Technological development is undoubtedly impacting the legal profession as we know it. Eric Vermeulen, a legal tech expert, emphasizes that these changes aren’t going to take several years – they are happening right now.
For example, people can now chat with a virtual legal assistant online, an interesting topic that is explored further in another Influencive article.
In a presentation in Oslo, Norway, Vermeulen explains that lawyers tell him about how they are embracing legal tech… but the most used technology in legal firms is Word, and in second place comes e-mail.
What is needed is a transformation of the legal profession, and in his presentation, Vermeulen lists five kinds of lawyers that the market is in need of today.
- The Specialist
The lawyer that isn’t going to change, but has specialized in a niche outside technology. This lawyer is able to keep doing his or her job the way that it’s always been done, without paying regard to the new apps and systems that are ushered into the world.
- The Platform Lawyer
This professional works for service and subscription platforms like Spotify and AirBnB, realizing that complicated disputes between company or homeowner and client are quick to arise in ever greater numbers as the companies grow. The global nature of such businesses demands that a whole new kind of lawyer is trained.
- The Technology Lawyer
Never before have so many businesses been created, by both rich and not-so-rich people. According to an article by SmallBusiness in the UK, 2020 was a record year in terms of the number of new companies created, with a staggering amount of 85,000.
- The Block-Chain & Smart Contract Lawyer
Always stays up to date on who owns what. In the middle ages, deadly disputes often arose as the result of neighbors and family members not having a clear understanding of who owned what. In the 21st century, though to a less deadly degree, we still face the same problems.
- The Storyteller Lawyer
This professional is a “darling” in media and can explain how everything is connected. Vermeulen didn’t say so himself, but he is a great example of the storyteller lawyer.
He concludes by saying that legal education should focus on these lawyer types. Morten Sagen, partner and lawyer of Advokatfirma Tingmann, one of the most widely used legal firms in Stavanger, Norway, agrees. New technology calls for new ways of doing business, not just for banks, which are experiencing a lot of disruption, but also for the legal industry.