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World Mental Health Day

10 October 2019 | Emily Foges

Lawyers are no strangers to working long and hard hours to meet the demands of clients, more often than not coping with tight deadlines and market volatility, not to mention a competitive and changing legal landscape. While some thrive in such a fast-paced environment, the stress and anxiety that comes with managing this type of workload can take its toll for many others, affecting not just workplace productivity but also having serious consequences on well-being. This is perhaps even more pertinent in light of a recent study conducted by the mental health charity Mind, where it was found that work is the single biggest cause of stress in people’s lives.

The trusted advisor and the reality of mental health

For lawyers, the power and importance of being a trusted advisor is what draws many to the profession, but this role brings responsibility and pressure in equal measure, and this can often be overlooked.

When many of us think of the typical ‘lawyer’ we tend to conjure up an image of a workaholic superhuman. But this typecasting is dangerous; recent figures published by the Health and Safety Executive looking at ‘work-related stress, depression or anxiety’ ranked the legal profession as fourth in the list of the most stressful jobs. This is particularly apt for young and junior lawyers. Earlier this month, it was revealed that mental health issues for young people have increased six-fold since 1995. It is time to face these facts and come together as an industry to address the issue of mental health as a priority, for our future and current lawyers.

The necessity of legal AI

As all lawyers can appreciate, the process of reviewing documents for due diligence, or analysing thousands and thousands of emails for a litigation case, is a hugely lengthy, resource-intensive, and often stressful exercise. This increases tenfold when competing against a rigid deadline, with pressure to deliver fast and effective results. However, with the support of the right technology, lawyers can conduct document review at an accelerated pace, enabling a seamless and efficient workflow.

By adopting Luminance’s machine learning platform, advisors will gain an unparalleled, visual insight of the entire dataset, from day one, uncovering risks and freeing them up to concentrate on the more strategic thinking. The value of legal services no longer has to lie in the time it takes advisors to review lengthy documents, but in their ability to analyse and deliver advice based on insight, experience and a nuanced understanding of the problem.

For junior lawyers, known for being crippled by admin-heavy work, this is a gold mine. Steve Cooke, Senior Partner at Slaughter and May, echoes this: “The legal profession needs to engage the brightest minds. Luminance’s technology offers that opportunity, allowing lawyers to be the trusted advisors they trained to become.”

Legal technology has the potential to revolutionise the work processes for lawyers all around the world, now and in the future. Deployment is the first rung of the ladder.