The Law Society of Scotland has launched a new accreditation for lawyers with specialist technology roles, such as legal process engineer and legal analyst.
It said the new specialism of accredited legal technologist was created in response to the development of this range of new roles within the legal sector.
Paul Mosson, executive director of member services and engagement at the society, said: “There has been huge growth in the number of legal professionals diversifying their skills with some taking on specialist technology-based roles.
“We believe this is a trend that will intensify in the coming years. We want to support and recognise its development through our new accreditation and over time help to build a global community of specialists who are driving excellence in legal technology.
“This voluntary professional status will recognise the expertise of the successful candidates. We hope that, as it develops, the accredited legal technologist will become a quality marque that anyone working in legal technology would wish to hold as it provides assurance to the public, clients and to their peers in the legal profession.”
The new accreditation will initially be open to Scottish solicitors and Law Society of Scotland accredited paralegals who can demonstrate a good level of experience in legal technology, before being rolled out to other professionals working in legal technology in the “near future”.
The society said the kind of experience that would make lawyers eligible included presenting externally on areas of legal technology, writing about it, leading legal technology projects, being recognised as expert in certain areas of legal technology, being responsible for the strategic development of technology projects, and possessing “knowledge, skills and experience that would be regarded as significantly above the ordinary”.
The accreditation will last for three years before needing to be renewed, and costs £300.
Applicants have to provide evidence of their knowledge, skills and achievements by answering questions, providing the names of referees and uploading a CV.
The society said those accepted would have access to dedicated events and networking opportunities. One of the standards expected of accredited technologists is a commitment to taking “an active part in developing the community”.
The society said: “This may be by formal mentoring of prospective accredited legal technologists; by contributing think-pieces to our Journal and our fortnightly e-newsletter; by leading CPD courses to our membership or via podcasts.”