In the beginning of 2014 everthing was changed for me. First, we need to understand that probably all the things required until those days for a simple in-house lawyer, were been just one part of skills needed.
In 2021 unfortunately we see a lot of lessions without a real concerning about digital transformation. And probably these things happen because the professors does not care about what will be the future of law professionals.
I know that we have several books about this, but in our perspective, to get a good agenda with the students we need more than teaching the digital law, rights and doctrines or precedents courts.
Since i found the Enlighten Group (2016) and while i am teaching traditional law in brazilian schools i understand how we are not preparing these students for a new real market.
So in this essay, i propose some tips that freshments and new law graduates must understand about the sector and how it is important know other areas to become a multidisciplinar professional. I think that is the key.
- More than never, you must understand theory
It is hard to find any new lawyer discussing about law theories. Of course, we have professionals with that academic profile but in most cases, they are rare. I am not talking about a professional that want to follow this type of career. I am talking about whose are a practitioner in several areas of law, like matter management, Contract, corporate affairs, advisory, immigration issues, etc. Although we cant denied these professional will keep doing their tasks in routine of a law firm or legal department, the new technologies, soon or later, will replace repetitive tasks, like simple analysis, checking backgrounds and even offering advisory/consultancy to the clients. Of course, the lawyer will be irreplaceable (in my perspective), but the market will not admit lawyers just with operational skills. Day by day we see this replacement. In 90´and Middle of last decade a lot of paralegal courses was offering in States with the promisse to conduce professionals to get an good job in a big company.
However this status changed with the adoption of technologies, specially on repetitive tasks. These new model of law are connected with what they call as “industry 4.0” enforcing the lawyer to get back to deep legal studies. When i mean deep, i am not talking about know Every single theory from law, but get knowledge in society changes. in parallel, a portion of professionals understood that to be prepare in this competitive scenario, need to be a better legal executive, because sometimes into legal departments, 65-75 percent of opinions are for business aspects of contracts and how to harmonize with specific rules or apply i a new strategy to be more efficient on the Court rooms.
Since global crisis, we have seen several changes in the companies organogram of positions. The CEO and CFOs directing efforts to eliminate the Legal Director position and they are trying to embrace the legal department and they are leading through Legal Manager positions or how they like to insert in professional profile: “Head of Legal”, but without power and C-level status.
This movement represents to the category at least a subservient power and less freedom to decide in a legal perspective. In a bunch of words we can say: – Hey, it´s seems the organisations are facing the risk without a lawyer evertime saying no.
This sounds agressive for lawyers, but it is what is. To face and struggle against this “desprestige”, lawyers need to back to the legalcore and considerer re-learning the law, norms, precedents, gathering ways to move them to companies goals. Its not desire anymore several LLMs or MBAs, as we sood in the last decade like a golden ticket to be awesome. The society have changed and with lawyers will be the same. You got to be passionate for rules and their spirits, a strong decision-maker and lead by data.
- Etharism matters. But you can’t say “i’m sorry anymore”.
The XXI Society are facing etharism like a specie of racism, na age bias. Is these a truly matter? Of course! Have you considerer why it is so hard to see new companies hiring the elders? They probably have more professional skills that i and my friends do, a great mindset, a outstanding logic, resilience, but even son, they cant get a good position. It´s because the wage? I am afraid not. There are several pieces into this reality.
The Etharism was not a problem in the end of the 70´s and 80´s. In that times the organisations was mechanic and the reality of tasks and know-how giving to the professionals the opportunity to learn in a slow way and in mean time the contribution of experience was indispensable.
Nowadays the lawyers in the age of fifties or sixties struggle to maintain their jobs and the fear of to be replaced by a Young lawyer with good background and academic titles are real. Well, if we see on this perspective, the elders will not have a job anymore, right? Wrong!
The book wrote by Michele DeStefano and Guenther Dobrauz show to the reader a interesting perspective and how not blame the Society for unployement of age. In a few words, lawyers will not be a victim if they reinvent yourself and try to understand the needs of today, and tech it is most difficult part for them. Sometimes the lawyer are so obssessed in their thods and perspectives avoiding learn new things. They have to fight with tha bad nostalgic feeling, specially when they are chatting about the “golden eras”. In groups of discussions it is common a strong attachment to sentences like: “in my time go to the Court was like this…”, or, “i drafted motions with a pen and paper without errors…”, or, “Do you remember our first time in front of a judge?” Well, this is good for chatting, barbecue and beer, but it is a problem in terms to reinvent yourself.
Who is the professional with authority to discuss etharism in harmony with the needs required in a job position? Everyone.
The youngest sometimes are the owner and the elders are the expert. Since the last decade we are seeing real young prodigies professionals building global companies just with a good idea that makes life simple for everbody. It is not just social media network, because there are for everwhere this concept. The society claimed for a way to convivence in a world with 7 billions of humans and the technology was the right commodity to do that.
The Etharism could be study in two perspectives. The first is regarding to prevent prejudice of youngest owners and encourange them to trust that it is possible invest time to teach elders to use the techonolgy in his favor. In the other hand, the 50/60 generation will have to adapt to receive demands from the “childs”.
There is no plenty space only to offer leadership positions. The 50/60 will fit in Y model or doing a regular job as analyst, using new technology. This “new” technology are not the microsoft tools anymore or brownser like Netscape, explorer, chrome. This intuitive and productive tools are blended and bring a perspective in terms of e-discovery, background checks, machine learning, data minning, etc.
That is the real demand in the companies right now. That is what the leaders are looking for. In a simple example: try to imagine how awesome will be gather the know-how of a white hair professional teaching parameters to the AI?
