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New roles for the lawyers of the future

February 20, 2023

The technological advance of the last few years has brought new demands, services, and activities to the legal sector and, thus, new functions will be required from lawyers in the future, shows a study by FGV Direito SP. The results defined 11 emerging areas in the legal field. Based on this, the main functions required of a lawyer in these developing sectors were identified.

According to one of the authors, FGV Direito SP professor Olívia Pasqualeto, not all areas are effectively new, but they are taking on new guises and demands for new competencies and skills.

“The results point to changes in organizational culture and the emergence of new functions in the firms, for example, ‘head of innovation’, ‘legal engineer’, and ‘legal architect’. Moreover, areas that are not related to the practice of law or are indirectly related, such as legal marketing, are becoming more relevant within legal organizations. New areas are also rising from the emergence of new specialties or legislative changes, such as the position of Data Protection Officer,” Pasqualeto explains.

Among the most demanded skills for lawyers of the future are soft skills, such as the capacity for collaboration and adaptability. Areas unrelated to the firm’s core business, such as legal marketing, are also growing in importance within organizations. 

“In addition to technical legal knowledge, which is basic for any lawyer, the so-called soft skills, such as the ability to work collaboratively in groups and the ability to adapt to change, are now also highly valued”, the researcher adds.

See below the roles of future of law:

  • Management: c-levels (legal leadership positions), project manager, legal coordinator, knowledge manager, risk manager, and legal ops.
  • Business: business developer, legal entrepreneur, legal marketing, and legal copywriter.
  • Data intelligence and analytics: legal data analyst, legal architect, and legal engineer.
  • Regulatory and institutional relations: institutional/governmental relations advocacy, advocacy, and public policy analyst.
  • Compliance: compliance professional and e-discovery consultant.
  • Innovation: innovation manager and legal designer.
  • Data protection: data protection coordinator.
  • Advisory: legal advisor, advertising lawyer, and technology transfer officer.
  • Negotiation: mediator/conciliator.
  • Strategic litigation: disputes legal counsel.
  • Legal outsourcing: legal secondment.

Source: Portal FGV