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Legal Practice in the Digital Age: a conversation with the author

If you have not got your copy of “Legal Practice in the Digital Age” by Caddy, Jackson and Randle (they definitely sound like a group of 1980s private detectives) can I suggest you just go ahead and order it now?

I am a little bit biased. Tony Randle and I were on the Legal Tech Committee at Birmingham Law Society together for a couple of years. However, in my defence the committee was established during lockdown and I have only met him IRL a couple of times.

Whilst I don't know him super well, I do know that Tony has deep expertise in the subject of digital transformation which he wears lightly. His warmth and generosity of spirit are palpable in the book. His co-authors must be of a similar nature, because the text is choc-a-block with great intel, yet the language is accessible, the anecdotes are colourful and bring abstract ideas to life, and the tone is convivial.

Indeed, when I interviewed Tony for a recent LawTech.Live webinar, he explained that the inspiration behind the book was to share knowledge and invite engagement in an on-going conversation about how digital resources will shape the legal industry (and because he'd started renovating a bathroom during lockdown and needed an excuse to give up).

Reading the book, and talking to Tony, it does feel like we are all being genuinely invited to do some thinking and get engaged, no matter what our backgrounds.

In our conversation online, Tony shared the message of radical optimism at the heart of the book. Here, he explained, is an opportunity to create efficiency, to demonstrate commitment to meeting clients’ needs, and to shape the future of practice.

What’s more, in his view it is a future with humanity at its heart. Not humans OR machines, humans AND machines. Act like a robot and you will be replaced by a robot. Tap into your emotional intelligence, and you will be able to elevate your services. Tech may do the heavy lifting, but people will be imagining, creating, collaborating, as well as doing all those things that a computer can never do: negotiating, advocating, and exercising compassion.

Tony told us about the three factors driving transformation in the legal sector:

  1. Change3 – denoting the pace, complexity and magnitude of change

  2. The “data boost” – tapping into the volume of information generated in client work

  3. The hybrid world – in which our clients and our colleagues access both human and digital resources

Law firms will be populated by professionals of widely differing backgrounds, some of whom will be lawyers, he says. Those lawyers will need to be comfortable working in multi-disciplinary teams, offering multi-dimensional services.

The opportunity, we were told, is to create a “golden age” of legal services. The challenge, Tony said, was not to be afraid of the idea of technology, rather to be curious, engage and learn.

Click here to here the full interview:

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