Lori Wisniewski Azzara, Partner in the firm’s Pittsburgh office, is quoted in the September/October edition of BreakingGround‘s Construction Law Update. Lori discusses the rise of technology and how it is changing the legal industry and its standard of work.
You only need to look as far the real estate to get a sense of how much the legal profession has changed over the past decade. Stately, mahogany-paneled offices and massive law libraries have given way to clean modern finishes and more open floor plans. Workplace amenities that had previously been viewed as the frivolous domain of tech companies now dot law offices all over America. Yet, for all that has changed in recent years, more disruption is sure to follow as new technologies and attitudes work their way into all aspects of business.
Technology has been the most obvious driver of the changes in the practice of law. Digital libraries and services that allow for case precedent researching – once known as “Shepardizing” – have reduced the utility of the law library to that of a decoration. Likewise, office software greatly increased the productivity of administrative and support staff. Law firms have been able to dramatically reduce their footprint at the same time they grow billings and staff.
Construction, as an industry, has also been going through disruptive changes over the past decade. The increasing role of technology has changed how projects are documented, delivered, and maintained. An increasing gap between the number of workers retiring and the number of those entering the industry has created a potential crisis for construction, inspiring the need for even more change to keep up.