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16 Apr 2024

Learn to Thrive in the 21st Century Legal Environment with the Legal Innovation & Tech Fest.

While the legal industry has always evolved, technological innovation is shaking up the industry like never before.

As the advent of AI and other technologies radically adapts to the needs of our world and its people, legal professionals are facing a pivotal moment in the history of the profession. As a result, they have a growing responsibility to stay informed about the state of their field and where it might be heading.

To be clear, seeking out cutting-edge knowledge and skills isn't just about upholding the integrity of the profession or your stature within it – both of which are also on the line - it's about future-proofing your career.

Legal professionals who pay attention to these evolving technological trends stand to protect their role and relevance in the profession, while those who don’t risk becoming irrelevant as the technology eclipses their capabilities.

This may sound like a scare campaign, but there's a growing fear among even the most conservative pundits that many legal workers will be left behind because they're not responding to industry change quickly enough.

So, what is the key to staying ahead in this rapidly changing landscape?

The key is to seek knowledge and skill development and embrace a willingness to change.

That’s why, at the upcoming Legal Innovation & Tech Fest, we're bringing together leading legal experts and global professionals to address these critical issues – three, to be exact.

A vital opportunity to dive deep into the transformative forces shaping your industry, the two-day event will focus on three essential topics:

  1. Generative AI in the legal profession,
  2. Skills for driving change in the legal industry, and
  3. Developing the next generation of legal professionals.

With a lineup of thought-leading speakers and interactive sessions, attendees will leave with the knowledge and tools they need to not just survive but thrive in the 21st-century legal environment.

But before you join us at the Hilton in Sydney on May 13th and 14th, we thought we’d unpack each of these three topics so that when it comes time to network with like-minded professionals, you’re already a step ahead.

Let’s start with generative AI.

Topic 1: Generative AI in the legal profession.

Generative AI, a subset of the broader technology that is artificial intelligence (AI), refers to systems capable of autonomously creating new content, such as:

  • text,
  • images,
  • videos,
  • or even entire simulations,

based on patterns and data they've been trained on.

Unlike traditional AI systems that rely on predefined rules and algorithms, generative AI utilises neural networks to generate original outputs - think, OpenAI's ChatGPT which has demonstrated impressive capabilities in generating human-like text.

When it comes to use in the legal profession, generative AI is rapidly gaining traction.

In fact, at present, lawyers use generative AI for:

  • research (66%),
  • writing memos and documents (59%), and
  • performing data analysis (47%).

There has even been an emergence of platforms which offer AI-driven contract reviews and can automatically identify potential issues and suggest revisions to significantly streamline the contract review process.

The growth of generative AI in the legal industry is fuelled by its ability to increase efficiency and accuracy in processing vast amounts of legal data much faster than humans, leading to quicker decision-making and reduced costs for clients.

By automating repetitive tasks, legal professionals can focus their time and expertise on more complex and strategic matters, though, this is just a best-case scenario.

To learn more about using Artificial intelligence for Legal Terms, don’t miss Elliot Leibu, Co-Host of The Legal Ops Podcast speak at the upcoming Legal Innovation & Tech Fest, or Krystal Jackson, eDiscovery Senior Manager at Ashurst who will explore how we can manage the hype surrounding AI and LLM in the legal decision and fact-gathering process, or Bill Tanner, Chief Information Officer at Allens who will explore the opportunities and challenges of Implementing AI in the Legal Industry.

 Learn About the Opportunities and Challenges of Implementing AI in the Legal Industry

With so much to gain, the rise of generative AI also raises concerns within the legal community.

There are many teething problems, especially to do with potential biases encoded in AI algorithms and the common occurrence errors of made by AI systems. As Elliot Leibu explains: "AI platforms can definitely be helpful, but they need to be used with care. The potential for inaccuracies, bias and hallucinations needs to be understood and managed. Understanding confidentiality and where the documents might go is also vitally important."

Critics also argue that reliance on AI for legal tasks is unethical it could lead to job displacement among lawyers, particularly in routine tasks like document review, especially after a 2023 Goldman Sachs report said 44% of what lawyers do can be done by AI.

Despite these concerns, most see generative AI as a valuable tool that if treated with the appropriate care and support policies can augment legal professionals' capabilities rather than replace them entirely.

By embracing AI technologies and evolving alongside them, lawyers can:

  • enhance their productivity,
  • deliver better outcomes for clients, and
  • stay competitive in an increasingly digitised legal landscape.

A true believer in this philosophy, Nick Abrahams, Global Co-leader of Digital Transformation at Norton Rose Fulbright, has been researching the future of law at Bond University for several years and is set to discuss the true impact of AI on the legal profession so far during the event. In fact, Bond University has recently announced a GenAI Course for Lawyers, in which Nick Abrahams is the course instructor.

He, alongside many others, will explain that the key to dealing with disruptive technology lies in thoughtful integration and ongoing dialogue to ensure that AI serves the best interests of both legal practitioners and society as a whole.

Topic 2: Skills for Driving Change in the Legal Industry.

When it comes to the legal industry, skills are in a constant state of evolution and the skills you need to thrive in the industry are linked to the changing landscape of the profession itself.

