Half Of Junior Lawyers Unaware Of Legal Technology Benefits And Security Risks

A recent survey by the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) has found that almost half of junior lawyers are oblivious of the benefits of lawtech or completely unaware of its existence.

Additionally, 66% of the 224 respondents did not feel that the advancement and increased use of technology will impact on their job responsibilities.

However, The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) report published in December on technology and legal services, outlined the benefits of legal technology, the way it is utilised and the ways it will change the roles and responsibilities of solicitors in the future.

Research conducted by CBRE last year, of London law firms, revealed that 48% are already using AI and a further 41% will start to do so in the near future. The study revealed that the most common uses of AI included legal documentation generation and review (mentioned by 63% of firms), e-discovery (63%), due diligence (47%), research (42%), compliance and administrative support (both 32%).

Holding similar opinions to the JLD survey findings, the SRA felt the main challenge of the legal market is realising the many benefits of investing technology within their business.

With investment in technology lower in the legal sector than in other professional service sectors, such as accountancy, it takes a lot more convincing amongst the sceptics who work in this field to invest. But, ultimately firms will find themselves in difficulty when trying to compete when clients will increasingly expect them to utilise innovative technology.

The JLD survey recipients (70%) speculated that it will take the legal sector five to ten years to fully embed technology, but it will be a welcome addition to most firms. Whilst 43% of respondents feared that the rise of the robots in legal will lead to a fall in the number of people qualifying in the future.

James Kitching, member of the JLD’s executive committee, said: “There is still not enough engagement and understanding among junior lawyers as to exactly what lawtech is and how it can improve the way we work. It appears part of the reason for this is a lack of training and education on the topic at the graduate level.”

As the security risks associated with technology also include to increase alongside potential benefits, it is becoming increasingly important that newly qualified professionals understand this issue to a greater extent.

Why should the 50% of junior lawyers currently oblivious to technology become a lot more aware of its uses in the legal sector?