Emerging technology will impact all jobs, and the legal sector is no exception. But can anyone predict what the state of affairs will be in 2038? If we cannot yet accurately predict the weather a few days in advance, how can we predict where AI and emerging technology will take us twenty years from now?
“The Law Society has predicted an impending decline in law jobs, citing firms’ emerging tech as the reason why. Considering employment across the whole legal services sector — solicitors, paralegals, support staff, etc — the forecast says jobs will fall from 317,854 (where we are now) to 316,304 come next year. That’s a drop of 1,550 or 0.5%. A small change perhaps, but the Law Society reckons things could get worse over time. The report says: “Over the longer term, the number of jobs in the legal services sector will be increasingly affected by automation of legal services functions. This could mean that by 2038 total employment in the sector could be 20% less than it would otherwise have been, with a loss of 78,000 jobs — equal to 67,000 full-time equivalent jobs — compared to if productivity growth continued at its current rate.”
Read: Automation could lead to 67,000 job losses, Law Society predicts at Legal Cheek