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The Next Generation: legal tech and the 21st century law student

View profile for Casian Sala

The Next Generation: legal tech and the 21st century law student


“I believe that children are our future”, sang the late Whitney Houston; and if only from a logical perspective it’s difficult to take issue with her position. And what of the future of the legal profession, and the forthcoming generations of solicitors and barristers: how will they shape the legal landscape – and what qualities will they need?

An article in the Guardian ponders this issue, peering into its crystal ball to consider what roles might be available for the 21st century law student. And they focus particularly on the issue of legal tech, and the new generation of legal minds framed as much by innovations in IT as by hours bent poring over black-letter law.

“Even in a profession as traditional as law”, writes the Guardian, “Technology is powerful enough to kill and create a range of roles.” The powerful presence of tech in global industry is beginning to shape the ways law firms and chambers frame their business – and their recruitment strategies. According the High Fliers annual review of the graduate market, graduate vacancies at law firms remained static, while entry-level opportunities at tech companies had risen by nearly 18% from 2012 to 2013.

The savvy law graduate might therefore wonder how best to match their legal expertise to the needs of the growing tech industries. As the Guardian notes, “Technology is changing at a faster rate than the law. Companies therefore need additional legal advice to ensure that what they do complies with existing legislation.”

How best to capitalise on these opportunities – and how should the legal profession (not historically associated with a willingness to adapt and chance, though of course recent years have seen enormous upheaval) adapt to provide the services the burgeoning tech industry needs?

With the deregulation of legal service providers, more and more organisations are able to offer legal services, include online-based law firms, and the availability of pre-drafted legal templates and documents for purchase and download. Law companies operating on this model are reliant on recruits for whom building and contributing to websites is almost second nature and fully rolled in with their legal skills.

And after all, it’s not so outlandish to expect a lawyer to be well adapted to working with tech: speaking to the Guardian, Mark Edwards of tech law firm Rocket Lawyer says “Lawyers are very methodical, detailed people with strong analytical skills”.

At Legastat, we build our business on a sound and thoroughly 21st century understanding of the essential role tech plays in the legal profession. Our professional litigation support services draw on decades of experience with the traditions of the law, and combine them with ahead-of-the-curve tech services – such as eDiscovery and eDisclosure - designed to ensure chambers and law firms operate effectively in the modern legal world. If you require advice and information on how to ensure you are making the most of the exciting opportunities available in legal tech innovations, call us now.