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Navigating a changing world

Navigating a changing world


Foreword for the July 2023 volume

Change is an unavoidable aspect of the world we inhabit. Although the legal profession is deeply rooted in longstanding traditions that still prove valuable, it is important to adjust to the changing environment in which we work.

The advent of technology has brought forth transformative advancements that have disrupted industries across the board. Apart from recent changes like the shift towards remote working and tools that facilitate this, artificial intelligence (AI) has made its way into the legal sector. Chat GPT is a prime example of how AI can reshape the way we work. While firms will discuss their own policies towards using the technology, it will also need to help the law.

This month, advice from our contributors, including Jan Van Hoecke (p64), and our interview with Libby Jackson (p48) emphasise the significance of adaptation and effective management of game-changing technologies. As AI continues to gain momentum, it is crucial for all of us, including legal professionals, to harness this technology as a catalyst for our expertise.

Beyond technological progress, there are pressing global challenges that need immediate attention and proactive initiatives – not least of all climate change, which demands active engagement from the legal profession in the UK and globally. Lawyers can assume a pivotal role in tackling this crisis by promoting sustainable practices, advocating for renewable energy, and endorsing policies that protect our environment for future generations. Shedding light on this matter in our international section, Tom Davey discusses the potential of class actions and climate litigation to effectively steer the transition towards achieving net-zero emissions (p70).

It is true that many changes proposed to us should be approached with caution, particularly those that may entail risks or prove inadequate in supporting others. Dr Kirsty Welsh argues on p14 that the Online Safety Bill has been diluted, lacking sufficient safeguards for potential victims. This highlights the importance of critically examining changes to ensure they provide robust protection for all individuals.

As the legal landscape continues to evolve, our approach to legal publications must also adapt accordingly. It is encouraging to witness the Solicitors Journal’s commitment to embracing these changes and maintaining a leading position in legal discourse. The development of our international section has broadened the journal’s scope, while acknowledging the interconnectedness of legal systems and fostering a global perspective. In an increasingly interconnected world, it is imperative that we engage with diverse legal contexts and gain a deeper understanding of cross-jurisdictional issues. The inclusion of timely events and discussions within the journal reinforces its relevance and ensures that it remains an indispensable resource for legal professionals.

As I reflect on the journey of the Solicitors Journal, I feel a sense of pride in the strides we have made to adapt to and embrace change. The legal profession is in a constant state of change, and it is our duty to evolve with it. By staying attuned to emerging trends, leveraging technology responsibly, championing human rights and addressing pressing global challenges, we can navigate the complexities of our ever-changing world.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the authors, contributors and readers of the Solicitors Journal for their unwavering support. Together, let us continue to forge ahead, adapting to change and shaping the future of the legal profession.