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Law School Graduates Faced with Changes in Legal Industry

Recent statistics from the ABA show that 57 percent of 2013 law school graduates were employed in a job that requires bar admission within nine months of graduation, according to Inside Counsel. In that same timeline, 10 percent of graduates were holding jobs that said having a J.D. was an advantage.

A new wave of jobs are hitting the legal sector and they are in the e-discovery field.

“Technology has had an impact; it has taken away some jobs, but when it takes away it also gives,” Daniel Reed, the CEO of UnitedLex, said. “The biggest driver is the amount of data that gets produced.  We have so much information that is being generated, so how do you manage it? A case can involve a million documents.  If you don’t understand how to manage that data in a very effective way, you’re at a disadvantage.”

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There are some 1,400 attorneys employed at UnitedLex. They are anywhere from one to seven years removed from law school.

Reed continued: “Even 10 years ago, you didn’t have to be that fluent in a range of technology; now you do.  If you can’t advise on all elements of it, you’ll do clients a huge disservice, so being educated on this, on data management, is essential to finding competent counsel.”

Reed said that law schools are not changing to match the needs of today’s legal practice, specifically when it comes to the advent of technology. Reed suggests that law students be trained using type of residency, much like medical students.

“UnitedLex is heavily investing in this area as part of its commitment to the strengthening of the legal ecosystem,” Reed said.

As technology continues to take on major roles in our lives, law firms are beginning to take notice. Some are even creating positions to help deal with e-discovery issues in litigation. Those positions have been called National Discovery Counsel at most firms.

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