How technology is changing access to law and justice ~ 30 years on
The Law Society of NSW launched a regional roadshow in Newcastle today (Saturday, 16 March 2019) aimed at preparing the legal profession for what’s been called the “next industrial revolution”.
The Future of Law & Innovation in the Legal Profession (FLIP) Regional Roadshow is the latest in a series of NSW Law Society initiatives aimed at helping solicitors to harness and adapt to the technology and innovation that is sweeping the legal profession.
More than 80 solicitors from the Newcastle, Hunter, mid-North Coast and Central Coast region have registered to attend the FLIP Regional Roadshow. Similar FLIP Roadshows will also be held in Wollongong, Dubbo and Byron Bay in April and May this year.
The first-ever FLIP Regional Roadshow will be held at the Novotel Newcastle Beach on Friday 15 March from 2pm – 6pm with the following speakers:
• Law Society President, Elizabeth Espinosa
• Professor Lyria Bennett Moses, Director, Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation,
• Peter Dombkins, Head of Legal Project Management, Gilbert + Tobin
• Malcolm Heath, Legal Risk Manager, Lawcover
Topics to be covered will span from leveraging technological innovation, new media, legal project management, and cyber risk.
According to NSW Law Society President, Elizabeth Espinosa, the response to the Newcastle FLIP Roadshow confirms that local solicitors are thirsty for information about technology and innovation and how it will benefit clients and members of the community.
Earlier this week, the world reached a significant milestone – the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web,” Ms Espinosa said.
Three decades later, more than 50% of the world’s population is online and there are more than two billion websites, worldwide.
The way we have used technology to work and connect has changed beyond recognition in the past 30 years.
In the legal profession, we are seeing a convergence of so many powerful new legal technology innovations, each creating opportunities and challenges for how solicitors can serve their clients and how the community can access justice.
As the use of legal technology picks up pace, it is important that solicitors understand and anticipate how technology will affect the way they practice law and, in turn, understand how their clients use technology.
Digital innovation can offer huge potential for lawyers to support them and reach more people as well deliver better and more cost-efficient client services.”
Ms Espinosa said the Law Society’s inaugural 2018 FLIP Hackathon event, held in Sydney over the course of just one weekend, illustrated how legal technology can be used to benefit consumers and improve access to justice, especially for disadvantaged and vulnerable people.
The Law Society’s Hackathon event saw teams comprised of students, legal techs and the legal profession work to solve real-life challenges, set by the Supreme Court and Justice Connect,” she said.
In responding to the Supreme Court challenge (to use technology to develop faster, cheaper and more accurate interpreter services for court users of non-English speaking background), the winning team created an “Uber-like” app, which provides interpreters to courtrooms, when required, on demand, both via video link and in person.
The app is like Uber in that you can see where an interpreter is in real time to determine if they are available to visit a court or do a video conference,” she says.
The advantage of this app, when compared to existing court interpreter services, is that it facilitates a direct connection between interpreters and those requiring their services.
Currently when a client turns up in court who has limited or no English, court proceedings have to be adjourned while an interpreter is located. This can result in cases being delayed for weeks on end and additional court costs for the client.
This app is an example of how technology can be used in an innovative way for the benefit of all involved in the justice system.