What will lawyers be required to do in the future?

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26 September 2018

Legal Technology

What will lawyers be required to do in the future?

Professor Dr. Körner regularly addresses questions in our column concerning personnel, law and digitalization. Do you have questions, comments or suggestions? Feel free to contact us! In view of current digital developments, it is not bold to say that legal technology will change the way legal departments and large corporate law firms work. The question is what consequences will there be on personnel strategies in terms of the number of jobs required and the necessary qualifications of professionals and support staff.

Let me give you an example: n Germany, the Berlin-based legal tech company Leverton has caused a sensation within a very short time. They developed a self-learning algorithm that can scan real estate contracts comprising several hundred pages within minutes – faster than any lawyer ever could. In just a few minutes, this algorithm can filter out the most important data from a 140-page document. Software like this can save legal departments a lot of time and money. And it has a major impact on the business model of corporate law firms, as it assumes tasks that are often carried out by young associates.

In Germany, the Berlin-based legal tech company Leverton has caused a sensation within a very short time. They developed a self-learning algorithm that can scan real estate contracts comprising several hundred pages within minutes – faster than any lawyer ever could. In just a few minutes, this algorithm can filter out the most important data from a 140-page document. Software like this can save legal departments a lot of time and money. And it has a major impact on the business model of corporate law firms, as it assumes tasks that are often carried out by young associates.

Legal departments need two things to be in a position to take full advantage of this development:

  • managers who recognize the need for new qualifications and skills
  • and employees who have legal knowledge and at least basic IT training

This does not mean that legal departments and law firms now have to recruit computer scientists with legal knowledge. It will suffice if they can find enough lawyers with open-minds when it comes to legal technology and who want to look beyond the narrow confines of toady’s legal education. Lawyers will not have to be able to program at an advanced level in the future. But they should know what the technical terms mean and be able to classify them correctly. They will also need to have an understanding of programming and technological contexts. In the future, employees will be sought out who are able to identify when using technology makes sense and have the ability to critically assess where technology has reached its limits. Lawyers are also called upon to regulate technologies with their understanding of the subject matter and to reflect on the impact of digitalization on the law and its social and economic function.

Comment or question? Don’t hesitate to contact:  info@ecla.eu

 

Author

Professor Dr. Peter Körner has been working in renowned companies for over 28 years. At Deutsche Telekom, he was responsible for Human Resources and Legal for T-Mobile Deutschland and managed several challenging transformation projects in globally active U.S. technology groups. He also teaches at FOM University of Applied Sciences for Economics and Management in Frankfurt as a professor of business administration with a focus on turnaround management and artificial intelligence.

Comment or question? Don’t hesitate to contact:  feedback@inhouse-legal.eu

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