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The entrepreneurial law student

The entrepreneurial law student

By Brad Woolstencroft


Lawyers of the future need to understand the impact artificial intelligence and technology can have on professional practice. Law students today are facing more pressure than ever to stand out from the rest, so how do they create opportunities for themselves by leveraging off technology? Is appreciation of the intersection between law and technology enough or do law students need to explore more to fully understand the impact on the industry? The legal landscape is changing rapidly, and not just in relation to legislative changes. We are now seeing legal services delivered in different ways, referred to as NewLaw; but what does this mean? In its simplicity, NewLaw is the practice of law or delivery of legal services using new and innovative methods that are different from traditional models. So why do students need to understand this concept? I believe that while some roles are becoming automated in the profession due to artificial intelligence (AI), it is the opportunities that do not exist that are most exciting, and that inquisitive law students will gain most from exploring. Many top-tier commercial law firms are slowly transitioning to new models of legal service but it is the up and coming entrepreneurs and young legal professionals who are changing the way we interact with lawyers. Legal marketplaces are a new phenomenon that bring together legal professionals to deliver services in more fair and transparent ways, such as fixed-fee billing. CEO and co-founder of legal marketplace Legally Yours, Karen Finch, explains that lawyers of the future need to understand AI capabilities and how they can enhance their legal practice. “There is a perception in the legal industry that AI is going to replace lawyers, however, so long as a human being needs legal advice, a human lawyer will always need to be on hand to interpret and communicate the technical output created by AI. In my opinion, AI and technology in general only enhance the way lawyers practise, replacing the menial and repetitive and enabling lawyers to do what they do best – represent their client’s interests,” she says.

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