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Horizon Scanning

  • Given the speed and scale of change affecting the legal sector, it is crucial for members to keep track of emerging trends in the environments in which they operate.

    The Law Society’s research unit has developed a series of horizon scanning findings to help solicitors understand emerging issues and prepare for future changes.

    Our horizon scanning looks at anything that might affect the legal sector over the next 15 years, whether directly or indirectly.

    We scan a wide range of sources for signs of any changes which have the potential to shape the law, the legal profession and the work of our members.

    We present our findings in three formats:

    • reports focusing on one topic and what this means for solicitors
    • snapshots capturing an emerging trend, to stimulate discussion about future changes
    • radars plotting key events and drivers within political, economic, legal and technological fields on to a target map to show the timing and severity of their impact.

    We hold roundtables and member discussions on horizon scanning.

    If you would you like to help shape our horizon scanning work, or have feedback or ideas for emerging issues, please contact Dr Tara Chittenden at the Law Society Research Unit.

    Latest Horizon Scanning research

  • 7 results

    AI: Artificial intelligence and the legal profession

    This Horizon Scanning report examines the potential influence of AI technology in legal services and its impact on legal processes, jobs and values.

    1 May 2018

    Autonomous vehicles: When technology takes the wheel

    This Horizon Scanning snapshot examines the implications of autonomous vehicles in the longer term for solicitors, law firms and the legal sector.

    1 February 2018

    Blockchain: The legal implications of distributed systems

    This Horizon Scanning report explores the potential use cases of blockchain, its challenges and opportunities, and what this might mean for solicitors.

    1 August 2017

    China in focus: Impact on UK legal services

    This Horizon Scanning report looks at what a rise or fall in the Chinese economy and its position on the world stage might mean for the legal sector.

    1 August 2017

    Future skills for law

    This Horizon Scanning report explores what dramatic changes to the future of work driven by technology and globalisation mean for future lawyers.

    1 June 2018

    Privacy: Are machine learning systems redefining 'privacy'?

    This Horizon Scanning snapshot explores the legal risks surrounding the surrender of personal data in favour of a more connected life.

    1 February 2018

    Horizon Scanning radar

    This Horizon Scanning radar plots the key events and drivers within political, economic, legal and technological fields on to a target map.

    1 February 2018
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