News & Blog

02/01/2016

Digitalization could soon make every second junior lawyer redundant

Legal Technology will push law firms to consider new business models – IT skills will become more and more important for lawyers.

 

The volume of data in legal advisory work is constantly increasing. Therefore, in the future, the ability to describe, analyze and interpret legal data will be the deciding success factor for law firms.

Computer programs could soon account for 30-50% of junior lawyers’ work – as a result of which more and more lawyers’ jobs will be at risk. Through software, so called Legal Technology allows the digitization and automation of work routines, such as the automatic evaluation of contracts, case management and back-office work. Hardly any law firms in Germany use Legal Technology, moreover, only a few start-ups in Germany offer specialized software solutions.

These conclusions were reached by the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession (Bucerius CLP), together with the Boston Consulting Group, in the study “How Legal Technology Will Change the Business of Law”. Fifty interviews with partners from large law firms in Germany were conducted, including the nine largest law firms in Germany by profit, who account for 13% of the total profit of German law firms. In addition, owners and representatives from Legal-Tech companies were asked about the effects of Legal Technology on the business models of law firms.

“Large and small law firms can no longer afford to ignore Legal Technology if they wish to remain competitive”, says Dr. Christian Veith, Senior Partner of BCG and one of the authors of the study. Even Markus Hartung, Director of Bucerius CLP is convinced that law firms will be forced to reconsider their current business models. According to Hartung, “In the future, the legal profession will increasingly require project managers and specialists who can work with Legal Technology”.

The Legal Tech Report “How Legal Technology Will Change the Business of Law” can be found here.
An edited article on the Legal Tech Study can be found on the Handelsblatt website.

Julia Brünjes