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How to stay relevant in the world of New Law

Technology is disrupting the legal world one case at a time. What skills will you need to stay relevant in the world of New Law?

What is disruption?

Disruption is the technological wave that could swamp us if we don’t learn how to ride it. The wave bringing the robot that may well take your job.

According to Chief Legal Counsel for Canon, David Field, what disruption actually means is that “someone has found a way to deliver more value or opportunity or convenience for the customer. Technology is democratising access to legal expertise and that can only be a good thing.”

Technology advancements have been coming thick and fast in recent years, transforming the legal sector. The exciting news is that technology is revolutionising the mundane, time-consuming aspects of legal work.

This leaves your humans to focus on the strategic, problem-solving, relationship-building parts of their role – the work that adds real value to your clients and brings genuine job satisfaction.

Focus on insight, wisdom and empathy

According to research by global consulting firm McKinsey, computers excel at mechanical, tactical and above all predictable tasks. But not “at activities that involve managing and developing people, those that apply expertise to decision-making, planning, or creative work.”

To stay relevant in the future, legal professionals need to focus more than ever on developing those distinctly human skills – empathy, relationship management and creative and strategic thinking. To develop these skills, lawyers should focus on spending time learning the client’s business, truly listening to the client’s needs and concerns, and using disciplines like design thinking to build client-centric solutions.

According to Nick Whitehouse, CEO of legal AI start-up McCarthyFinch:

“There are a huge number of skills required to adapt to the future – judgment, technology competency, decision-making, deductive reasoning, critical thinking, problem-solving.”

With the automation of the manual processes that have traditionally consumed so much of their time, Whitehouse believes that even junior lawyers will have the opportunity to “contribute in a way which will benefit both their employers and their career growth.”

Standard answers to basic legal questions, water-tight transactions and self-performing automated contracts may all be within easy, online reach of anyone who needs them. But for tailored solutions to their problems, or strategic plans to help them achieve their goals, your clients need you.

In short, technology is here to enhance and support legal professionals, not replace them. Working together, Field believes, humans and AI can achieve far more than either can alone.

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