Big Law

The Technology Gap: What is Being Done to Fix it?

So Catch This…

Last week’s post, The Technology Gap, gave insight into the legal world, and the generational gap between the powers that be, and incoming associates. I argued that it was this generational gap, rather than a lack of tech teachings in law school, that has been the direct cause of inefficiencies in the legal world. Led by tenured partners, “The legal profession is …tied to paper, desktop computers, and e-mailed Microsoft Word documents.” Those in power lack the knowledge, and wherewithal to act on the new technologies. As such, “The partners at major law firms play a big role in how aggressively the law business will adapt,” and “Established practitioners [are] leery of adopting … new technologies.” The younger generations have grown up in a landscape dripping with new and improving technologies, and now stepping out of Law school, are being introduced to a workplace where technology takes a backseat, to sharpened #2’s and college ruled paper (okay, so that may be a bit of an exaggeration … but you get the point). That brings us to today’s topic: What is being done to fix it?

The Legal Hackers, a group of over 1,800 “young lawyers focused on creating and adopting technological tools,” is one of the groups pioneering the cause. “Legal Hackers was formed in 2011 by a Brooklyn law student who noticed many lawyers were more comfortable using pen and paper than mobile devices and apps. “ This technological gap, or generational divide as the Legal Hackers call it, is not something that only those with ears to the streets are aware of. It is a known problem, as well as the long standing punch line to many lawyer jokes. Groups like this are attempting to help bridge the gap, and are showing that there is progress being made; much to the delight of any tech based company with an eye on the legal market. Another showing of progress, or at least of accepting there is an issue, at the American Bar Association one of the panels was titled “Cracking the Code: Everything You Wanted to Know About Coding, Open Data & More But Were Afraid to Ask.” So at least people are becoming more aware. Awareness can turn into action, as long as more and more people join in. as I have said before, change like this can take time. I am reminded of my 7th grade wood shop class,  Mr. Shafto’s overuse of the term ‘M’kay’, and his affliction with sanding wood. Many Law firms have been going with the grain for so long. And that is all is good and well, the ‘wood’ is soft and smooth. There are those, however, who see the benefits in a change direction, the benefits to going against the grain. When sanding though, one stroke against the grain, will need 100 like strokes to remove the imperfections caused by that initial stroke. It takes time, and care, to again have your roughened piece of rich mahogany (cough cough … Will Ferrel), back to form. So what am I trying to say exactly? Well, give it time. With enough people sanding in the right direction, there shall soon be enough wood to build the bridge that will overcome the Technology Gap.

Catch Ya Later…

You can see the cited article here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s