3 things new lawyers need to know now

Thousands of law students will soon be learning they’ve passed the bar exam, clearing the final hurdle to actively practicing. Now they’ll not only have to deal with bad lawyer jokes, but the onset of new legal technologies, which they didn’t learn about in school. So here are some timely thoughts from legal AI startup McCarthyFinch CEO Nick Whitehouse. To be on the cutting edge of the law, here are three tips new lawyers need to keep in mind:

Be persistent and adaptable: If you are interviewing at a traditional firm, be very choosy. Make sure the firm sees you as more than just a body in their factory. While technical skills are often what firms look for, this isn’t what will make you a great lawyer over the next five to 10 years. It will be your ability to be commercial, creative, adaptable, build trust and exploit technology to your advantage.

Look for a firm that's technically savvy: You should look for a company that bridges the worlds of technology, law and business. These firms aren’t ingrained in tradition and are more adaptive to change, which will make them more competitive. By turning to tools like our AI platform Author, they’re making menial tasks like contract approval and financial compliance less time-intensive so lawyers of all levels can spend their time being more strategic.

Never settle: The industry as a whole is seriously considering how to do things differently. As the future leaders of legal teams, you have a vested interest in and opportunity to influence how your firm gears up for the future. Get closer to clients and understand what they most value. Help your firm grapple with technology and discover new services that weren’t viable before. Always ask, how can your firm be doing things better?

About McCarthyFinch: Based in New Zealand with plans to start a U.S. office, McCarthyFinch focuses on automating and improving the legal process. Formed as a joint venture between leading law firm MinterEllisonRuddWatts and Goat Ventures, a strategic boutique VC firm, McCarthyFinch was founded with the chief goal of utilizing AI and legal technology to boost the productivity of in-house legal teams and make the law more accessible to non-lawyers. Since its formation in 2017, McCarthyFinch has brought together lawyers and data scientists to address the deepest needs of the legal professions, and create solutions that can be deployed rapidly.