Predicting futures

Raconteur’s special Legal Innovation report, featuring Totum, has been published today (Tuesday 27 November 2018) in The Times newspaper and The Times tablet/iPad edition. It is full of interesting articles looking ahead to the legal profession of the future. This is a world in which advantageous legal technology proliferates, allowing lawyers to become much more commercial and consultative, but so too do myriad cyber threats and data challenges. Fantastic articles include one looking at a day in the life of the future lawyer. We were particularly struck by the point made in the piece by Alessandra Almeida Jones, head of marketing and communications at Baker McKenzie: ‘Legal project management and analytics will become core to what is currently provided, going beyond just the contract, the legal advice, and incorporate more non-lawyers into legal teams,’ she says. This tallies with our experience too, in which business services functions play a highly-valued role in legal practice and candidates skilled in project management and data analysis are in ever-increasing demand. We were also interested in the piece asking why so many talented lawyers are moving in-house. The number of solicitors working in-house has more than doubled over the past 15 years, from almost 13,000 in 2002 to almost 28,000 in 2017. This is not only proof of how attractive in-house roles have become, it also shows a decreasing interest in the traditional (and often gruelling) path to partnership. The article makes us wonder whether a more ‘business-like and tech savvy’ in-house environment will soon become the preferred career route for ambitious lawyers who also want some work-life balance. If so, it also raises timely questions for law firms as to whether they are going the right way to attract and retain the best talent of younger generations in a new working age. With articles also looking at the impact of AI and analytics on the billable hour, the impact of AI on HR, and a review of the world’s top legal tech hubs, this is a report that is an eye-opener into future developments in a technology-driven legal world. Click here to see Raconteur’s full ‘Legal Innovation’ report, including links to all articles and a virtual PDF. Or click here to see the interactive PDF version of the report Over the coming days, we will also be publishing a selection of the report's arrticles here, including our own commentary on the trends discussed. Watch this space!