If your law firm or legal department is grappling with the reality of digital disruption, now may be the time for you to step up. Michelle Mahoney, Executive Director for Innovation at King & Wood Mallesons, shares her insight on the new breed of legal professionals the industry is now demanding.
The rise of ‘innovation’ legal jobs
‘Depending on what kind of role you have in the legal services industry, you might find yourself being forced to remain relevant. Service providers today are constantly looking at new technologies and ways of doing things – otherwise you just aren’t able to offer efficient advice that’s expected from the market,’ Michelle said.
‘These forces have created the need for a new type of role within organisations and law firms. Companies are seeking innovators, or ‘intrapreneurs’, who can champion new technologies and internally embed an agile approach.’
What does an intrapreneur do day-to-day?
Michelle is an intrapreneur, responsible for transformation and innovation at King & Wood Mallesons, and she heads up a team that includes a number of lawyers who have made the move to legal operations.
‘My role revolves around the sustainability of the organisation. It’s very future focused. In the short-term, I’m looking at our current practice and client needs. This could involve looking at different ways of working, improving processes, introducing new technologies – or combining technologies.’
Michelle also creates strategies and delivers projects to ensure the firm’s longer-term success.
‘My team looks at experimentation and use of artificial intelligence. We do a lot of work around design-thinking and agile processes. We also perform market mapping, horizon scanning, consulting and advising.’
Disruption paving the way for new ways of working
Investment in legal technologies is at an all-time high.
Michelle said, ‘Firstly, we’re seeing the amount of generic tech increasing for knowledge workers, such as lawyers. Second of all, we’re seeing industry-specific legal tech being invested by venture capital groups at unprecedented rates.’
‘These two things are happening simultaneously. For many of us, if you’re in this area, or if you’re interested in it, you need training to bring your knowledge up to speed.’
‘But the good news is, there is so much potential and opportunity. New types of jobs are being created every day. And if you get excited by the possibilities that emerging technologies are offering us, it can be a really exciting and rewarding space to work in.’
Could you be the next change-maker in your organisation?
A six-week course from The College of Law, Fundamental technologies shaping legal services: understand the technologies driving the business of law is the perfect stepping stone to becoming an intrapreneur. It will equip you with knowledge on the major technologies disrupting the way lawyers work, and the skills legal teams will need to survive our digital future.
The subject is part of the College’s newly formed Master of Legal Business, and is led by Teaching Fellow, Michelle Mahoney. If you want to learn how you could be the next change-maker in your organisation, get in touch today.