How Will Legal Education And Training Keep Pace With Change?
Ferris Bueller famously quipped, “Life moves pretty fast.” Imagine what he would say now …The pace of change is accelerating at warp-speed, buoyed by technological advances, communication, and globalism.
Dell Technologies authored a report by 20 tech, business and academic experts projecting 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 have yet to be invented. Dell issued a statement that "The pace of change will be so rapid that people will learn 'in the moment' using new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. The ability to gain new knowledge will be more valuable
than the knowledge itself."
Many lawyers might think this does not apply to them, but think again.
Deloitte released a 2016 report on the legal industry predicting “profound reforms” over the next decade. Several factors were cited including: automation, the rise of millennials in the workplace, and changing client demands. Deloitte projected a 39% loss of legal sector jobs. That will be offset by new positions in data analytics, legal technology architecting and design, risk mitigation, and other yet-to-be-identified fields. Consider that Deloitte has the world’s largest market share of legal services. The “profound reforms” are already underway.
Clients- Not Lawyers-Are in Control Now
The transition of law from lawyer-centric, provincial, labor-intensive guild to a customer-focused, global, digitized industry requires new skillsets and training. Technology and business are now tools of the legal trade and legal education and training have lagged the marketplace. Clients are under intense pressure to “do more with less,” and they are applying that standard to legal delivery. They demand efficient, predictive, cost-effective, accessible, scalable, and agile delivery of legal services.
“Knowledge of the law” alone is insufficient for all but a handful of elite lawyers. “Practice” is narrowing as “the business of delivering legal services” is expanding. The latter requires a suite of new skillsets—project management, data analytics, business basics, technical agility, and collaboration, among others—that have yet to become standard fare in legal training. Bill Henderson, a leader in aligning the Academy with the marketplace, sums up the state-of-play: “Legal education and the legal profession are at an inflection point where traditional models of education and practice no longer fit the shifting needs of the market.”
More from Mark A. Cohen you'll find in our Thought Leader Section and via the links below.
Mark Cohen also publishes at Forbes and on his platform LegalMosaic and Law.com