Technology & the Generational Gap
By Abeer Abu Judeh.
Rotary phones, VHS, DOS, Encyclopedias, rabbit ears, 8-tracks, word perfect are just some terms of technology past. Every profession has adapted and succeeded using the technology that benefits their industry; that is true of those who practice law. The legal world is no different, and attorneys for thousands of years have dealt with the impact of technology. The difference today is that technology is changing at an exponential rate.
With the help of transformational technologies, AI, and analytics, the future law firm will bemore effective and efficient than ever before. According to The Future Ready Lawyer Survey, more than half (53%) of lawyers in the U.S and Europe expect their organization's tech investment will increase in the next three years.
The law firm today will be unrecognizable in 5- 10 years with the advancement of these technologies. Litigating will be completely different with the introduction of predictive analytics. Predictive analytics use algorithms and machine learning to interpret data to understand a case and give logical predictions of possible outcomes. The law firm of the future will use AI to enhance the law firm making it more efficient and accurate. The legal field will become more competitive; solo/small firms will be able to compete with larger law firms using technology to their advantage. Do younger attorneys, having grown up around technology, have an advantage? Are older attorneys resistant to technology? How do attorneys, today, use technology?
With one of the largest generations, Baby Boomers, aging, and Millennials establishing their careers, there are discussions about how these two generations embrace and use technology to practice law. And caught between these two generations is Gen X, a hybrid of sorts, having grown up before and during the technology boom. More than 74 percent of millennials believe new technology makes their lives easier, compared to 31 percent of Generation X and just 18 percent of Baby Boomers.  These three generations, as part of the legal landscape, are all utilizing technology to advance their careers, the practice of law, and forge the future.
Millennials are the first generation with the advantage of growing up in an online society. There is a base knowledge of technology with both hardware and software learned through formal education, observational learning, and hands-on usage. Millennial attorneys most likely applied for law school, internships, clerkships, and jobs online. They also grew up with digital tools that help most efforts in life, whether leisure or work activities. When it comes to learning new technology, it is likely easier for this generation because of a lifetime of use. Over 20% of Millennials have an excellent understanding of how different technologies impact their work. 
For the sandwich generation, Gen X, they were caught between two worlds. A world where they learned to type on a typewriter but needed to use those skills on a computer keyboard. Getting the latest gadget or learning the newest tools could be appealing or an afterthought for Gen X. They are likely in established careers, and technology is a necessity in their day to day work lives. The concepts are not foreign to them, and because of where they are in their careers, they need to be hands-on with technology.
The Baby Boomers were once the largest generation in the workforce. They are parents and grandparents. They witnessed the moon landing, the development and implementation of computers, a rollercoaster of economic climates, and of course, the dawn and day of the internet. Learning the latest online tools may not be as intuitive to these generations as the others. They hit the prime of their career while technology was ramping up and taking over and were decision-makers. They made decisions about technology and whether to get swept up in the tech wave or to stand on the shore.
Though there is varying knowledge within all generations and the generational gap isn't black and white with all folks from that generation. What is certain is that there are multiple tech tools and resources available to all attorneys. With the introduction of social media, networks are opening up for all professions but specifically for attorneys. Social media is a valuable source for an attorney. For example, LinkedIn is an excellent way to get referrals, visibility, and to build a reputation as a thought leader. The cloud is changing how attorneys conduct business and balance their lives; they no longer are confined to their geographic area. The world is now your office. To build on that now that everyone has an on-the-go device being accessible is now possible more than ever. Smartphones are mini-computers that not only keep users connected but are research machines. The world of apps has forever changed how we conduct business and our lives. Legal apps are revolutionizing processes from accounting, case management, referrals, and collaboration. Take, for instance, LexDock is a legal services platform for attorneys and clients that offers lead generation, rate negotiation, a secure discussion platform, file management, case management, and convenience. Portable hardware allows attorneys to scan, print, and create from anywhere. Email, texting, out of the box websites, and web ads make marketing more relaxed and more accessible than ever before. Online tools are even helping attorneys with how they bill clients making legal services more affordable and accessible.
We didn't cover the newest generation to enter the legal arena, Generation Z. They are likely the first generation to expect more from technology and how it will help their career in law. The 2019 law class was the first, from the generation, to enter the field, so there will be more to cover as they continue to develop their legal careers.
The future is now, and attorneys leveraging all our current technology has to offer. Future generations of attorneys won't have the same learning curve as this current segment of working attorneys, and so it is essential to remember the challenges our current generations face.
 Cassady, Kim. "3 Ways Technology Influences Generational Divides at Work." Entrepreneur, March 29, 2017, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/290763. Accessed 16 January 2020
 "The Future Ready Lawyer: The Global Future of Law." 2019 Wolters Kluwer Future Ready Lawyer Survey Report, https://wolterskluwer.com/binaries
About the Author
Abeer Abu Judeh an attorney, a fortune 500 executive and an innovation officer dubbed by Business Insider a “Rule Breaker.” Abeer has 15 years of legal practice experience holding various positions in big law, government and in-house counsel roles.
As founder of LexDock, Abeer focuses on creating technology solutions to reinvent the manner in which LexDock, Abeer focuses on creating technology solutions to reinvent the manner in which legal services are rendered. With infinite passion for justice and technology, she paves the way for the democratization of the legal market place. LexDock empowers Businesses with the tools necessary for them to manage their legal affairs in real time and on budget. LexDock was hailed by LawWeek Colorado as a “A New Marketplace on the Market” and was named by the National Law Journal “2020 Emerging Legal Technology Leader.”