During April to June 2018, 224 junior lawyers completed a JLD web survey, sharing their views on the current impact of lawtech on solicitors’ work and the potential impact going forward.

The report of that survey is now available.

Lawtech is everywhere you look at the moment and you would be forgiven for thinking that it is the be all and end all for the future of the legal profession.

However, there is very little in the way of information on how much lawtech is really having an impact on the profession and whether we as professionals are feeling that impact.

Although lawtech is a broad term, for the purpose of the survey we wanted to look at technology created specifically for lawyers and law firms to help with the way in which we carry out work, and which is aimed at making our jobs easier.

We were not looking at other areas of lawtech such as algorithms in the justice system, innovations to courts, or products specifically designed to circumnavigate using a lawyer.

Notable findings

Despite the perceived hype of lawtech, almost half of respondents (49.5%) felt that they didn’t already know what it was prior to answering the survey and almost two-thirds (63%) reported that lawtech was not having an impact on their current job responsibilities.

This lack of understanding appears to be linked to a lack of education and training on the topic. 61% of respondents stated that they had little or no information/training on lawtech on the LPC and felt their course should have provided it and just 2% of respondents felt they had received all the lawtech information and training they needed from their LPC provider.

However, there appears to be a consensus that lawtech will have an impact going forward.

Almost three-quarters of respondents (71%) thought their area of law could benefit from advances in lawtech and 43% that there would be a decrease in the number of those qualifying in the period of five to 10 years from now.

James Kitching, one of the JLD’s executive committee members, prepared the survey and commented:

“Lawtech has the potential to revolutionise the way we work. However, what the survey shows is that there is a general perception that we are not there yet. More importantly, there is still not enough engagement and understanding amongst junior lawyers as to exactly what lawtech is and how it can improve the way we work and it appears that part of the reason for this is a lack of training and education on the topic at the graduate level.”