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Hybrid Profiles for Digital Lawyers

By Karol Valencia.

There is a Chinese proverb that reads: "I wish you to live in interesting times", in fact, there are those who far from seeing it as a proverb see it as a curse, but I will not exhaust myself at that point, what if it is true is that we are indeed living in much more interesting times-perhaps not on a musical level, except with few exceptions - but yes at the level of the development of technology, and it is that the strong impact that it has on how we propose the future changes radically in such a way that from the exponential development of the technology both existing and emerging is that we go from thinking some solutions for the future to questioning, rethinking many things and above all "RE THINK" the pillars of the law on which we have built our legal and justice system, which apparently often does not satisfy the users who are citizens.

In the face of this situation, how have we reacted?

As legal professionals a large number have chosen to digitize processes, such as mailing, creation of modern databases, and acquire licenses or digital marketing services for their firms and even employ Legal tech – technology applied to simplify or enhance some tasks of the legal exercise – all this is very good but from my point of view there is one thing that we are missing and is that the fact that we adopt and implement technologies without having to understand them fully and worse without knowing the previous versions or the platforms on which they were based does not make much sense.

As a result, another series of lawyers, the so-called disruptives-I prefer to call them rehabilitated- as Elizabeth de Stadler often says, they are the ones who have really taken the decision to REINVENT, not only have they adopted the practices mentioned in the preceding paragraph, but have also given it a turn of 90, 180 and even in some cases much more specific a 360-degree turn, that is, they have completely reinvented themselves which is great, and really inspire and give a fresh meaning and purpose to the practice of law; it is from this reinvention in the roles of the lawyer and the legal exercise that we can identify the following hybrid profiles, for which I proceed to make an adaptation of the talk of my mentor and friend Andrés Botero who in their talks of the future, humanity and design comments on 4 profiles within which I will mention some hybrid roles that have been developing among lawyers- and not lawyers in the sector who have reinvented themselves, and who do not even know it- but there is already a name for what colleagues have been doing:


They are those professionals who design systems from the human for their sustainability and self-handling.

His main areas of knowledge are: Technology, Engineering, Design Systems, Product and Data. They create diverse and inclusive technology and algorithms, understand human and business impact.

Within this space I allow myself to highlight the role of legal engineers, whose function is to interact between legal and technological professionals in order to build software to interpret, enforce or demonstrate compliance with the law. Some legal engineers are developers or data scientists who developed an interest in legal processes.

I also highlight legal project managers, who have the role of managing teams, estimating budgets and managing economic and human resources, using work plans, managing multiple tasks and broken down in multiproject environments.


Someone who builds future scenarios and imagines fictions; to help anticipate and design for post-normal times. Being his areas of knowledge: Prospective, fiction design, business, strategic design, service design, history, art, design.

They do not intend to predict, but because of their great knowledge and expertise in the field and the sector-and even multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral knowledge- they can anticipate the trends and things that may occur when requested by their customers, either to choose the future that seems to them to be the best option-viable, sustainable and with the greatest positive impact- or the one they want to be able to create it and / or redesign the context in that sense.

They are usually high-end consultants, with quite seniority and who have already advised, not necessarily large companies, but to companies in the technology sector and that lead their own projects, collaborative, or work with governments in some cases in regulatory or regional impact initiatives, but they mostly have an extensive network of contacts, multi-language mastery and are generally characterized by being able to provide a holistic perspective of the global landscape, but they above all have an extensive network of contacts, multi-language mastery and are generally characterized by being able to provide a holistic perspective of the global landscape, but they mostly have an extensive network of contacts, multi-language dominance and are generally characterized by being able to provide a holistic perspective of the global landscape, but they mostly have an extensive network of contacts, multi-language dominance and are generally characterized by being able to provide a holistic perspective of the global landscape, but they mostly have an extensive network of contacts, multi-language mastery and are generally characterized by being able to provide a holistic perspective of the global landscape, but they mostly have an extensive network of contacts, multi-language dominance and are generally characterized by being able to provide a holistic perspective of the global landscape, but they mostly have an extensive network of contacts, multi-language dominance and are generally , are the right arm of many decision makers worldwide, founders and investors of every level.

The most important thing to consider is that "... When someone becomes a futurist, he begins to question everything he does and its impact on society…" [1]


Someone who builds value judgments on technological impact, product decisions and other design outcomes.

His areas of knowledge are: Philosophy, Technology, Design, Product, Anthropology, Sociology.

They analyze human behaviors a lot to determine whether they are oriented to good or evil in itself, how they affect us and the decisions that should or should not be made.

