For many years, people have had careers in the legal industry and, more specifically, in corporation law. This market has become saturated and is already at risk from automation.
How could this industry be transformed for the better?
By removing the unnecessary and monotonous tasks, which can be done by an algorithm. This will free time for more complex projects. Instead, firms can focus on building their clientele and establishing more of an online presence.
Firms can cut their overheads considerably, particularly, by not having to employ people to complete low level tasks.
Firms can potentially work virtually
Would it be possible for lawyers to work remotely instead of turning up to the office? Yes, I believe the future will allow us to be in our offices virtually thanks to emerging and new technologies like virtual reality. We could just remain at home and the office will come to us.
A greater need for an online presence
I believe the future trajectory of law firms will be to focus on building a sole online presence and exiting the whole onsite environment.
Is freelancing the future for lawyers?
Could more lawyers work directly for clients? Many are still sceptical as they rely on financial security. Once we gain more certainty, I believe increasing numbers of lawyers will start taking this route.
Transition into an Idea economy
This will open up a brand new industry for legal advisors. They say ideas are worthless, but more protection will be needed. When a large majority of our society will start creating groundbreaking things, people will search for advice.
The need to rewrite laws
With the introduction of robots and automation, laws will need to be rewritten to accommodate for both employees and robots. The rights of both will need to be made clear in order to avoid confusion and conflict. The fact that laws need to be rewritten creates more opportunities and expansion for many firms.
A deluge of patent creations
I predict that there will be a massive increase of people choosing to patent their products or services. In essence, a large focus will be placed around intellectual property. More legal advisors will be required to help people create the right patents and trademarks.
Understanding the sharing economy
Legal advisors will be needed to explain how this economy works and what ownership rights people have. In a sharing economy, there is less of a focus on ownership rights and more of a focus on license holders.
The introduction of license holders
Will we be required to apply for certain licenses in the future in order to protect ourselves and what we create? For example, will a person who creates music via an AI program have the rights or will it be the person who produces the software for the program who has the rights? This is a path our society will eventually take.
Reform of law education
There should be a change in how future law will be taught. Students must be informed of how the latest technology can benefit their profession. This is very important in order to avoid confusion and a reality shock. A large emphasis on intellectual property must be enforced so students can see how much potential there is and what they can do to better assist our society.
By Caroline Peart
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