An “Innovation and the law” event held at The University of Law (ULaw) in Reading this month heard how the digital revolution has led to rapid changes in the way lawyers work. Matt Walker, a partner in Shoosmiths’ real estate team, describes how he can now work “entirely paperless” while intelligent contract review platforms can analyse thousands of documents in a matter of minutes. Jeff Chang, a partner in Osborne Clarke’s corporate group, says the firm’s specialist innovation team helps clients explore how they would like legal services to be delivered to maximise value to their businesses.

“It’s one way we keep our clients sticky”, said Chang. He went on to warn students against an over-reliance on technology, however: “There may come a time when you do not have access to the internet or one of your precedent documents and will have to draft a contract freehand. It is very important – and I cannot stress this enough – to know your black letter law. Being a slave to tech won’t make you a very good lawyer.”

Legal Cheek

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