Change at every level – a solicitor apprentice’s experience of legaltech
The real estate sector is undergoing some exciting changes as new working and living habits drive how we build, re-purpose and use property. Our legal teams are overhauling ‘traditional’ ways of working to ensure we help our clients to compete in this environment.
I have had a hands on role in this journey working with our IT team and real estate solicitors to build and manage a platform which automates administrative parts of a typical property transaction. Working on this project has been an eye-opening experience; I have developed my tech, legal and project management skills, which I will take forward throughout my career. Here are my four key learning experiences:
In order for the project to be successful, I had to collaborate with others across the firm. I used my legal knowledge to build a platform which would produce house-style documents in the most user-friendly way; for example including execution blocks that changed depending on the length of the term of the lease. I also had to learn from our Projects Team where the limits of the technology were and be creative about finding solutions.
Clients are the biggest driver behind change so I spent time understanding their needs and making sure the tech could help. Automating some processes reduces the risk of human error and also speeds up progress. Lawyers can then spend that time focusing on higher level legal issues and working through commercial blockers for our clients.
Legaltech and fee earning go hand-in-hand. We implement legaltech to reduce the mundane day-to-day tasks and so it is essential that we set goals and deadlines. It is important to keep other members of the team up-to-date with progress and be ready to change priorities at short notice.
Internal marketing is the key to successful implementation of a legaltech product- people need to be aware of it so that they can use it! I spent time giving demos at team meetings, organising training and updating procedures, which raised my own profile in the team.
Technology will be a fundamental part of the future of law and as a junior lawyer, it is crucial to have hands-on experience working on a legaltech project. For me, the best part about legaltech is that it is constantly evolving which means we can continue to be more creative about how we respond to the differing needs of our clients in the future.