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technology continues to change the face of the legal industry, Nathan Hayes, IT director at Osborne Clarke and Dan Wright, partner at Osborne Clarke, Jonathan Gater, joint managing partner at Blandy & Blandy who is also responsible for IT at the
firm, and Matt Torrens, managing director at SproutIT, look at how technology has changed the roles of IT directors over the past few years.
Technology is changing the face of the legal industry. Established roles such as knowledge managers, IT directors and of course fee earners themselves have all been impacted in many ways. Beyond that, we are seeing the emergence of entirely new roles
such as legal project managers or teams of paralegals who are no longer focused on directly supporting fee earners but are instead working on technology products built in-house. In some cases law firms are going from just selling services to actually
selling technology products.
In light of all these changes, how do some of the more established members of legal teams see their roles changing? What are experienced professionals doing (or what should they be doing) to keep up to speed? Are new entrants to their professions realistic
about what their futures are likely to entail and are they arriving properly equipped to perform these roles in this changing world?
The changing role of IT directors
According to Nathan Hayes of Osborne Clarke, one of the changes experienced by IT directors is that they are having to work increasingly closely with fee earners: ‘Those of us who have been in the legal market for some time know how difficult it
can be to change lawyers working practices.
Over the past few years I believe we have seen a paradigm shift and both law firms and lawyers are not only much more open to these changes, but are now actively driving those changes and looking to
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