Written by Lynn, David Ho & Lee Ji En
Littered everywhere in the Singapore media is a doomsday prophecy for “young lawyers”. Even if they manage to beat the odds of getting a job amid the ‘glut’ of young lawyers, they are now told to hold off the self-congratulations as junior lawyers’ jobs are on the verge of being cannibalised by artificial intelligence. Last October, the newspaper headline “Technology could oust junior lawyers” brought home the existential threat to young lawyers, through the words of Law Society President Thio Shen Yi SC in the Law Gazette:
“Soon, innovative legal services which mass produce legal solutions may not only be cheaper alternatives to lawyers, but may also become better alternatives as they gain economies of scale.”
But why should the line be drawn between ‘junior’ lawyers and their seniors? In fact, Mr Thio, in his article, explicitly mentioned that “senior lawyers will not be spared either: the development of predictive analysis software has meant that the experience and intuition that we value can now be replaced with a computer’s predictions as to the outcome of a case or its likely settlement value” (read the original article here ). We tend to agree too.
So instead of panicking over the rise of legal tech, or the “glut”, let’s dig deep into how to future-proof our careers — starting by identifying the potential pitfalls if we insist on inertia.