Law Society of England and Wales says “no immediate plans” for legal tech accreditation

The Law Society of England and Wales has told us that it has no immediate plans to develop a legal tech accreditation scheme and that the lawtech scene is “thriving”, after its Scottish counterpart announced on 25 September that it has launched a new specialism of Accredited Legal Technologist in response to the development of a range of new roles within the legal sector, such as legal process engineer, legal analyst and legal technologist.
“The LawTech sector in England and Wales is thriving – it has become a key component for the delivery of legal services and in the wider justice system,” said Simon Davis, president of the Law Society of England and Wales.
“There are no immediate plans to develop an accreditation scheme like that launched by the Law Society of Scotland. Instead, we will continue to support the LawTech community directly: for example, through our LawTech incubator at Barclays Eagles Lab – with almost 20 residents building solutions for private practice and in-house.
“We will continue to advise lawtech developers on engaging with solicitors and firms, as we seek to influence government to ensure the resources are available for the LawTech sector to grow.”
The scheme in Scotland has been launched in light of the growth in legal professionals diversifying and taking on specialist technology roles and in anticipation of this trend intensifying over the coming years. Paul Mosson, executive director of member services and engagement at the Law Society of Scotland, said: “This voluntary professional status will recognise the expertise of the successful candidates. We hope that as it develops the Accredited Legal Technologist will become a quality marque that anyone working in legal technology would wish to hold as it provides assurance to the public, clients and to their peers in the legal profession.”
The new accreditation will initially be open to Scottish solicitors and Law Society of Scotland Accredited Paralegals who can demonstrate a good level of experience in legal technology before being rolled out more widely.
Responding to that story, ‘A legal tech innovator’ said: “I was very excited when I read this even though I work mostly in England. Maybe the Law Societies of England and Wales and Ireland would follow suit if they do not already offer similar accreditations. Alas! it is only open to solicitors and paralegals. The increasing deployment of technology to the legal sector brings in more non-lawyers who in many cases are people that already have a great understanding and relevant experience of legal technology. I’m hoping that “being rolled out more widely” means enabling legal technologists with the relevant experience to gain accreditation. If not then who will champion the cause for legal technologist who are not qualified to practice law?”
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