During the first session of the Bucerius Legal Tech lectures series, a great introductory discussion took place regarding the disruption of the legal industry by technology and what are the trends and expectations for lawyers in the 21st century.
The session reminded me of discussions that I enjoyed during my course ‘Law Firm as a Business’ in Cambridge, and it inspired me (once again) to upskill and adjust for the future of legal services – which seem exciting and full of opportunities.
However, what struck me the most yesterday, but even in my day to day interaction with colleagues, is the immediate need for a paradigm shift amongst the average lawyers, and in particular Albanian lawyers. The modern lawyer should not be simply a good writer and communicator who stays updated with the legal changes, does research and drafts lengthy opinions – the new required set of skills is a lot more extensive, and the adoption to the new age of technology is no longer an option, it is a requirement. The new lawyer should solve complex problems, be highly commercially aware, be tech and data-savvy, on top of having managerial and interpersonal skills.
While the rumour (no facts to refer to here) is that lawyers are not good at math – this has to be debunked. A great lawyer should have strong formal logic and understand both business and computer science. It comes as no surprise that many of the best lawyers have a technology or engineering background.
So, to equip the present and future lawyers with the tools necessary to meet the demands of new clientele and stand out as they define the new legal industry, our legal training should most definitely introduce more design, business, data, coding classes instead of Roman Law or the like. Like most professionals today, lawyers will need to adapt and develop new skills. They will need to become T-shaped lawyers. The T-shaped lawyer otherwise referred to as a ‘2.0 lawyer‘ or a ‘positive-value‘ lawyer, has deep legal expertise but also a solid knowaledge and understanding of other subjects. Only by developing such skills and knowledge will the lawyers be able to meet the expectations and demands of the clients today and use technology for delivering the most efficient and cost-effective service possible.
In that regard, as a lawyer – which of the other subjects (horizontal bar) do you master or plan to add to your ‘skills portfolio’?