By Katsiaryna Pazniak, Morae

Lawyers and legal professionals use language as their key resource. Chances of success are often directly proportionate to a lawyer’s ability to articulate with skill and precision. Back in school, I began to study three foreign languages, which is certainly very useful, broadens your horizons etc. But today, when it comes to the legal profession, we are not talking about language in the classical sense.

Well, the ‘essential qualification for a modern lawyer’ guesses could go on forever, but it seems that coding now can’t be ignored. ‘Coding the Law’, a new course just launched by Flinders University in Australia would appear to be evidence of the demand for this skill and its importance to today’s lawyer. The six-month course is designed to teach lawyers how to code… Voila!

The legal sector might still be conventional but legal professionals of the 21st century are not the same as even 10 years ago. Today (or even yesterday) perfect language skills, pure commercial awareness and knowledge of IP law, for example, do not guarantee success to you or your clients. In addition, legal professionals are expected to seek new solutions, increase productivity, solve their own problems and those of their clients, think about legal spend management, be ‘tech-savvy’ and meet ambitious KPIs all at once.

Being in the legal field, how often have you thought, “It would be great to develop the app for this project… I wish I could make this tech to greatly change the A2J issue… What if that process could have been optimised…” etc. But you are a lawyer, not a software engineer. At least, that’s what you’ve been told. You also know what is involved in project initiation within a law firm or corporate inhouse team and, oh no, convincing management of its value.

Upon completion of ‘Coding the Law’ at Flinders University, you are unlikely to have the skillset to develop a new AI DMS (you don’t need to, as iManage already took care of that), but you would gain a deeper understanding of a new language i.e. coding, project management and software development. So, it seems like cyber-lawyers are getting more demand and value on the market of the legal world.