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How to Become a “Future Ready” Lawyer

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Start by becoming tech-savvy.

If you want to attract and retain top talent to your law firm, stay on the cutting edge of legal technology.

A whopping 83 percent of lawyers say it is “very important” or “extremely important” to work at a firm that uses the latest tech tools.

Another reason to lean into technology: 63 percent of firms that are self-described “Tech Leaders” saw increased profitability from 2021-2022, while only 46 percent of “Tech Laggers” did so.

Those are some of the findings from the 2022 Future Ready Lawyer Survey.

“Legal professionals face greater pressure than ever before, driven by the ‘VUCA’ environment of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity,” says longtime law tech expert Bob Ambrogi, writing about the survey. “Firms that are well-equipped for the future are those that are optimizing their people, processes and technology through a path of continuous improvement.”

The Wolters Kluwer 2022 Future Ready Lawyer Survey polled 751 legal professionals in the U.S. and Europe on their firms’ readiness to meet the tech demands of the coming years.

Read The Wolters Kluwer Future Ready Lawyer Survey here.

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Key Takeaways from the 2022 Future Ready Lawyer Survey

  • Three trends will have the greatest impact on law firms in coming years: (1) increased reliance on legal technology; coping with the rising volume and complexity of information; and meeting changing client and leadership expectations.
  • Only 36 percent of lawyers say their firms are well prepared to meet these three challenges.
  • Seventy-seven (77) percent of lawyers say coping with emerging and growing compliance areas like environmental, social and governance (ESG) is a significant trend. “Fifty-six (56) percent of corporate lawyers and 45 percent of law firm lawyers report increased demands for ESG guidance over the past year,” Ambrogi writes on his website LawSites. “Most say their organization is not very prepared to keep up.”
  • Three-quarters say data privacy is a key concern.
  • Eighty-four (84) percent say they are using more contract lawyers and non-legal staff.
  • Eighty-three (83) percent say it is very important or extremely important to work for a firm that leverages technology.
  • Lawyers in law firms say the most important technologies are document management, cybersecurity and encryption tools, and digital court proceedings.
  • Lawyers in legal departments say the most important technologies are legal matter management, contract management software and contract analytics; document management; cybersecurity and encryption tools; e-signature tools, and entity management.
  • Eighty-six (86) percent of corporate lawyers and 70 percent of law firm lawyers say the Great Resignation of the past three years has had a very or somewhat significant impact on their organization.
  • Seventy (70) percent of corporate lawyers and 58 percent of law firm lawyers say they are very or somewhat likely to leave their current position in the next year.

“Less than a third of legal organizations said they are well-prepared to handle the talent churn,” according to Ambrogi. “But the majority of respondents agree that technology is a critical factor in retaining and attracting talent.”

Source: 2022 ‘Future Ready Lawyer’ Survey Finds that Complexity of Information and Clients’ Expectations Are Driving Greater Reliance on Tech | LawSites (lawnext.com)

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