Peer to Peer Magazine

Winter 2019

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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46 as they look to grow. The examples below exemplify how the tides of change have started to turn: There is already a shift in vocabulary within business, with words such as 'agile', 'customer centricity', and 'scalable delivery' becoming commonplace. Over time these have become more than words thrown about, and firms have started attracting talent, building process and executing around the true meaning of these methods. There is more competition than ever. Outside of North America, players other than law firms can offer and deliver legal services - the walls are coming down fast. What is commonly referred to as Alternative Legal Service Providers (ALSPs) are on the rise and will soon be on equal footing with legal service providers. Beyond this, boutique firms are starting to challenge the incumbents, utilizing a "tech first" approach to get the upper hand. Whereas the pace of change in more 'traditional' firms is glacial –Litera's annual publication, The Changing Lawyer, found that 69% of firms do not feel that their current tech stacks are optimized for innovation. Both internal and external stakeholders are starting to question the source of value within a law firm, which will push us to get away from the antiquated standard of lawyer vs non-lawyer. There is a shift in the approach to the delivery of legal services, driving new roles, which in the past might have been considered support functions. For an example of how this is permeating the practice, see ILTA's 2018 Technolo Survey results, which highlighted that the staffing for 'analytic' positions was equal to (or in some segments surpassed) those for security roles. The augmented workforce What's the key takeaway: If you don't think you have any of these knowledge bases, skills, or worldviews yet, take heart. These are all learnable as opposed to innate traits and abilities. Admittedly, it may be a bit harder to pick up new skills mid-career, but the rewards are well worth the investment. For law firms, consider two things: (1) how you can harmonize business areas such as data analytics and predictive modelling, with the practice of law; and, (2) identify and work with progressive, process savvy legal tech providers that allow you to focus on the business of law. For the latter, often decisions are made on a project-by-project basis. Instead, there needs to a cohesive, holistic strate for the business. Once this is decided, the question is how far in the future should the firm be strategizing when making investment decisions? In answering this, assess where you are as a business, where you need to get to, and only then, how to get there. Identify the problem before pitching for the solution. For lawyers, to ensure you are futureproof you will need to be able to blend legal knowledge with technical savviness. As technologies become even more pervasive, it will be important to be able to organize and decipher large quantities of complex legal materials. The attorney of the future will be suggesting new ways in which legal services can be delivered using technolo. Fundamentally, become a change agent and welcome how technolo is transforming the legal profession. ILTA 1 2 3 Abhijat Saraswat Abhijat Saraswat is a technologist. Ab is the VP, International Sales at Litera Microsystems, as well as the host of the Fringe Legal podcast. He is a Barrister (non- practicing), and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2015. Abhijat holds a Bachelor's Degree in Forensic Science and Neuroscience from the University of Keele, UK.

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