Whether it’s new:

  • technologies,
  • regulations, or
  • societal expectations,

legal professionals must adapt and acquire new competencies to remain effective in their roles over what may well be a 40+ year vocation.

Over his extensive career, Anthony Kearns, Chief Client Experience Officer and Practice Leader, Consulting at Lander & Rogers has witnessed this first-hand. It is what inspired his Legal Innovation & Tech Fest presentation “Why advocacy, being right and rationality don’t work. What most lawyers get wrong about change” which you can attend during the event.

Importantly, legal evolution is not a new phenomenon. Throughout history, the legal industry has undergone significant transformations, however, what distinguishes the current era is the unprecedented pace of change.

With the rapid development of technologies and the exponential progress of societal norms and values, the legal industry is experiencing change at an accelerated rate.

As a result, 21st-century legal professionals can no longer afford to passively react to evolving industry norms, nor can they expect to evolve at a pace similar to those that came before them.

Instead, successful modern-day legal professionals must actively drive transformation within their organisations and the broader legal ecosystem by cultivating a diverse set of cutting-edge skills and embracing a commitment to continuous development.

Whether it is proficiency in:

  • data analytics
  • machine learning
  • cybersecurity and privacy
  • data protection and regulatory compliance
  • project management and process optimisation, or
  • effective communication and collaboration skills

among many others, proactively developing these skills and embracing change as an opportunity for growth will allow the legal professionals of today to position themselves as leaders of the industry tomorrow.

For more on this don’t miss Karen Lee (Chair of the Association of Corporate Counsel Australia Legal Tech and Innovation Committee) and Andrew Paloni (Managing Counsel of the Australian Institute of Marine Science) discuss what it takes to cultivate creativity and unleash innovative legal minds.

Here’s what Karen has had to say ahead of the event:

Innovation in legal teams is not just about new technology; it is about rethinking processes, from business partnering interactions to internal workflows, to be more efficient, client-focused, and adaptable to change. 

More importantly, cultivating innovation within legal teams starts with embracing a team culture that values diverse perspectives and where creative problem-solving and experimenting are allowed to thrive.  As lawyers individually, we should be brave and change our mindset to allow failure to be seen as a stepping stone to future success.”

If you want to drive innovation and shape the future of the legal industry, rather than be pulled (or displaced) by the currents of change, join us on May 13-14th to learn more.

Topic 3: Developing the Next Generation of Legal Professionals

The third and final major focus of our upcoming Legal Innovation and Tech Fest is around developing the next generation of legal professionals which has been formulated to underscore the importance of nurturing talent and innovation within the industry.

The future of the legal profession doesn't simply unfold naturally – it depends upon deliberate effort and investment to shape it in a way that meets the evolving needs of society.

In an era defined by rapid technological advancements and shifting client expectations, standing still is not an option. To avoid falling behind, individuals must actively position themselves at the forefront of the next generation of legal professionals, and actively engage in opportunities for learning and networking.

When it comes down to it, both knowledge and connections are essential components for success in the competitive legal landscape of the future and that’s what the Legal Innovation and Tech Fest has been designed to provide.

This is especially the case with the inclusion of guest speakers like Theo Kapodistrias, General Counsel at Evergen, whose talk on “Operational Excellence: Creating a World-Class Legal Function on a Shoestring Budget” will be a must-see.

It’s also crucial that current legal professionals recognise their role in developing the skills and capabilities of the next generation of legal professionals.

By first developing and then imparting their expertise and experiences through mentorship and knowledge sharing, they can contribute to the growth and advancement of the industry as a whole.

For more on Navigating the Hybrid Frontier with Intergen Teams, be sure to attend Tessa van Duyn’s (CEO and Practice Leader at Moores) speech on the topic.

In the meantime, here are some of Tessa’s thoughts on the types of skills a legal professional will require over the next 10 years:

In this era of rapid advancement and digital revolution, integral to the success and sustainability of any legal professional are essential human skills such as curiosity, empathy, strategic thinking, and sound judgment. Regardless of whether elements of legal work are substituted by AI and other tech tools, humans will undoubtedly be required to enable and facilitate expert use of such tools. 

As the saying goes, AI won’t replace legal professionals, but those legal professionals who can use AI tools will.

The journey towards driving and becoming part of the next generation starts with active engagement in events like the Legal Innovation & Tech Fest, where participants seek knowledge, inspiration, and collaboration to propel the legal profession forward.

So, how can you get involved?

Are you looking to thrive in the legal profession of the future?

Join us for the 2024 Legal Innovation & Tech Fest at the Hilton, Sydney.

Held on the 13th and 14th of May 2024, the Legal Innovation & Tech Fest is a gateway to two amazing days of cutting-edge content, networking, and knowledge-sharing, delving into key areas of innovation and tech within the industry:

  • Generative AI,
  • Skills for Driving Change, and
  • Developing the Next Generation of Lawyers.

This is the only event in Australia that brings together hundreds of law firm business leaders, senior corporate counsel, and service providers to celebrate the talent, technology, innovations, and ideas that are transforming the way law firms and in-house legal teams operate.

With over 35 technology vendors, 65 speakers and 300 delegates, the event must not be missed.

Buy your ticket and secure your spot today! (But hurry, sports are limited).


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