Junior lawyers are to be surveyed on how the growing wave of technological developments is impacting their working lives and future careers.
The Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) is to question members next month to see if those at the junior end of the profession believe their working routine will change and if they are prepared for changes - including missing out on work they would have otherwise carried out.
Some artificial intelligence tools now available to law firms could have a particularly strong impact on work traditionally carried out by juniors. According to the JLD, examples include programs that sort through thousands of contracts and pick out key terms and tools to help lawyers draft more efficiently.
The JLD’s 70,000 members, who range from students to those with five years’ post-qualified experience, will be surveyed on 6 April.
Questions include whether 'lawtech' is having an impact on job responsibilities, if juniors have received enough training in relation to technology and if they feel that the growth of lawtech means that there are aspects of a job that they may miss out on.
Members will also be asked what impact, if any, new technologies will have on the number of people qualifying in the next 5 and 10 years.
James Kitching, JLD committee member and a solicitor at south England firm Coffin Mew, told the Gazette: ‘The purpose of the survey is to draw out how much lawtech is or isn’t affecting junior lawyers. We want to find out if there is a difference between those in the regions to those in the city, those in big firms to those in small firms, and also between different practice areas. We also want to draw out whether there is a belief amongst junior lawyers that lawtech is impacting the way they work, will impact it into the future and whether they have been and are being prepared for the changes that are taking place.’