A Lawyer’s Duty of Tech Competence

For the March 2023 Future of Law Forum, BYU Law welcomed Robert Ambrogi, “Godfather of Legal Tech,” and award-winning legal blogger (LawSites) and podcaster (LawNext). Ambrogi observed that the legal industry is undergoing more technology-driven change than ever before and insisted that lawyers must actively maintain their tech competency in order to effectively serve their clients and run successful businesses. Ambrogi pointed to three factors that have required lawyers to step up their tech competency in the past few years and that demand continued vigilance to keep up with an ever-evolving legal tech landscape: (1) the Covid-19 pandemic transformed technology into a lifeline; even those who swore they’d go to their graves using paper and dictation quickly embraced technology that allowed them to work, (2) an acceleration in artificial intelligence-based research is upending how basic legal work gets done and requires new lawyering skills, including discerning real vs. fabricated query results, and (3) legal regulatory reform is transforming how legal services are delivered; for example, Utah’s Regulatory Sandbox has generated many technology-driven legal solutions. Lawyers must continually invest in their own technology skills in order to manage client tech requirements and maintain client confidentiality. “Your duty of tech competence is really a duty you owe yourself to achieve success in your own life and career.”

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