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06 February 2020

The times they are a-changin'. And so are the skills lawyers need.

Published on 06 February 2020

You’ve heard the digital disruption talk around the watercooler. But the topic is coming up more frequently – and with greater urgency. So it’s not surprising if you have a lot of questions. Is artificial intelligence going to make legal research positions redundant? Will the traditional legal practice go the same way as Blockbuster? Do I need to expand my skillset?

Here, we look at how disruption is changing the game for lawyers – and how to stay relevant in a digital legal world.


Become resilient

The legal industry is rapidly changing – whether we like it or not. Lawyers today have no choice but to get used to a level of ongoing uncertainty. Agility and resilience are necessities in an industry that moves swiftly and in unfamiliar directions.

The good news is that resilience is a learnt trait.

While we might see others face adversity and move on seemingly unphased, it doesn’t mean they are psychologically or emotionally stronger than us.

By learning how to adopt an innovation mindset, you will be able to create solutions to even the most difficult legal service delivery challenges. Which means confidence in the face of change.


Become curious and ‘intrapreneurial’

New technologies are already reducing a lot of jobs in the legal services sector. And it’s only early days. Deloitte believes around 100,000 legal roles will be automated by 2036.

Whatever the nature of your role in legal services, it’s more than likely that you’ll find yourself being forced to remain relevant.

Fortunately, legal services will still need a human touch; new technologies only augment the work of the person using them. And new types of jobs are being created, with emerging technologies taking out the tedious ‘grunt’ work.

In fact, a whole new type of legal job is emerging. Companies are seeking innovators, or ‘intrapreneurs’, who can champion new technologies and internally embed an agile approach.

And if you get excited by the possibilities that emerging technologies are offering, it can be a really exciting and rewarding space to work in.


Become a rainmaker

The lack of training in business skills is a major shortcoming in the education of most lawyers.

Supply is not keeping pace with the high demand for lawyers trained in management and leadership.

What’s more, with disruption hitting the legal sector, lawyers need to get as comfortable with sales and marketing as they are with practising law – more than ever before.

While some people have the ‘gift of the gab’ and are naturally suited to these areas, it is possible to develop your ‘rainmaker’ style.

Being a rainmaker goes back to the heart of marketing, which is understanding your customer and delivering superior service. These skills can be learned and perfected.


Become a continual learner

We’re talking about more than your obligatory CPD here. We’re talking about learning that will help future-proof your career in today’s changing legal world.

With the Master of Legal Business from The College of Law, you can build the business, innovation and technology skills you need to transform into a successful leader in tomorrow’s legal world. You can take subjects separately, or as part of an awards program.

Through coursework, you will learn how to:

  • Take considered risks
  • Use innovation and ‘design thinking’ to address legal service delivery challenges
  • Be an empathetic problem-solver
  • Lean into change and adopt new technologies
  • Become a trusted client advisor

And why wait? We still have limited openings for this semester’s subject, Fundamental technologies shaping legal services: Understand the technologies driving the business of law.

Registrations close 13 February 2020. Enrol now.