We should open some more law schools. What we need in this country is more education.
By associate on 2013 06 21, 8:16 am CST
Unfortunately the conclusion is correct. Technology is affecting every business and making all more profitable with less workers. With no library in the firm no librarian is needed. With voice recognition software fewer word processors/typists are needed. Enhanced legal research programs eliminate hours of attorney or paralegal work and all of the communication devices eliminate paper voice messages formerly prepared by receptionist. Some telephone programs have replaced receptionists. The world is rapidly changing and every profession and occupation must also change. Entire new industries, however, have arisen requiring a legally trained workforce. I have seen this most recently with E-Discovery. Once I received the keys to a warehouse in response to a production request. Now I receive hard drives of data. The need to mine and analyze this data is creating new and flourishing businesses. There will always be work for properly trained, hardworking and innovative legally trained individuals. Remember more laws are written than repealed.
By William G. Stone on 2013 06 21, 9:06 am CST
It really is a sign of the times and its’ impacting many industries not just legal. Technology has taken over a lot of services that people used to do.
By LegallyNatural2 on 2013 06 21, 11:02 am CST
@2 (William G. Stone) - E-Discovery is a leap forward in technology, but is hardly a panacea for attorneys seeking work. I have been involved with several of these companies, with none of the relationships having created a workable solution.
First, the pay rate is roughly $20 per hour (roughly $40,000 per year extrapolated), which is less than the annual average income of recent college graduates. Hardly attorney wages.
Second, they require you to work 40 hours per week while a project is active (and a minimum of 4 days per week) - making it extremely difficult to supplement their income with other sources.
One never knows when work will be available - no stability or ability to schedule around their work. An offshoot of this is that the companies’ business models require them to keep more people on the line than they will normally use at any given time, on the chance that a large project will come up.
Very few of the document reviewers are employees of the document review company. Rather, they are employed by a staffing agency, receiving no benefits.
I was called up for two projects with one company. Both times, upon reporting, I was informed that there had been a mistake and that I had, in fact, NOT been scheduled.
I’m all for efficiencies. However, I do not support inferior products being provided in a quicker time frame in the name of efficiency.
I have seen, firsthand, the decimation of the real estate title field by the influx of non-attorney and non-qualified “examiners”. Lest ye believe that this matter was of little consequence, consider the collapse of the real estate market from which we are now just beginning to recover, and its huge impact on the overall economy. Lack of proper title examination was one of many factors involved in that collapse.
Pay to attorneys should reflect a respect for the skills and abilities which they bring to a project.
By Non-Practicing Attorney on 2013 06 22, 1:14 pm CST
As a recent graduate of Bryan University’s excellent eDiscovery Project Management Program (Valedictorian - GPA 4.0) I believed that there was a definite need for people with my skills, abilities and education (originally IT trained, with an MBA as well). While Kansas is not a legal hub, I doubt that there is no eDiscovery work going on here, and yet even finding positions to apply for is scarcer than hen’s teeth! I feel for lawyers who are finding it difficult to find a position, but it isn’t necessarily any better for those of us who understand the technology and certainly there is no panacea for us either. I do believe that eDiscovery is a flourishing business, however I don’t agree that technology is necessarily making more profit with less workers. The costs of eDiscovery are high, although as technology in eDiscovery progresses, such as TAR, the costs are starting to be reined in. There is definitely a shift in the required skills and hopefully more law schools will educate their students in eDiscovery, but for the present, there seems to be fewer positions for all involved, or wanting to be involved, in the legal field.
By Robyn Voss on 2013 06 24, 9:18 pm CST
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