Deloitte Legal is holding out the use of its own legal technology, in particular an AI-supported CLM platform it built itself called dTrax, as a highlight of its new legal training scheme, which it says is in line with its goals to foster a ‘new generation of forward-thinking’ legal professionals.
This also would appear to be implicitly trying to appeal to wannabe lawyers by indicating they won’t be doing quite as much monotonous process work at Deloitte as is usually the case across the industry at this stage of their careers. In short, this is using legal tech, and in particular AI and automation, as a recruitment tool.
The firm also highlighted that trainees would be using MyInsight, a client portal that enables clients to track and monitor legal compliance matters. But, it’s dTrax that looks to be the most interesting, especially in terms of changing how junior lawyers work.
As the short video below by Deloitte says about dTrax: ‘Highly manual processes simply can’t keep up.’ Hence you need some type of automation. And yet, it is highly manual process work that is usually what most trainees and junior lawyers are made to do at most firms.
dTrax is designed to ‘help reduce cost, minimise risk, reduce cycle time and increase accuracy by using artificial intelligence and machine learning’ says the Big Four firm, which also appears to license the tech to its clients.
dTrax can be configured as an end-to-end contract lifecycle management solution, or as a solution to manage specific projects, such as contract repapering exercises in response to regulatory change such as GDPR, Brexit, or LIBOR, they add.
Getting trainee lawyers to make use of a firm’s tech stack is of course normal, but what is interesting here is the emphasis the Big Four firm is putting on this application from day one.
The fact that the firm is explicitly telling its new intake that manual processes are on the way out (i.e. ‘Highly manual processes simply can’t keep up’ – see video,) is noteworthy, especially given that it’s usually the junior lawyers who normally end up having to handle the repetitive manual work that this tech is designed to help reduce.
Michael Castle, UK managing partner for Deloitte Legal, told Artificial Lawyer: ‘At Deloitte Legal, we develop smart, technologically-enabled legal solutions that help our clients navigate complex problems. It is therefore vital that we can attract, develop and retain the very best in new talent, ensuring that those entering the business quickly learn about how using technology, such as artificial intelligence, automation and data analytics, can help deliver solutions to our clients.’
The move is part of Deloitte’s efforts to incorporate the upcoming Solicitors Qualifying Examination ‘SQE’ training contracts system.
“It is therefore vital that we can attract, develop and retain the very best in new talent.”
The new trainees will be the first group to be recruited by Deloitte Legal UK, which was formed in 2018. Announcing its Deloitte Legal Training Contract, the Big Four legal arm said successful applicants will commence their legal training and start earning immediately while gaining qualifying work experience.
After this, they will proceed to sit their SQE exams. The firm said it has worked closely with the University of Law to develop the ‘innovative’ training programme to prepare students for SQEs, the incoming reformed solicitor qualification.
In addition to the graduate training contracts, Deloitte has included new legal apprenticeships as part of the wider firm’s BrightStart Apprenticeship, which offers students the chance to gain professional qualifications while working for the firm.
‘This new SQE Training Contracts allow law students to take up their place straight out of university, allowing them to start earning and gaining Qualifying Experience before sitting their SQE 1 exams. This differs from the current arrangements where Trainees do not take up their place until they have completed an additional year of Law School studying a Legal Practice Course (LPC),’ Deloitte said.
Dimple Agarwal, Deloitte’s managing partner for People and Purpose, said: ‘We are investing in the future of the legal profession, with a focus on high quality training. A Deloitte Legal apprenticeship can be the first step in an exciting career, working on projects that have a real impact to our clients’ businesses. We provide training for all of the skills and knowledge needed to do the job.’