Lawcadia Solutions Specialist, Steven Dudley, attended the FLIP Inquiry Series – Behind the Buzzwords: LawTech in Sydney this week where panelists explored and discussed the term ‘LawTech’ and the wide range of tools and processes that propose to improve the way lawyers practice as well as the way the justice system operates.
Following this event we thought we’d share some of the insights that resonated with us, so here is our “5 expert insights into the impact of LawTech on service delivery”. And because we can, we have included our own point of view (PoV) where relevant.
Some may think that pricing as a discussion point in the legal industry is old news, but according to Commissioner John McKenzie (Office of the Legal Services Commissioner NSW), providing certainty of price remains one of the most important aspects of service delivery in the legal profession.
Anna Golovsky, Executive Manager of Agility and Legal Operations at IAG also highlighted the opportunity for legal service providers to invest in technology that will allow them to improve certainty on price and also demonstrate to clients how they are using their resources effectively.
Lawcadia PoV: Looking to the future, we can expect to see law firms address this with their clients through fixed price arrangement, legal project management oriented towards holistic scoping, as well as a focus on legal technology solutions that assist in the communication of budget and scope changes.
As the industry has long acknowledged, low complexity and high volume legal work will be automated in the future and McKenzie anticipates that, in contrast to this, there will be an increase is specialist legal professionals.
Recent trends have seen a strong increase in law graduates, however with technology improvements and adoption, McKenzie suggests that graduate levels will decline and this could also pose a challenge for future specialists being available to take the roles that will be in high demand.
Commissioner John McKenzie also pointed out the necessary skill-set changes for lawyers of the future, and that these will include both analytical and people skills for all legal practitioners. The increase in demand for cultural literacy was also noted as a key requirement for success.
Lawcadia PoV: The demands for both the soft and hard skills may seem at odds with each other yet are a direct result of the increase in the use of technology and automation, something we’ve discussed in more detail here.
There was a general consensus from the panelists that lawtech is starting to change the way in which work is done and delivered. Anna Golovsky in particular identified four key drivers for lawtech in the way in which it will influence the delivery of legal services. Broadly these are: improvements on efficiency, cost effectiveness, process and resulting in better outcomes, faster.
When asked about the type of challenges to successful change management when adopting new solutions and ways of working, Anna Golovsky was most insightful, describing a natural push back that is to be expected along with the need for management to sell change internally and demonstrate “what is in it” for the legal team. Golovsky also highlighted the need for iteration, saying that you need to be prepared to modify your approach. Change management tactics also work well if they are fun and engaging, with some pertinent examples shared with the audience.
Lawcadia PoV: Change management is a rich topic for legal teams and law firms at the moment in an environment where new systems and process need to be thoughtfully embedded and adopted if they are to succeed and create value. In our experience successful implementations combine excellent planning, careful project management, open communication and readily available support. Endorsement from internal leaders is also critical.
Thank you to the Law Society of NSW for hosting the event, it was well worth attending and something we look forward to being involved with in the future.