‘Being a Professional is Not the Same as Acting Professionally’: How Digital Technologies Have Empowered the Creation and Enactment of a New Professional Identity in Law

Charlotta Kronblad*, Søren Henning Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

This paper shows that digital technologies have empowered new work practices and identity work in the setting of the legal profession in five different countries. Using qualitative data from 33 interviews with legal tech lawyers, supported by workplace and conference observations and photographs, we analyse how legal tech lawyers use social and material attributes to craft and enact a new identity. This identity is distinctly different from the established professional identity of lawyers, showing that legal tech lawyers see, and express, themselves as legal professionals in a broader sense, rather than identifying with traditional law. This paper explains how technology has functioned as an enabler for them to craft this new identity, much influenced by how, where, and when their work is done. The paper supports and extends a sociomaterial approach to understanding the implications of digital transformation and shows the potential of looking into the development of professional identities in this transformation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Professions and Organization
Volume10
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)99-119
Number of pages21
ISSN2051-8803
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 29 June 2023.

Keywords

  • Digitalization
  • Identity work
  • Legal tech
  • Professional jurisdiction
  • Professional identity
  • Sociomateriality

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