Trending changes

Trend data is an integral part of the learning process. Researchers indicate that staying ahead of trends places businesses ahead of the competition. This essential principle is one that is creating a paradigm shift in the way attorneys conduct their Business affairs. According to a report in The Balance, E-Discovery is the biggest trend in the legal industry (Kane, 2016). With the relatively recent rise of internet research, attorneys are competing with a world audience for information. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure recently amended the rules governing electronically stored information.

Therefore, there has been tremendous growth in the e-discovery process. The rising interest in this process has lawyers adding this practice of Law as a specialty.

Technological advancements

The progress of technology in the legal profession is causing quite a stir. According to Robert Ambrogi, the most significant trends in the legal profession include technology boosts, artificial intelligence, chat bots, analytics, technology for access to justice (#AJ2), and technology used in continuing legal education (#CLE). While this may not seem to be a new phenomenon, it is relatively new to the legal field. According to a journal article in 2014, the availability of online resources coupled with the ability for clients to consult with attorneys using social media communication has caused a firestorm of momentum in the legal realm (Groot, 2014).

There is a particular yet ambiguous wind of change confronting the legal profession, and those who want to ride the waves of change must refocus their efforts to embrace this change.

Out with the old and in with the new

One of the more notable trends facing the legal industry is the replacement of paper and physical data by computers and robots.

Sarah Kellogg wrote in a 2016 article that “A highly mobile, globally interconnected, and seamlessly agile society will demand the same of its attorneys and law firms” (Kellogg, 2016). The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled that tech CLE classes are mandatory for lawyers (Li, 2016). The ruling cited a lack of education about technology and its impact on the law as one of the primary concerns found by the court.

The digitizing of case law has also profoundly affected the legal profession. In 2015, the Harvard Law School created the Caselaw Access Project which provided digital formats of all U.S. case laws. With more than 40,000 books and nearly 40 million pages of decisions, the project boasts the second highest volume of case law in the nation, second only to the Library of Congress.

Innovation is not always widely accepted in traditional professions. Hopefully, this industry embraces these changes and leads the way through the 21st century.

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