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The Impact of Digital in Law: What Every Law Student Should Know

Mason ArgiropoulosCareer opportunities at top firms will always be extremely competitive - academic achievement alone is not enough to stand out. So how can today’s early-career legal professionals get a leg up on their competition?

Today’s new lawyers are wise to differentiate themselves by embracing arguably the most significant wave of change to hit the legal profession that may not have been discussed in law school: Digital Transformation. 

C-suite executives and boards have centred entire corporate strategies around Digital Transformation and it remains at the forefront of thinking in the world’s best-run companies. Virtually every other business unit, including shared services such as HR, Finance, and IT have taken advantage of, and benefited from, Digital.

Legal IT Today #28

Why Digital? Legal colleagues in a digitised function become value creators, increasing revenues and performance while still managing risk and cost. More than a cost of doing business, with digital lawyers, the legal function adds value beyond the core practice areas you may have studied. For example: Uncovering efficiencies, and even revenue streams, in the data that sits behind the day-to-day activities undertaken by the department.

As new lawyers prepare to enter the workforce, they should be ready to apply the legal skills garnered in law school with a digital mindset. As an example, new lawyers may quickly find themselves working alongside key algorithms and artificial intelligence to help speed up the contract review cycle. 

The world’s most elite law firms and legal departments want efficiency and scale especially around traditional, time-consuming processes—embracing cutting-edge digital technology will deliver business agility, competitive advantage, economic value, and much more. An effective approach to Digital Legal Transformation (DLX) will not only change how leadership perceive the impact and value of Legal, it just might accelerate your career. 

What should you know about Digital Legal Transformation?

  • The rise of technology in legal practice is creating a wealth of data which legal teams and firms can use for better decision making. Digital leads to the harnessing of meaningful, objective data to inform decisions rather than customary practice that relies on what solicitors think the biggest risks are, in the absence of evidence. 
  • Automation can improve quality while at the same time creating cost-efficiencies. Through the use of business-grade technology, digital workflows enable quicker business decisions with data-driven insights.
  • DLX reimagines how services are structured and delivered, it re-evaluates virtually every aspect of the law department and the legal function, as well as its impact on the business. 

Take contract management as an example: Most companies cannot access the bulk of their contracts readily. This is far from unusual; relatively poor access to data, process efficiencies, and speed of transactional service have become almost the norm in some industries. A company that harnesses the power of Digital—using real-time data—can close this gap with artificial intelligence and automated processes. 

The deployment of a fully-digitised contract repository enables insights into contracting activity—insights that positively drive revenue and value for the enterprise. For new solicitors, this is important to recognise as you likely have more value to contribute than you previously thought. By accelerating the contract review cycle and transaction times, the company or firm can move faster which means more revenue for the business or clients. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a digital team that can help drive additional revenue? 

As Digital continues to evolve in law departments and law firms, so too will the role of lawyers at all levels. Today’s new solicitors are wise to differentiate themselves by demonstrating their grasp of the role that Digital plays—as well as staying apprised of key trends—going forward. 

Mason Argiropoulos is Senior Vice President of Human Resources at technology and legal services company UnitedLex. Mason  oversees UnitedLex's global talent acquisition, compensation, benefits, payroll, leadership development, and HRIS functions. Prior to joining UnitedLex, Argiropoulos was the Chief Human Resources Officer for iQor, a leading provider of business process outsourcing and product support services for many Fortune 500 and well-known global brands. He was responsible for all human resources functions across the board, and helped the company to grow to over 45,000 employees in 17 countries. Argiropoulos also served in leadership positions in the Sales and Analytics department and played an active role in the integration of several acquisitions during his 13-year tenure at iQor.
 

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