In today’s job market, the use of technology is increasingly taking over. Positions that were traditionally held by human beings are being replaced by computers and other forms of technology in the name of efficiency. But this is not true of every position. In fact, the advancement of technology has strengthened some job titles. One of those positions is that of the Legal Secretary.
How Making a Small Change Can Make a Big Difference
Gone are the days of the 1-to-1 or 1-to-3 ratio of Secretaries to Fee Earners. We’re now more likely to see 1-to-7 or even 1-to-10, and barely a week goes by without a firm announcing the centralisation of support resources, or support restructuring.
The Internet must easily rank as being the best invention of the late 20th century. The ease in which we are now able to communicate with each other around the world really is worth its weight in gold. And alas, this is exactly how more and more unscrupulous individuals feel about the potential opportunities to exploit others and even steal using the World Wide Web.
As part of our regular practice updates, this month we will be considering the latest proposals for expanding ‘e-justice’ in the civil court system. The Civil Justice Council has called for the creation of an online court within the next two years. This would be a radical overhaul of the current UK court system. Key features would include virtual courtrooms, a lawyer-free environment and the possibility of services similar to the eBay disagreement negotiating procedure.
Password security is vital security
Last month’s huge data breach at the Panamanian law firm of Mossack Fonseca – to give you an idea of its size, it was hundreds of times bigger than the material released by Wikileaks in 2010 – is an example of just how much damage a data security leak can cause. The private affairs of the firm’s clients became public property overnight, allowing the press to trace money across continents and into tax havens.
Ever since the early 1990s, when the heinous murder of James Bulger was heard in Preston Crown Court, the English judicial system has slowly realised that there are plenty of occasions when certain defendants and trial witnesses need to be protected from the hugely intimidating environment of a courtroom.
The Robots Are Coming
The fresh, shiny new year has arrived, and I hope that you are also feeling fresh and shiny after the holiday break. What will 2016 hold for you, jobwise?
Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance, but one major development during 2015 that is likely to have some impact on your firm (and therefore on you) in the next year is the fast-moving field of artificial intelligence (AI) and the law.
Case management systems are designed to monitor the life cycle of a case in order to manage the workflow of everybody dealing with the case. This makes the most effective use of everyone’s time. There are lots of different systems available to perform this task, but they all have a lot in common when it comes to the features on offer.
Have you ever authorised a payment from your bank account with a PIN, checked off an “I agree” box on a website or acknowledged delivery of a package by signing with a stylus on the delivery man’s electronic pad? The chances are that most of us have done all of those things within the past few weeks. Every time we did so, we were “e-signing” a contract or other document. In fact, as I’ll make clear shortly, we were not only e-signing but also “digitally signing” — and yes, there is a difference between the two.
With hundreds of Twitter accounts dishing out the latest law updates, it can be difficult to separate the useful from the useless. Twitter has masses of info, advice and tips to offer you - simply searching ‘#law’ will generate thousands, maybe even millions, of results. Click on the right accounts though, and you could be on to a winner - reading all the latest law ‘need-to-knows’ and storming up the legal-professional ladder.