UNSW Law was excited to be hosted by The Law Society of New South Wales for the first Look Who’s Talking event of 2017, Technology & the Law: Opportunities for the Legal Profession.

The event featured a panel of experts in law and technology including President of The Law Society of New South Wales, Pauline Wright, UNSW Law Associate Professor Lyria Bennett-Moses and UNSW Law alumni Sapna Patel, CEO of ImmiAdvisor, and Lachlan McKnight, CEO and founder of LegalVision. The event was moderated by Associate Professor Michael Legg, an expert on the future of the legal profession and member of The Law Society of New South Wales’ Future Committee. The panel covered topics from innovative practice management, big data and new law to the automation of legal activities. The focus of the evening on how new technologies could be used to diversify and advance the careers of legal professionals.

The event kicked off with the discussion of innovative technology in legal practice and how it will shape the future of the legal profession. Pauline Wright discussed key findings from The Law Society of New South Wales’ recently released FLIP (Future of Law and Innovation in the Profession) Report to give lawyers a better understanding of how they can adapt and embrace change to ‘get on with the exciting work that is what clients want – advice and representation’. She explored how technology presents opportunities for lawyers to deliver a more valuable service and helps provide greater access to justice.

Delving into how technology can be used to develop new business models and enhance legal services, UNSW Law alumni Sapna Patel and Lachlan McKnight shared their respective experiences in creating successful businesses delivering unique services in the legal sector. Lachlan, described his firm LegalVision as a ‘tech-driven law firm’ that is achieving success through strategies adopted by most businesses but ignored by traditional law firms. Likewise, Sapna says she uses technology in every aspect of her business ImmiAdvisor, including the use of an AI assistant, data analysis, and to allow her staff to work anywhere in the world, resulting in increased profitability and market presence. Both pioneers provided invaluable tips on how to approach the practice of law in a more entrepreneurial way.

Associate Professor Lyria Bennett-Moses, an expert in BigData, discussed the advantages and limitations of technology. She said about the use of technology in the legal profession, “There are technologies that we need to take up, but that we need to take up with a level of understanding… Every law student should know enough about it to use [technology] carefully and properly and the profession as a whole should know enough about [technology] to use it critically”. This topic provoked a strong discussion around ethical considerations and how lawyers can use technology in their tasks without losing the human element.

Listen to the full audio recording of the event (below) to hear the invaluable discussion on the opportunities presented by the unfolding technology ‘revolution’ and how you can advance your careers now and into the future.

See also: Michael Legg’s article written for The Australian in June,  which tackled the challenge of “Robots replacing lawyers” or “Machines replacing lawyers”.