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A recent report from Dell Technologies suggested that 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been created yet. An amazing statistic, but is it plausible to apply to the legal sector? Given the constant development of technological offerings, cloud-based systems and growing competitive markets, whilst it may not be as high as 85%, it is a certainty that the future of different roles offered in our sector are sure to adapt and grow, thanks to the development of artificial intelligence and smart tech.

If you think this isn’t realistic, and we are getting ahead of ourselves, we have already seen a substantial change in the industry regarding support roles in the last 10 years. There is now a strong desire to hire people for positions such as CRM Manager, Diversity & Inclusion Manager and In-House Project Managers, whereas 10 years ago these wouldn’t have even been considered by the majority of law firms.

Not only have we seen these roles be created and implemented into firms, due to automation and technological development, we are also seeing job descriptions develop and change. Legal Secretaries are a great example of the development of an industry role. Beyond note-taking, telephone answering and drawing up legal documents, legal secretaries today are expected to update CRM systems, participate in client care and events and follow internal technology best practices. Experience with particular systems is desirable now and firms will often look favourably on those who are tech-savvy or keen to develop their technical skillset.

As we continue to see growth in the tech market and an introduction of artificial intelligence into the legal sector, what does this mean for the legal professionals of the future? Well hopefully, more time.

AI-powered software allows for documentary analysis, due diligence checks and contract and document preparation, allowing more free time to those who were previously bulked down with these hefty admin tasks. By allowing the machines to take on administrative responsibility, billable hours can be better spent serving the client. And with an ever-increasing focus on client care, the timing could not be better.

Alongside AI, there will also be resulting increased opportunity in the sector, with Deloitte’s recent report suggesting that whilst 31,000 jobs have been lost, 80,000 have been created, the majority of which are a higher skill set and better pay. By embracing technological innovation and keeping abreast with new software and tools, a law firm employee could actually be opening up more career doors than they are closing.

And finally, AI will pave the way for interpreting and suggesting recommendations for firm growth and business development. The amount of data currently available in most firms are vast - from financial and billing statistics to digital marketing and client analysis. Creeping into the market are tools that allow firm leaders to successfully interpret, analyse and report on a cross-section of information, to set benchmarks against similar firms and to help suggest targets and goals for the business. This is an indisputable benefit to artificial intelligence in the face of data and logic.

So whilst technology is creating roles and affecting current ones, it is an exciting time to be recruiting in this amazing industry. We are excited to see how positions will develop and to see what new roles are born out of the technological era.

 If you’re currently preparing a recruitment strategy to tackle the changing skills landscape and need some support, you can contact our team here.

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