Five great industry news stories from this week you may have missed.
Charlene Theodore, president of the Ontario Bar Association, has created Work That Works, a new podcast seeking to examine what makes for a diverse, healthy and productive workplace. Law Times reports the podcast aims to explore what is working (and not working) in legal workplaces, how to reimagine the manner of work and service to find an effective balance, and how the business of law can embrace change. The episodes of the podcast are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other major podcast platforms, as well as via the OBA’s website, which also compiles the resources that are inspired by the podcast discussion.
On this path toward digital transformation, the application of technologies like analytics and automation are growing commonplace within legal work. A recent blog by Relativity shares helpful insights on how organizations can rethink their approach to leveraging and understanding enterprise data. Find out how your in-house legal team can understand the facts of a case more quickly and reduce human error by implementing simplified workflows and reducing data volumes here.
Without a doubt, 2020 has been a year like no other. Osler recently published their seventh annual Legal Year in Review publication. In it, they say, "When we indicated in last year’s Legal Year in Review that 2020 was poised to be an eventful year, we certainly couldn’t have predicted the year we have had." The overview discusses the anticipated "K-shaped" economic recovery, the unprecedented increase in focus on diversity and inclusion, the shift to virtual hearings in courts across Canada and the rise of technology in law. Click here to read the full publication.
A student group at McGill University Faculty of Law is helping students explore the less obvious opportunities that could await them when they graduate. Through their Lawfully Uncommon platform, the group interviews and features law grads with unconventional legal careers. When looking for work, Caroline Schurman-Grenier, Droit Autrement/Legal Alternative (DALA) President, recommends law students to dive into the world of legal tech, as it’s a fast-growing industry in the legal sphere. For those who are not interested in legal tech, Schurman-Grenier says careers can be found in human resources, teaching, government and finance. Read the full article on Canadian Lawyer.
The challenge facing traditional law firms from artificial intelligence (AI) is not a lack of finance to invest in technology but having the right “human capital”, a study from Oxford University has argued. According to Legal Futures, academics found that AI would “augment the capabilities of human lawyers” while “generating new roles for legal experts” in producing AI services. Furthermore, although AI might replace lawyers for some tasks, it was likely to increase the productivity of those who remained. The legal profession had a “choice between two paths”: whether to “exclude more and more professionals with some legal expertise” or to “recognise within the profession some heterogeneity in specialisation”, such as in technology.