November 19, 2020
September 9-11, 2021
Legal Tech and AI – an opportunity for women in law
In Marie L’Hermite’s session, we took a look at the future of Legal Tech and AI, and how women in law could benefit from them. These tools could provide flexibility, increase the value of soft skills, and subvert traditional inter-generational relationships, by empowering the younger generation of digital natives. At the same time, it is still too early to predict how these technologies will impact our professional lives.
A Technological Revolution or Much Ado About Nothing?
The term Legal Tech has been a buzzword for some time. Some say that most lawyers are soon going to be replaced with machines, just the way it happened in many other professional areas. Others claim that this is nothing but fear mongering, since computers would not be able to deal with complex legal questions. They argue that such questions require human reasoning, which could never be replaced by an algorithm. As of now, it is not possible to foresee the real-life impact of Legal Tech and Artificial Intelligence: they are still in an early stage of development. It is certainly worthwhile, however, to keep an eye on this trend. It could revolutionize legal work over the next decades – especially for women in legal professions.
An Opportunity for Women Lawyers
The future of technology and the legal profession was the topic of discussion in the breakout session Legal Tech and AI. Participants agreed that technological progress could be a great chance for the everyday legal business. As a large part of work in the legal professions consists of tedious and time-consuming gathering of sources, it would be very desirable if new technologies could take over this part of work. This could also shorten working days and facilitate the transition to home office work. Consequently, there would be more time for private and family life, which would benefit women in particular.
Digital Natives and Soft Skills: Good News for Women
Legal Tech also offers an opportunity for young female lawyers to add value to their professional work. As digital natives, they have grown up in a digital world and can thus reverse the teacher-student-dynamic in the workplace – they could help the digital immigrants in their office. Since the younger generation of lawyers is more female, this is an opportunity for women. Most importantly, however, when many of the typical legal tasks are taken over by Legal Tech, soft skills become vital. These skills are commonly perceived to be female, based on socialisation and representation. This need for highly skilled yet empathic people could also lead to opportunities for women.