Vancouver - October, 2019

Location TBC


Academic Partner

 
 

Overview

The Canadian Legal Innovation Forum returns to Vancouver in October 2019 with the launch of second annual, national series. As the legal innovation story continues to evolve, the objectives of the forum are the following.

  • To provide legal practitioners with context, information and guidance on how to define and evolve their innovation strategies.

  • To encourage collaboration in the legal sector to tackle the toughest challenges and leverage opportunities.

  • To build a national network of innovators focused on invoking change in the legal sector.


Themes

Proposed panel, presentation and interview topics for 2019/20 (full agenda below).

Access to justice and legal innovation.

Rethinking the shape, scope and trajectory of the legal career.

Developing an innovative law firm strategy.

In-House strategy: aligning with the business.

The rise of business professionals in law firms and law departments.

Defining, developing and executing an impactful legal technology strategy.

Demystifying the role of alternative legal service providers.

Notes from abroad: the global legal innovation scene (US, UK, Australia).


Format

  • 5 x Panels of innovation leaders (law firms, legal departments, advisory firms academics, vendors)

  • 4 Case Study Presentations (related to one of the topics)
    - Law firm presenting their innovation process, learnings and outcomes
    - In-House counsel presenting their innovation process, learnings and outcomes
    - 2 x vendors/sponsors presenting their innovation process, learnings and outcomes

  • 1 x facilitated breakout group session on one of the topics (e.g. law firm innovation or in-house aligning w/ the business)


Agenda - October 2019

Access to justice and legal innovation.
According to a recent study, over 80% of Canadians choose not to engage a lawyer when faced with a legal problem. There are many reasons for this. The high perceived cost of using a lawyer, a lack of understanding of the law and overall fear of the system. The result is a significant gap of access to justice for end users (e.g. citizens) and a fragmented justice system. It also presents an opportunity for lawyers and entrepreneurs to fill this gap. This panel will focus on the challenges and opportunities in expanding access to justice facing lawyers and citizens.
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Rethinking the shape, scope and trajectory of the legal career.
Increasingly, lawyers are seeking alternative career paths. Many are entering nascent sectors like technology in business roles - applying their legal expertise in new ways. They are seeking more flexible working arrangements with lawyers joining firms and companies that support this. And they are looking to their traditional employers - law firms and in-house - to support non-traditional career paths. This shift presents both dilemmas and opportunities for lawyers and their traditional employers. How can law firms and in-house teams support non-traditional legal career paths in their firms, companies and outside of them? And what opportunities exist for lawyers seeking career experience beyond traditional lawyering? This panel will look at the current shape, scope and trajectory of the new legal career.

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Developing an innovative law firm strategy.
With increasing competition and client expectations, law firms need to innovate. As a core pillar of their strategy, they need to foster an innovation mindset and match it with enhanced practice and service delivery models. There are many examples of how law firms are doing this. They are employing allied, non-legal professionals in prominent roles. They are re-organising areas such as pensions, compensation and technology systems. They are partnering with third parties - even competitors - to provide solutions for their clients. And they are working to provide more flexible and fulfilling careers for their employees. This panel will look at the core components of an effective law firm innovation strategy and how to develop and deliver one.
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In-House strategy: aligning with the business.
An agreed upon thread in the in-house innovation discourse is the need to align with the business. But too often these conversations tend to remain in-house - that is - between lawyers. What does the business really need from in-house and external counsel? How can lawyers engage with business partners to understand, determine and develop flexible solutions to support business growth - moving from a cost centre to a value creator? And - conversely - what do lawyers need from their business leaders to support this? This panel - formed of senior level business people and lawyers - will discuss how they can better collaborate to deliver results.
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The rise of business professionals in law firms and law departments.
For law firms, advanced service delivery is a key way to differentiate themselves. To advance this, they are empowering non-legal, allied professionals - in technology, business development and product roles. In-house, similar changes are underway with operations professionals are becoming more common. There, they are focusing on enhanced systems integration and enabling better strategic alignment with their businesses. In this session, we’ll look at the role of business professionals in law firms and in-house.
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Defining, developing and executing an impactful legal technology strategy.
Technology is a critical component to any successful legal innovation strategy. Yet much of legal technology’s impact is over-hyped and visible results can be hard to measure. How can law firms and law departments develop a coherent, durable and cost effective technology strategy to drive their broader innovation agenda? And how can vendors work to align better with their clients to support their innovation agendas? Here, we will look at examples of how law and technology are converging to deliver impactful innovation.
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Demystifying the role of alternative legal service providers.
Alternative legal service providers are having a significant impact on the legal
sector. They focus on closer alignment with client objectives and re-designing how to deliver them. The remit of ALSPs is broad. They advise law departments and law firms on optimising their strategy and structures, provide tech-enabled delivery mechanisms and sell legal services. Others provide innovative financing and resourcing models. This panel will focus on how ALSPs are changing the legal landscape and the opportunities emerging from their growing importance.

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Notes from abroad: the global legal innovation scene (US, UK, Australia).
Outside of Canada, lawyers are facing similar challenges when it comes to innovation. In the US, the legal innovation story is picking up momentum - but it's not the only one. There are other markets - particularly the UK and Australia - where legal innovation is even more advanced than in the US. These markets - in many ways -  are more like the Canadian legal sector in their size and structure. Here, we will look at international approaches to legal innovation and what Canadian lawyers can learn from it.

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