Think law meets technology. But in a way you never imagined possible.
With the business model of the traditional law firm under threat from new, technology-driven market entrants, new ways of operating in the legal industry are emerging.
Work traditionally completed by lawyers now has the potential to be done faster, cheaper and better by increasingly capable smart machines.
According to the Future of Law and Innovation in the Profession Commission of Inquiry report, in the US, online legal services have risen from a zero base a decade ago to the $4.1 billion industry it is today, with growth of 8 per cent in 2019. Australia is following this trend.
With this advancement of technology comes the chance to transform the way people access justice, making a significant difference to society.
New jobs and new skills for the legal profession
A report by the Law Society of NSW supports this notion, stating that new jobs will emerge in new disciplines that that can only be provided by people with deep legal knowledge and digital know-how.
“These new technologies will have the potential to bridge the “access to justice gap” that is felt most keenly by disadvantaged people,” it says.
“For instance, those technologies can make it easier for people in rural, regional and remote areas to contact a lawyer.”
The Executive Dean of Bond’s Faculty of Law, Professor Nick James, says the new Bachelor of Legal Transformation will appeal to people who want to be at the forefront of technological change in the legal sector and make a real difference.
“Many of the exciting new roles emerging in the legal services sector will not require admission as a legal practitioner,” he says.
“A person of course needs to be a lawyer to give advice to the public, but many of these new roles won’t involve that. These new legal professionals will be working in teams to develop technology based solutions to legal based problems. They will need a very different type of legal education and a new type of legal qualification.”
The new legal professionals will have job titles such as legal solutions architect, legal innovation manager, legal technician and legal operations manager. They could also work in legal startups and legal technology design.
Technology based solutions to legal based problems
An example of this type of work already evolving in the legal industry can be seen by our own Bond alumnus Warwick Walsh, the CEO and founder of Lawcadia.
Mr Walsh says he knew early on that he didn’t want to be a traditional lawyer and would rather start a business. So he developed Lawcadia, which provides cloud-based software to sit between clients and law firms to manage engagement, scope and budget, with the aim of delivering process improvements, alongside analytics and reporting.
Professor James says more and more graduates are embracing this way of thinking.
“Many of our law graduates don’t want to become lawyers in the traditional sense, so this degree gives students a unique combination of classic legal training combined with commercial and digital skills that will be useful in any industry,” he says.
“Law firms and other legal service providers have told us loudly and clearly: they are looking for a new type of law graduate.”
The new degree
The Bachelor of Legal Transformation provides students with an immersive intellectual and practical experience in the knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential for the delivery of legal services in the face of rapid and persistent technological change.
The program includes both a foundation of substantive legal knowledge and traditional legal skills to ensure the development of essential legal literacy, and an emphasis on the development of key enterprise skills relevant to the contemporary workplace.
Law subjects include Digital Transformation, Legal Foundations, Digital Media and Society, Coding, Cybersecurity and Cryptoliteracy for Lawyers, Start-Up Law and The Digital Lawyer. Students also receive training in critical thinking, design thinking, leadership and global citizenship.
The Bachelor of Legal Transformation is a genuinely innovative degree for a rapidly changing world of law.