The Future Lawyer Survey – demands, fears, and expectations on the legal profession

But how do lawyers themselves look at this new reality, their future roll and what demands do they place on themselves and their future working conditions? These are some of the questions Norstedts Juridiks´ report, The Future Lawyer Survey (Framtidens jurist), has addressed. The survey has been answered by 3578 Swedish and Danish lawyers, making it the largest of its kind.

“Norstedts Juridik has worked closely with Swedish lawyers for over 150 years and seen their challenges up close. It is from this position we investigate the future together with thousands of lawyers. We hope that the report can bring inspiration and a new perspective on an industry in transition”, says Olov Sundström, CEO Norstedts Juridik.

Adaptation necessary for the legal industry

The Future Lawyer Survey shows that a clear majority of the respondents perceive the industry as conservative and that several factors make it necessary to adapt to a new reality. This new reality can be defined by two major trends; general trends such as technical advances and innovation, globalization and increased demands on transparency and commercial value as well as a shift in attitude towards work and work-life balance in the younger generations.

“Employers will have to offer a good work-life balance if they want to get the best and most qualified candidates. For junior lawyer’s work-life balance is a key priority. They are ambitious and want to work hard but they also have a very clear focus on their private life”, says Olov Sundström.

Are law school of today keeping up?

Today’s education system is perceived to fall behind in the digital development. 60 percent of the respondents in age group 23-29 years believe that law schools don’t prepare future lawyers for the new digital world they enter upon graduation. On this question the report highlights a clear difference between age groups; only 31 percent of the older age groups agree with this.

”This highlights many questions and it will be interesting to follow how the legal industry and the education system deals with it. At Norstedts Juridik we are prepared to discuss how we can assist future lawyers to get ready to face the increased demands that digitalization brings”, concludes Olov Sundström.

The figures behind the key conclusions in the report the Future Lawyer Survey:

•  64% perceive the legal industry as conservative.

•  A larger demand for business understanding, globalization/internationalization as well as AI and automation are the top answers, with 65, 64 and 60 % respectively, to the question addressing which circumstances that will affect the role of the future lawyer.

•  The ability of future employers to offer a good work-life balance is the most common answer to the question addressing what will be key for employers to focus on the be able to attract and keep top talent (74%).

•  AI/automation is not perceived to decrease the need for lawyers but 93% of respondents mean that lawyers will need more digital competences in the future. 82% believe that creativity and problems solving will become more important for future lawyers.

•  78% say that law firms that don’t keep up with the technical development is at risk of becoming less relevant in the market.

•  68% believe that AI and automation will lead to new competitors entering the market.

•  60% of respondents in age group 23-29 believe that law schools are falling behind in the digital development. Only 31 % of the older age groups agree with this.

For more information, please contact:

Olov Sundström, CEO
Telephone: +46 70 667 66 00

Caroline Wiroth, PR and Communications Manager
Telephone: +46 72 271 6009

The information was submitted for publication on 17 October, at 10:00 a.m. CET. 

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