lawyers should become proficient in coding and development, it is clear that lawyers who do possess a working knowledge of new technology are more likely to recognise and adapt to its applications.
Get involved in internal tech projects
Firms are increasingly adopting new technology to innovate and improve efficiencies, especially for labour-intensive legal tasks like due diligence and discovery. Get involved in pilot projects designed to test drive new technology, and be among the first tech-literate lawyers in the firm and the profession.
So what does this mean for me?
Adapting to a changing profession does not strictly mean lawyers need to become expert technicians, developers or app inventors. Rather, future-ready lawyers will remain relevant by improving their exposure and understanding to emerging technology and its applications to what they do.
Interested in learning more? Visit Bulletpoints.com.au to browse the range of legal courses available.