As the Fourth Industrial Revolution sweeps law, finance and business, the focus is shifting towards finding people with the right skills to help organisations harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and other key technological developments.
For the legal profession, the challenges are twofold: to advise clients on law and risk in relation to their adoption of technology; and to successfully embed new tech into their own firms.
What is lacking at the moment, in a profession that has typically attracted people with more of a humanities inclination, are lawyers who think like scientists and have an ease handling large amounts of data.
This isn’t to say that this subset doesn’t exist – indeed, firms like Bristows, with strong technology, intellectual property (IP) and life sciences practices, have long recruited lawyers from science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) backgrounds.
Allen & Overy too, has a history of hiring STEM students, not only for its IP practice but also its innovative finance team, whose work on automating derivatives contracts make it a fintech pioneer. Those STEM lawyers are now getting involved in the firm’s Fuse tech start-up incubator.
With its innovation hub and leading technology practice, Reed Smith is another firm at the forefront of legal innovation and transformation. Its innovation manager, Alex Smith, is working to knit together the firm’s considerable technology expertise with its innate legal skills – and expects STEM graduates who convert to law to play a significant part in this process.
Alex will be joined by lawyers with STEM backgrounds from Bristows, Allen & Overy and LexisNexis on the evening Wednesday 8 November at Lexis’ event space in Farringdon, central London, in a session chaired by Legal Cheek journalist Katie King.
After the panel discussion there will be drinks and networking with the speakers, a collection of trainees from their firms and members of the Allen & Overy, Bristows and Reed Smith graduate recruitment teams, alongside representatives from other leading City of London law firms including Travers Smith, Mayer Brown and Pinsent Masons.
We invite all STEM students and graduates who are interested in a career in law to apply to attend below. You’ll be asked to submit a CV and two questions for the panel. Please note that the details of those offered places will be shared with the aforementioned firms' graduate recruitment teams.