Login | September 21, 2019

Survey: Lawyers around the world unprepared for new tech

Technology for Lawyers

Published: May 24, 2019

Another day, another survey showing how little even a basic understanding of technology has been absorbed by the legal world.

This time, a Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory-conducted survey of 700 lawyers around the world called “The Future Ready Lawyer,” found that only about a third of them feel that their firms (or corporations in the case of in-house counsel) are ready to keep up with anticipated changes in the legal market that are being brought on by changes in tech and the way tech impacts the practice.

The lawyers surveyed said that they recognized that “coping with increased volume and complexity of information” and improved productivity and efficiency” are top trends in the market, but less than one-third of them feel prepared to address these issues.

Why, you ask? How come lawyers can’t just gear up? Why haven’t they been gearing up for the last 25 years that I and others have been telling them to?

Well, 36% of them said that lack of technology knowledge, understanding or skills account for this gap between need and deed. Right, right? They don’t know what they don’t know, which keeps them from finding out what they need to know. You know? Ignorance begets ignorance.

Thirty-four percent said that organizational factors like lack of a forward-looking IT department or organizational fear of change are limiting factors.

Interesting things from the survey: over 60% said they knew big data and predictive abalysis was important, but only about a third of those people said they understood what that meant. Also, millennials were twice as likely to say they understood what was going on than older folks.

But apparently this level of self-awareness doesn’t mean that they are willing to actually learn what they need.

To be fair, there is a difference between levels of understanding between current tech and future tech. Most, if not all, firms are solid when it comes to practice management, client interfaces, back office tech and the like.

Where they seem to be behind is in the waves of the future like privacy, AI applications, and the like. Which means that GDPR and other privacy considerations are still a mystery to them for the most part, and that they still don’t understand e-discovery.

OK, then, next! Here’s the whole survey, if you’re interested: https://landing-legisway.wolterskluwer.com/2019-future-ready-lawyer-report-legal-departments