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Technology has the potential to revolutionise legal services but many law firms remain cautious when it comes to investing. We talk to experts about what the obstacles are, and how junior lawyers should go about making a case for increased use of technology.
Today’s young professionals engage with technology on unparalleled levels in their social, leisure and family lives and have an expectation that the same will hold true in their workplace. While some law firms are undoubtedly early adopters of the latest advances, there is no denying the fact that many maintain a ‘wait and see’ attitude before investing large sums in legal technology.
So where does this leave those millennials who can spot the technological opportunities that their more experienced colleagues might otherwise miss?
Rather than ending up frustrated at seemingly Neanderthal attitudes, or pushing an agenda that disregards the firm’s big picture, some careful planning and an informed and intelligent business case can speak volumes to management boards.
In many ways junior lawyers are better placed for spotting opportunities for technology due to the nature of the work they do, as Stephen Allen, head of legal services delivery at Hogan Lovells, explains, ‘Much of the “new” technology we are seeing relates to the automation or digitisation of the more “routine” elements of legal work – some might say “mundane” – the burden of which is largely borne by junior lawyers. When it comes to a choice between proofreading versus a technological solution, it is clear to see why this will appeal!’
This unique positioning, coupled with a more natural affinity with technology, means that young lawyers potentially have a vital role in shaping how legal services develop. Stephen Allen argues that ‘technology is going to change the way in which we practice and deliver legal services in the very near future, in ways that we can’t even imagine today. The pace of technological development is ever accelerating (Moore’s Law). If
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