New lawyers will need to master emerging technologies

Virtual communication practices adopted out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic are driving permanent changes in trial practice. Pandemic expedients promoted by the courts, such as the practice of virtual motions, preliminary and compliance conferences, and depositions, have proven effective and efficient and will likely be adopted as standard practices. The New York State Bar Association’s Trial Lawyers Section has also found that the use of virtual technology for strategy meetings, settlement conferences and mediations is becoming the norm. The main advantage of virtual work is the obvious saving of time and expense, but there are other advantages as well. This helps prepare us for a post-pandemic world in which AI and related technologies will make document generation skills as obsolete as typing or early word processors are today.

In a post-pandemic world, we will be more dependent on technology, and the next generation of legal professionals will need to understand its potential better than today’s lawyers. Future litigators will need to demonstrate their technology skills from their first job in order to be prepared to handle emerging technologies as their law firms evolve. They will also need to find new ways to attract customers and build successful relationships without using traditional networking/sponsorship/hospitality event tools, as technology solutions and social distancing become more conventional. . This will provide young lawyers with early opportunities to distinguish themselves by finding creative (and effective) solutions to technological challenges.

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