“Descend, Bold Traveler…”: Previewing the 2018 Emerging Legal Technology Forum

Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Automated Contracts, Blockchain, Client Relations, Corporate Legal, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, ediscovery, Efficiency, Emerging Legal Technology Forum, Government, Law Firm Profitability, Law Firms, Legal Executive Events, Legal Innovation, Legal Managed Services, Legal Operations, Legal Technologists, Midsize Law Firms Blog Posts, Small Law Firms, Thomson Reuters

legal technology

“Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.”

—    Jules Verne


In his 1864 book Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jules Verne’s indefatigable protagonist, Prof. Otto Lidenbrock, offers an earnest appeal to the virtues of scientific discovery and the attendant specters of failure and risk one expects along the path of knowledge.

Eager to explore the great secret in the imposing volcanic, glacial mountain Snæfellsjökull — and, by extension, to undermine his learned peers’ hegemonic narrative of the earth’s molten core — the exuberance and conviction with which Prof. Lidenbrock approaches his quest finds contemporary echoes in the Legal Executive Institute’s upcoming Emerging Legal Technology Forum on September 26 in Toronto.

Like Lidenbrock, ours is a program committed to unearthing the practical truth behind once fantastic visions of automation, commoditization, globalization, and digitization that augur the supposed “end of lawyers.”

To be fair, it seems largely axiomatic that the advent and adoption of new technologies signals a watershed moment for the purchase and delivery of legal services. But such developments are not without their challenges — chief among them, accessibility and affordability. And today’s legal service providers, whether in corporate, law firm, or outsourced entities, must understand how to fully leverage technology’s immense potentiality, all while navigating the perils therein.

Returning once more to the shores of Lake Ontario, the Emerging Legal Technology Forum’s third act opens with an important conversation on how leading law firms and corporate legal departments are training technologically competent lawyers across all levels of the organization. The panel, “Embracing Technophobia: Training Technologically Competent Lawyers” will be moderated by Lucy Endel Bassli, Founder & Principal of InnoLegal Services and former assistant general counsel at Microsoft.

[O]ur international faculty will help attendees better understand where their respective organizations stand in terms of a continuum of technological and organizational (r)evolution. How close is your firm or company to leading the proverbial pack?

The panel will address such questions as: What approaches have proven most effective at preparing law firm associates, counsel, and partners? How critical is a technologically savvy outside counsel to today’s law firm client?

Following this discussion, conference attendees can join one of two concurrent breakout sessions dedicated to law firm case studies on legal innovation and strategic responses to recruiting and retaining minority professionals in legal tech. Is the legal industry prepared to accommodate a wave of diverse, minority-led entrepreneurism?

Last, but not least, our morning concludes with two increasingly timely panels on best practices in handling data privacy on a global scale (“Crossing Borders: Managing Data Across Jurisdictions”) and proven strategies in ensuring data quality and leveraging competitive intelligence (“Reliable Sources: Automation and Innovation Around Data Hygienics & Extraction”), featuring expert commentary from HSBC Canada, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, Conversant LLC and the former Senior General Counsel & Director General of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) and Federal Chief Information Officer of the United States Government.

After lunch, we complete our journey with two engrossing sessions on the burgeoning law firm-business startup scene (“Building Bridges: Assessing Collaborative Gains in Law Firm Start-Up Partnerships”) and the maturing sophistication — if not growing popularity — of legal services and operations in the cloud (“A Road Less Traveled: Security, Standardization and Strategic Transitioning to the Cloud”).

In these and all other preceding conversations, our international faculty will help attendees better understand where their respective organizations stand in terms of a continuum of technological and operational (r)evolution. How close is your business to leading the proverbial pack?

“The truth,” as Oscar Wilde wrote, “is rarely pure and never simple.”