Bertilla Chow introduces the SCL’s new Trainees group and sets out what they seek to achieve next year
The Trainee Group is excited to be the latest addition to SCL! Having established in the autumn of 2019, we would like to extend a warm welcome to other trainee lawyers to get in touch and get involved.
Vision & Mission
The Group was founded on the premise that all lawyers now need to be technology lawyers. The changes brought about by tech (whether it be opportunities or challenges) may once have only touched the lives of tech lawyers in specific and compartmentalised areas. However, the paradigm shift we are seeing in the past decade is that issues like data protection, data and algorithm ethics, privacy, cybersecurity, and intermediary liability, along with opportunities posed by still-nascent solutions such as e-contracts and deep learning, make tech the most pervasive sea change to have happened to the legal industry in recent times.
It is therefore crucial for the progression of the UK's legal industry that its young blood be given the networking and professional development opportunities to increase their level of tech-law literacy, irrespective of whether they qualify into an area that is overtly and explicitly related to tech. Furthermore, as tech law continues to position itself at the forefront of responding to bleeding-edge and ever more complex applications of new technologies, members of the Group hope to embrace these unchartered territories and match this dizzying pace of evolution (or indeed revolution) by collaboratively voicing creative ideas and solutions that are pertinent to the novel and unpredictable issues ahead.
Firstly, most trainees now have grown up in a world where going tech-less is almost unimaginable. Working with technology and adapting to updates and changes comes naturally to us. From deep learning in predictive analytics to data mining in insurance, we are therefore well-positioned to reimagine the ways of the legal industry. Unlike seasoned practitioners, our outlook has not been sculpted by preconceptions of how legal work "ought to look". We are thus able to place a critical eye on systems and procedures to question what works and what can be improved. Secondly, given the Group's vision of providing those at the start of their legal careers with opportunities and a platform for exchange, the membership of the Group fosters open discussion and mutual collaboration.
What next? – The plan for 2020
The Group aspires towards a fruitful year, underpinned by a commitment to diversity in represented views and backgrounds, and thinking outside the box in delivering events and opportunities.
In more concrete terms, there are already interesting ideas in the pipeline, ranging from an inaugural event to introduce the Group, increased representation of members across City law firms, "reverse mentoring" sessions and increased presence on social media. We hope to raise awareness of the Group across the City in order to identify further opportunities for collaboration and expansion.
If you would like to get involved, please email Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you in 2020!
Bertilla Chow is Trainee Solicitor at Ashurst