The legal profession has been slow to embrace technology, but over the last decade there has been a drive within the profession to improve efficiencies and naturally technology is a significant aspect of this.
As the legal profession starts to fully embrace the technology, there will be a significant impact on the jobs and also the skills required within legal at all levels of the legal value pyramid.
The unbundling of legal services, something which we have also seen taking place over the last decade, is likely to also lead to job reductions.
Between the two; tech and unbundling, there has been a real revolution within the legal profession.
Many in-house teams, for example BT's legal team, are already considering the new skills that lawyers will need given these significant changes. However, there are many who are not, which will mean that their teams will not be ready for the next 10 years.
Automation, changes in the demands from clients and the rise of millennials in the workplace will alter the types of skills sought after by law firms, according to the new study by Deloitte which predicts a tipping point for law firms by 2020. Technology has already contributed to a reduction of around 31,000 jobs in the sector including roles such as legal secretaries, the report said, as it predicted that another 39 per cent of jobs are at “high risk” of being made redundant by machines in the next two decades. The sector is currently growing; there has been an overall increase of approximately 80,000 jobs — most of which are higher skilled and better paid, such as barristers and solicitors.