Are you worried that technology is going to take over the legal profession and make lawyer obsolete? Then rainmaking coach and trainer, Jaimie Field‘s latest post is for you! And she’s speaking my language, because the focus is on relationships.

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There is a lot of chatter lately about whether the legal industry is going to be taken over by technology.  Are lawyers in danger of becoming obsolete?

In 2016, the answer is no.  However, that doesn’t mean that certain tasks in which attorneys are currently engaged won’t be taken over by the rise of the machines. In fact, it’s happening now.    

Technology is not out to make lawyers obsolete; in fact, I would argue that technology is there to help you grow your practice but in a different way than was done in the past.  When we bring in technology some of the tasks you have – for example: administrative work, document review, e-discovery, legal research – these tasks can be done quicker and in a more cost effective manner for your clients.

However, we are still in an industry in which relationship building skills and communication abilities are paramount.  A study done by two professors entitled Can Robots Be Lawyer? Computers Lawyers and the Practice of Law astutely notes:

The vast majority of a lawyer’s personal interactions, however, continue to require spontaneity, unstructured communication, and emotional intelligence. Examples are plentiful: A lawyer may need to push a client to execute a will; spend hours interviewing a criminal defendant to develop enough trust to elicit full information; or read a deponent’s facial expression and body language to determine how to proceed with questioning.”

But more importantly, for rainmaking purposes, the authors go on to write:

Moreover, many individual clients report that a lawyer’s trustworthiness and ability to provide a close and personal relationship are among the most important traits they look for from a lawyer—far more important than the lawyer’s training, competence, or specialty.”

What computers can and will do is free up significant time that you currently use on the tasks listed above (and probably more in the future) and allow you use the time effectively for business development and marketing.

As I have always said, Rainmaking = Relationships.  And this is a skill that not only you can learn but that computers cannot take away from you.