Sam Moore – a practising solicitor at Burness Paull LLP, and the Scottish law firm’s first “dedicated innovation manager” –  has become the first lawyer to be named an “Accredited Legal Technologist,” a new professional designation introduced in 2019 by the Law Society of Scotland (LSS).

The LSS created the “new specialism in legal technology” to reflect emerging roles in law firms such as “legal process engineer,” “legal analyst” and “legal technologist.” On its website, along with its list of qualifications for and benefits of accreditation, the society states that, “We hope that as the status develops over time this will become a quality marque that all working in legal technology will wish to hold as it provides assurance to the public, clients and to the legal profession.”

The Artificial Lawyer quotes Moore as stating that “the term ‘legal technologist’ is not a defined title or regulated role, so [the LSS] wanted to introduce some standards. They also want Scotland to be a centre of excellence for legal technology.”

The LSS expects that accredited legal technologists will “usually work with other legal professionals to:

  • Deliver and present legal advice to clients differently
  • Collaborate with clients and other service providers to present legal advice
  • Reduce time spent on repetitive, labour intensive tasks
  • Reduce overheads and increase profitability
  • Improve knowledge management techniques
  • Ensure the safety of the data held within the organisation.”

The Artificial Lawyer believes that the LSS is the first association of lawyers in the world to offer this kind of accreditation and points out that, by contrast, some law societies in the U.S. are encouraging technological competence by adding the requirement to their codes of professional conduct.

Which approach is better? I would be interested to know your thoughts on this – or on any matter relating to the management of law firms. You can contact me either in the comments section below, or directly via email.