The use and adoption of technology is becoming a real game changer in the legal industry as it strives to simplify and streamline its legacy tech infrastructure. Digital adoption and change are gathering pace affecint UK legal jobs.
‘LegalTech’ or ‘LawTech’ is a fast growing niche sector itself consisting of specialist tech start-ups and scale-ups who are providing the technology and software needed to help firms provide innovative legal services. This has been particularly important following the pandemic and the impact of remote working as firms have had to do so much virtually, from client meetings, court hearings, transactions, sharing contracts and paperwork, which are all reliant on technology.
The legal profession is also well known for burnout and high levels of stress, with young lawyers putting in long hours given the sheer volume of their workload and time consuming tasks such as having to read through pages and pages of documents. The introduction of technology and in particular AI can help with these more labour intensive exercises and free up the time of lawyers to focus on the more high value part of their job.
Indeed a report by Luminance found that thanks to legal technology 70% of trainee lawyers were able to focus on the more strategic aspects of their work. The creation of standardised legal documents by in-house teams is another area where firms are looking to generate time-saving efficiencies through the use of tech.
Digital and cloud-based solutions for Legal
Leading the way in the adoption of new technology in the UK’s legal sector are small and medium sized firms (SMEs). A report by Whitecap Consulting found that the Bristol and Bath region was a hotbed for the LegalTech industry, with many firms embracing digital solutions and cloud-based software. The report also found that legal tech and innovation made up almost 20% of the region’s digital workforce – higher than in any other UK region.
A significant number of law firms in the region have made sizeable technology investments during the pandemic in a bid to transform their digital operations and the way in which they operate. Given the shift to remote working, these companies have been looking at how they can become more efficient and better meet the requirements of their clients.
COVID has forced organisations to assess and revisit office requirements and working patters. And today’s cohorts of junior lawyers and aspiring legal professionals, who are themselves tech savvy and are expected to be, also want to work for modern, digital organisations. Technology will clearly play a huge role not only in helping firms modernise and automate some of their processes but help them to attract top new talent.