"As a legal technologist you constantly face new challenges and employ innovative techniques to overcome them and that makes every day so interesting."
Fergus Spence, an Edinburgh-based Legal Technologist who is one of the inaugural intake in AG's ILT Graduate Scheme, shares why he opted for a career in legal tech rather than follow the traditional legal path.
I first started working in technology while at university, finding a job as a data analyst at a fintech startup in Glasgow. We were building an affordability calculator: a credit-checking algorithm which defined affordability on income and expenditure, as opposed to the traditional basis of repayment history.
This experience, being involved in the production of such a new and transformative piece of technology, sat in contrast to some of the subject matter I was studying as part of my law degree at that time, where we discussed the influence of decisions made in the 18th century. The concurrence of these experiences pulled me towards a career in technology, where tradition is challenged and new ideas are essential. In particular, I sought a career in legal technology, a space where I would benefit from my legal background as well as my experience in tech. With this career goal in mind, I was fortunate to discover the ILT Graduate Scheme, which presented the perfect opportunity to start a career in legal technology.
The scheme has been designed to give graduates a holistic experience of the ILT team through its rotational structure, working across six pillars throughout the two years. I started my journey in Client Projects, where I quickly began working on major projects across the firm. In my first month, I was involved in a large-scale repapering exercise for a client. Many of their commercial loan agreements were based on LIBOR and we had to transition these customers to an alternative interest rate before the end of 2021. This involved the application of various forms of technology, such as AI document review tools for identifying and extracting the relevant clauses, a cloud-based collaboration platform to facilitate effective teamwork across the different teams and streamline the process, a document automation tool and an e-signature platform. This project illustrated how the team employs various forms of technology to help deliver work efficiently across the firm. This experience in Client Projects has been invaluable since starting my second rotation, in Internal Efficiencies.
Working in Internal Efficiencies has allowed me to transfer my experience in Client Projects into the internal sphere. For example, where a tried and tested solution has worked effectively in a discreet project, we introduce this solution to wider problems, making it a standardised technology-based solution for a specific domain of problems. This illustrates that although the pillars focus on different work, they mutually reinforce each other, with the common theme being the implementation of technology to improve services.
Problem solving is the name of the game
With the range of legal technology available constantly expanding, the legal tech space is very exciting - which is what makes working here so enjoyable. As a legal technologist you constantly face new challenges and employ innovative techniques to overcome them and that makes every day so interesting. If you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, solving complex problems in a collaborative team setting and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, the ILT Graduate Scheme is an ideal place to start your journey.
Find out more about the ILT Graduate Scheme here.