Here I must highlight the role of Legal Operations Managers, which in addition to the "... Obvious naming functions, such as taking care of outside consultants and suppliers, many legal operations managers also oversee budgets and legal department staff. They have implemented e-invoicing systems and electronic contracts and other technological initiatives. In some cases, they can also monitor the diversity and probono programs that the firm wants to promote…”

Indeed, all of us who operate under the law, servants of the public justice system, legal technologists who comply with this profile but above all the jurists - who by their function, whether in the private or public sector, have issued value judgments or had to do so as the exposed case of the legal Ops - can also be considered in this category.


Someone who observes the human as an object of design, as a challenge and anticipates and monitors the human impact of technology. His areas of knowledge are mainly: strategic design, psychology, sociology, philosophy, technology.

It incorporates relationships between people and how technological change will affect us.

This is certainly the place where you find designer friends and where "with a lot of work of UI & UX “ you achieve the wonderful intersection between technology, design and law, a role for those who not only understand the technology but who are in love with it and take it to the next level where they are allowed to visualize, create and design – upon identification of pains and problems – viable, friendly and understandable solutions for all that allow full access to justice for all end consumers and users of the law who are nothing more and nothing less than us, people, even starting - and in addition - from the redesign of the training of lawyers from law schools.

In this area I highlight the role of legal designers [2] - lawyers and not lawyers who help us -with all their nuances because in the end we focus on making everything simpler, friendly and more accessible because a right that is not understood generates problems that result in conduct - we study and analyze behavior in depth - as well as in high procedural load, among other disjunctives that would not originate if in principle the laws were designed with care using the scientific method and apply any other science, discipline or an approach of art to law nor makes us fewer lawyers, let alone makes us bad lawyers, it simply invites us and gives us leave to think outside the box and devise in different way to the "normal" – that word displeases me and worse the new normal one - finally by that line we go , being normal is not bad but maybe it was time to discard things, recycle others, redesign others and create so many others, not for seeking a eureka moment but for that spirit of doing things better for- and even if it sounds idealistic- to create a better world where as operators-and users- we have a high role and responsibility. [3]

With all of the above, I believe that we should focus and concentrate our forces on "working hard to make sure that technology fits our values.” [4] Technology is neither neutral nor objective, it needs human intervention to be designed, and that is precisely why technologies have biases and it is important that we understand this and guide our training as lawyers in that regard, and with that I think I have good news regarding our robot friends or artificial intelligence that from my opinion precisely because of the mentioned biases will not be objective or neutral, will remain in the service of humanity and in this case the practice of law and I fear that it will not be able to match our wonderful humanity and ethical sense, which varies between one individual and another.

Finally I invite you to reflect on what you are doing with your legal practice to this day, have reinvented themselves, you want to reinvent yourself and that process of what kind of purpose is accompanied, I quote here another friend and mentor Luis Felix, founder of en estado beta , who usually says "neither lack of time, nor any other excuse when we really want to learn and that we never lose that". By virtue of this, let us look at where we want to guide our practice while recognizing and learning from those who are already within the profiles mentioned, to those who are on their way to formation, and those who may appear, for the future we create in the present.


[1] I particularly hope to get to this point and on that path I focus my vocation, although right now I question it and form it steadily, so we will see.

[2] There are many friends with which we work and collaborate on this exciting mission.

[3] Really because we are human, we should aim to the positive impact of our actions and decisions, even if it is not always achieved, the trend should be that.

[4] Erik Brynjoffsson-Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy


About the Author Karol Valencia works as Legal Project Leader & Legal Service Designer at eID. She develops private consulting and focuses on projects and services with a holistic perspective through her brand Karol Valencia (worldwide and in remote mode) and is Chief Community Manager at Eye Z Legal (India).

She is an active member of the Institute for Internet & The Just Society, she also works in the #Barpocalypse project for the redesign of legal education in the USA and she is the LATAM ambassador of ILSA (Innovative Law Studies Association).

As a polyglot, she works on the translation of various technical documents, papers, books, articles and more when requested or translates simultaneously as an interpreter at events.

She is a lawyer from Universidad Católica San Pablo, postgraduate studies at PUCP, and has a law degree from the UEM in Madrid, Spain. With training in digital transformation, innovation, programming and design in "En Estado Beta", "Iron Hack" and "Interaction Design Foundation"; self-taught, she participates in communities such as Legal Hackers Lima, PsychoLAWgy and others, in addition to different volunteer work. Former teacher of the UPN. Facilitator and international speaker of Legal Design & Legal Tech. Activist in mental health issues.

Currently she collaborates with columns and blogs such as: The Crypto Legal, her account at Medium, and Impact Lawyers. She believes in redesigning the legal system to achieve better access to justice for all. Contact:

1 Comment

Apr 27, 2021

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