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Legally IT: the evolving lawyer

16 February 15

A new field of opportunities lies ahead for law firms and law graduates: introducing a new Journal series on the changing outlook for careers in law

by Michelle Hynes

A new field of opportunities lies ahead for law firms and law graduates. Michelle Hynes introduces a new Journal series on the changing outlook for careers in law

The traditional route of the average law graduate spans what could be described as an unremarkable journey through university, emerging with their prized Bachelor of Laws degree, Diploma in Legal Practice/PEAT 1, a plethora of student tales and many a fond memory of a night out at the student union. 

The lucky ones may have gathered some work experience on their way, through one of the many law firms. 

Day one of their traineeship often finds them starting out, wet behind the ears, with a new firm which is established and set with all of its existing systems and processes. Some firms have agile processes, though these are far from the norm. The norm remains the traditional-style firm with established work practices.

The changing landscape of the legal profession in actual practice shows that the majority of law firms are actually in a transition period, somewhere between the rigid traditional model and the tech-aware firms, in that they recognise a need for adaptation and change, but have no idea how to tackle the actual move towards a new style technology-embracing practice.

The emergence of the legal process engineer role is only one of the many new opportunities that are being birthed within Scotland’s legal profession. The application of IT skills, social media skills and business skills will equip smart law graduates with an advantage over the traditional law student or trainee, and will for many firms be the skills missing in a gap that needs to be plugged.  

Firms looking to adapt to the use of technology and become agile will start to look to the emerging new lawyers for their knowledge of the new world of IT.  

Over the course of the next few months, we will be looking at what’s happening with law students and law firms in Scotland who are embracing change. We will be bringing some top tips for law students and firms who want to take that leap to the world of technology but just do not know where to begin. 

Michelle Hynes is legal process engineer at Inksters Solicitors and one of Scotland’s first hybrid lawyers. Follow her on Twitter: @legaleaglemhm

If you have any questions about future law, or legal process engineering, or would like to be considered as a case study, please get in touch: michelle@inksters.com

 

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David Bjornson

Wednesday August 10, 2016, 17:27

The application of IT skills, social media skills and business skills will equip smart law graduates with an advantage over the traditional law student or trainee.