In this decade you can not be apart to what it is going on in terms of future of professionals. Also, the resistence (and there is a lot of them) it is a not glorius battle. I think the resistence still survives in 2021 because the acquisition of new technologies was wrong or the setup was a bad experience, but this is a speech with a defined deadline.
The second perspective are regarding to the potential to learn new things. Even if the owners, CEOs, CFOs gives a chance to hire professional in the 50/60 age, they have to learn new ways to do the job. Herein it is not about pilot a mere software or copy and paste, or send an e-mail, but the method is the real deal.
There is a lot of people pitching about methods of works. This panelists are capable to gather thousand of peoples in a room and movement millions of dollars in tickets as well. It is not a thing from another world learn it, but you have to insist and understand the pattern of society. We are in a GIG economy society, changing roles all the time. The old binary perspective like consumer-supplier are breathing with difficulty.
You can ask: – What a heck the GIG economy are envolved in my concerns to get a job in the fifties/sixties age? The answer is simple: – Your society cant handle/afford for another method. And because society is globalized you cant escape from that. In a certain way you will be reached and deal with that is the key to thrive in these new times.
The source of incomes are not only one. Actually, conscious person has at least two types of incomes. But in these days, it is interesting how you need to share to continue to have. And with the richiests it is the same, because they need to share because they are concern about keeping what they acumulated. Hence, is a full circle that makes the society engine works these days. You can go in your car lonely to your job, but you understand the value of sharing a seat with your neighboor for split costs, saving for a important thing for you and your family. The society arranged a way to share and uses economy to do that.
Thus you are in a new society, with new patterns, trying to understand this mix of economy, method and technology and wondering if its fit for you. Of course it does, but you cant impose old methods and complain racism of age. The etharism exists and it is a problem that society need to deal with that. In the others ide you must to do your homework and open your mind to this perspective, because this is not a thing that society wants to negotiate or change. In the matter of fact this is the change and you have to follow it.
- The hybrid model. People, Persona and the virtualization of life.
The whole Society are in a moviment named virtualization. Since “The Sims” was launch in 2000 a dozen of papers discuss about the preparation to be hybrid. In the “normal” life, the phisical-human, we create civil rights to have identity, goals, hobbies, etc. However, in the virtual life we have a powerfull persona and can reach the profund of your intimacy. The eyes back to you as a connection in networks and you need to understand this is not only data protection. It is far away than this. This era of virtualization of life become with the idea to make things more easy for everyone.
Hans Jonas in his book “The imperative of responsibility” and the best-seller book “Nineteen Eighty-Four” discuss about the main idea of a new model of society and what we need to learn in a fast way to dont have problems.
But it is not the perspective that i want to deliver in this essay, it is just a comment of books you must read to adapt and understand the future of hybrid society. Also i add the book wrote by Alvin Toefler “The Third Wave” when he predicted a future pattern of the society.
Well done. Here we are in the beginning of the third decade of the XXI century and a lot of things happened and cause change on us. We are living in a pervasive perspective. Just to enlighten you, the pervasive mode it is society way to input slowly cultural, religious, technological gadgets and ideologic parameters in our cotidians lifes without our perception (behind the cortines). Once installed, reachs their objectives.
Okay, its seems like a conspiracy plan, right? But it is not. It is a path too much used to provoque consumers to buy new products. One of better examples used in the classrooms are regarding the evolutin of phones. You buy a mobile and you are happy with the product. Two years later, you buy an ipod because everyone of your group listen music in the train. And then, you need an smartphone. And now you cant live without communication. Crazy, huh? The things works like this in pervasive mode.
Besides other used technic is the mobility need. You need mobility because you dont have time enough to stop and think. And because you need to think to decide it is better think in anywhere. This is called mobility strategy.
This mobility causes on you the need to move and decide, taking decisions and risks without further analysis. That is what the researches says. A decision maker of XX century was more rational than us. And even if you try a lot, you are embed on a society that sees mobility and pervasive more important than be a rational decision maker.
So the hybrid model divides the need to be physical and virtual all the time. After COVID-19 we will see that clearly as sun light. You can´t change that. Remember, its is not a couple of amish, it is the whole world switch the patterns of the old society to a new one, prefer the comfort than rational decisions. Of course it´s not opposites these two things, but in a certain way, the authors cited above try to explain how the world is changing and some voices offer resistences without understand the full scenario.
The hybrid society has new rules. As example, we have “the cancellation penalty” for an internet person, when commits a fault in other user’s perspective. This judgment wouldn’t need to affect the physical, but it does, for several reasons like Money, reputation, depression, anxiety, etc. You dont use coins in a public telephone. Also, you dont order a pizza in this type of telephone. Well, you dont use the phone to do it. These minimal changes reflects a society wish. We buy comfort and we´ve paid using our freedom credits and because of that the right to not be a hybrid is not negotiable.
In the XXI century, comfort is the principal goal. Think and learn are the second base and sometimes the pitcher watch the home run. It´s sounds depressive understand society in this way, but its just to clarify that you cant hide of this mechanism.
Concluding, as a lawyer or other professional the hybrid model requires from us be inclusive, tolerant, resiliente and able to share our material things in benefit of a entire society. These happens through virtual intermediation and it ends in a phisical apropriation. In other words, over time, the society will see a exponential grow of offers to the virtual persona when the real delivery is the phisical person, the human, and sometimes the persona it is not the same as phisical for any reason including data protection efforts.
This is where we live nowadays and assuming the future perspective write by the authors and what we have seeing in our movements to be a guide of digital transformation, we are running to built a society that prefers deal with virtual problems than deal with natural problems. And that is the reason why lawyers and technowledge are so imporant. You won´t fight anymore with minimal problems just in one environmental. You will be challenged to understand two person in one: the virtual and the phisical. What they need, what they are looking for. And what they understand what a lawyers has to be as professional.