The Impact of Technology and Innovation on the Wellbeing of the Legal Profession

This book concerns the impact of recent changes in technology (including the internet and artificial intelligence), as well as innovations (such as the changing ways of billing, new law firm structures and requirements and new employment practices) on the wellbeing of lawyers. There is evidence that the wellbeing of lawyers can be enhanced or diminished by these new practices and developments.
Editor(s):
Michael Legg, Prue Vines, Janet Chan
book | published | 1st edition
July 2020 | xxii + 340 pp.

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€79.-

ISBN 9781780689555


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ISBN 9781839700408

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The legal profession has undergone significant changes in the past few years. These have affected working structures and context within the profession, in turn affecting the wellbeing of individual practitioners. This book is the first to consider how these operate in practice and how they impact on the wellbeing of lawyers. This is significant because legal systems cannot operate without properly functioning lawyers. Changes considered include rapidly evolving technologies such as the internet, artificial intelligence and increasing digitisation, and innovations in legal practice. Such innovations include changes in the structures of law firms, changing requirements about whether lawyers must practice separately from other professions and changing employment practices in law firms.

The Impact of Technology and Innovation on the Well-Being of the Legal Profession considers the impact of all of these developments on the legal profession. It begins with students and how their responses to questions about their attitudes to learning may provide clues as to why they and the professionals they become might be more vulnerable to depression and anxiety than the wider population. The analysis then extends to how both satisfaction and stress levels can be simultaneously high and the implications of this, considering the experiences of lawyers in private and public practice, as well as academics, and their responses to the interactions between all of these changes. Leading researchers assess the situation in Australia and the United Kingdom in these various domains, using empirical research as the foundation of the arguments put forth.

Anyone who is interested in the future of the legal profession and the challenges currently faced as a consequence of the massive structural and environmental changes experienced should read this book.

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Michael Legg is Professor of Law and the Director of the Law Society of New South Wales Future of Law and Innovation in the Profession (FLIP) research stream at UNSW.

Prue Vines is Professor of Law and Associate Dean (Education) and Co-Director of the Private Law Research and Policy Group at UNSW Law.

Janet Chan is Professor at UNSW Law and leader of the Data Justice research stream at the Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation.

Table of Contents

Table of contents and preliminary pages (p. 0)

Michael Legg, Prue Vines, Janet Chan

Part I. Introduction

Chapter 1. The Changing Field of Lawyering and its Impact on Practice and Wellbeing (p. 1)

Part II. Change, Stress and Wellbeing

Chapter 2. Student Attitudes to Legal Education: Revisiting the Pointers to Depression and Anxiety? (p. 29)

Chapter 3. The Paradox of Satisfaction and Distress Among Lawyers: Implications for a Changing Field (p. 57)

Chapter 4. Stress, Bullying and Harassment in the Legal Profession: A Risky Business (p. 77)

Chapter 5. Public Sector Lawyering Stress and Wellbeing: Neoliberalism at Work? (p. 105)

Chapter 6. Law Tachers Speak Out: What do Law Schools Need to Change? (p. 131)

Part III. Technology, Innovation and the Structure of Legal Practice

Chapter 7. Behavioural Legal Ethics and Attorney Wellbeing in Contemporary Practice (p. 153)

Chapter 8. Is 'Uberisation' the Path to Lawyer Wellbeing? (p. 177)

Chapter 9. Do Law Firm Structures Matter? Incorporated Legal Practices and the Health and Wellbeing of Lawyers (p. 199)

Chapter 10. Artificial Intelligence and Lawyer Wellbeing (p. 239)

Chapter 11. Lawyers' Fee Arrangements and their Wellbeing (p. 267)

Part IV. Conclusion

Chapter 12. Reflections on the UK Experience of Legal Academic Wellbeing and the Legal Professions: Moving Across Silos (p. 311)