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Legal Jobs: 3 key trends for 2022

January 5, 2022 0 Comments

Heading into 2022, there are some important trends in the legal sector to watch out for, with the increased use of tech being prevalent amongst them.

Two years of living through a global pandemic have meant nearly every industrial sector has had to reassess how it operates while we manage our way out of the pandemic and (hopefully!) beyond it. The legal sector is no exception. 

As one of the oldest professions, while the legal sector may be seen as very traditional in many ways – and rightly so given it is a pillar of democracy and the rule of law – those in law jobs have also begun witnessing necessary change, particularly when it comes to embracing technology.

Here are our legal recruitment team’s 3 key trends in the legal sector and legal jobs for 2022.

1. AI and automation

Technology is endemic in both our personal and professional lives, and there is no industrial sector exempt from the effect of tech on how it operates and deals with its clients or customers.

The legal sector, although well versed in dealing with large volumes of information, has to increasingly deal with even more information than ever.

This means staying on top of data, by streamlining and speeding up data management, filing and storage, is critical for both those working in legal jobs and the clients they interact with.

Using AI and automation to tackle high-volume, repetitive and once-manual tasks frees up those in legal jobs to do what they do best – tackle the law!

While some legal firms might be somewhat reluctant to hand over their autonomy around information handling for a variety of reasons, including security and tech-fail concerns, they will potentially be left behind as others embrace tech and use it to make both the employee and client experience better.

2. Cybercrime

This digital age we live in and that is essentially impossible to disconnect from means there will be a continued rise and focus on cybercrime.

During the 2020-21 financial year, the Australian Cyber Security Centre observed:

  • Over 67,500 cybercrime reports, 13 per cent up on 2019-20.
  • Self-reported losses from cybercrime topping AUD$33 billion.
  • Fraud, online shopping scams and online banking scams as the top reported cybercrimes. 
  • Around one-quarter of reported cyber security incidents affected entities associated with Australia’s critical infrastructure.

Positioning your firm to manage the huge increase in cybercrime and having specialists who understand both the legal and technical aspects could give you the edge over other legal firms.

The other aspect of cybercrime those in the legal sector must tackle, particularly in relation to the first trend above and the amount of sensitive data they keep on the behalf of clients, is ensuring their own firm is a digital fortress protected against cybercrime. This all amounts to a focus on cybercrime being big in 2022 – and for many years beyond.

Gorilla Jobs Legal Jobs Hiring Trends for 2022 Lawyer Discussing Documents With Colleague At Desk
Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels

3. Client-led change

While the legal sector is a leader in many ways, being aware of, and open to, client-led change in the way it operates will become increasingly important.

This again relates in some ways back to tech – see the pattern emerging here? Take remote consultations, for example. 

Face-to-face client consultations have long sat at the heart of how the legal sector operates, but there has begun a trend towards more remote consultations. 

Consider this: only 23% of clients were open to working remotely with lawyers in the UK in 2018, but fast forward four years, and, admittedly, through a game-changing global pandemic, and the 2021 Legal Trends Report saw this figure jump to a staggering 79%.

Notably, 67% said that when searching for a lawyer they would look for a legal firm offering both remote and in-house options.

This means that more forward-thinking, tech-friendly legal firms will have the edge over those that aren’t, as well as having access to a much wider pool of clients less reliant on physical location.

Other areas where clients might also encourage change are around pressing topics of the day, such as climate change/sustainability and diversity, both areas legal firms could look at and be opaque about if they feel they are industry-leading when it comes to issues like these that future clients might hold interest in.

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We love what we do at Gorilla Jobs, and while there are challenges, we are always ready to help you as a candidate or recruiting organisation to ensure the best talent ends up in the best jobs. Reach out to us today if you have any questions!