The future of the legal advisor - impact of technology
Ian McDougall, Legal Director - ECLA, Lexis Nexis Group, UK
The modern law office is an amazing place when compared to the law office of the past.
If we go back only a little way, the modern law office may well seem like something out
of Star Trek. For much of the past, the most complicated piece of technology most law
firms had was a typewriter. Research was a process of reviewing a mountain of books,
periodicals and statutes. Indeed, an important part of the legal advisor’s skill was just
being able to retrieve the relevant area of law. In the distant past, law offices would
employ “scribes” to carefully copy important documents, when the ability to write was a
skill in itself.
Of course, the introduction of printing machinery led to the commoditisation of those
writing skills. “Commoditisation” is a word I will be returning to in this piece as it
continues to have an important impact on the development of the provision of legal
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