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The Oracle

Keeping up with legal technology

updated on 21 September 2021

Dear Oracle

Everyone says law firms are looking for tech-savvy lawyers, how do I become more tech savvy?

The Oracle replies

It’s true, law firms are now looking for tech-savvy lawyers who understand and can implement legal technology into their practice. As an aspiring lawyer, you should think about ways to prepare yourself for a tech-friendly profession.

Legal technology aims to support, supplement or replace traditional methods for delivering legal services, such as automating documents, chatbots, interactive websites and artificial intelligence (Al). The legal profession views Al as an innovation that makes a significant difference to existing services and makes improvements to the marketing of services.

Due to covid-19, there has been an increase in the use of technology in the past 12 months. A Solicitor Regulation Authority (SRA) report Technology and Innovation in Legal Services found 51% of survey respondents increased the use of technology to “manage or process work”, 48% to “interact with clients”, and 26% to “attract new clients”.

The SRA actively supports the adaption of legal technology because it helps to meet the needs of the public, business community, regulated entities and the economy.

There will come a time where lawyers are not needed to do admin work; this work will, instead, be left to computers.

Al is a computer that has been programmed to mimic the intellect of human beings through learning, reasoning and decision making. Al has transformed many sectors and has recently begun to pave the way in the legal sector.

Today Al is beginning to transform the legal profession in many ways, by taking on higher-level tasks (eg, advising clients, negotiating and court appearances). The software solution replaces paperwork and data management which makes research more efficient and less time-consuming.

There are a few things you can start doing now as an aspiring lawyer, that will help you get ahead when you begin your legal career.

Get used to being online

Due to the pandemic, many firms have quickly switched from offices to remote working, replacing face-to-face meetings with Teams and Zoom. It’s important you get used to being online – for example, knowing how to store your data in the cloud, creating an e-signature, conducting an e-presentation and knowing how to organise your workload online.

Stay up to date with legal tech blogs

There are a plethora of legal tech blogs that can help you to stay abreast of the rapid changes in legal technology. Most blogs cover a host of legal technology topics, ranging from succinct guides to legal tech industry news, including the future of Al and its effect on the practice of law. Reading blogs is a good way to brush up on your knowledge and stay up to date with emerging developments.

Take a free online coding class

It takes about three to six months to learn the basics of coding. As an aspiring lawyer, learning computer programming may not be necessary but it is a good way to differentiate yourself, be it at a job interview or talking to a partner. Coding can develop into a useful skill that complements your legal skills and reasoning. The more lawyers engage with technology, the better it is for their clients and the legal profession.

Never stop learning

There is always something new to learn when it comes to technology. With the constant surge in legal technology, you are always kept on your toes, which means learning never stops. This is an exciting time for the legal profession because you will have witnessed the birth and development of legal technology. You’ll be present for the journey and will have a well-rounded experience of legal tech.

Legal tech is here to stay and those that don’t embrace it with open arms risk getting left behind.

To find out more about legal tech, read: