Digital disruption—continuing the conversation

Digital disruption—continuing the conversation

As 2017 drew to a close, LexisNexis hosted a debate on legal innovation with leading experts from across the profession. It was a robust exchange of ideas and we captured the insights here: 

One of the key points from the debate was the need to continue the conversation. The team arguing for evolution over disruption (who ended up winning the popular vote) argued that by monitoring market signals, the legal profession can evolve to accommodate change. An important part of this is dialogue – to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

To that end, we gathered our panellists again to follow-up in the New Year and addressed some of the audience questions that the panel didn’t have to time to discuss on the night. Dana Denis-Smith, Matthew Kellett, Rob Dinning, Kishore Sengupta and Mark Smith had a wide-ranging discussion on change in the industry; touching on legal education, the structural challenges and the fear of failure.

1.If lawyers’ mind sets need to change, do we need to look at their education?

The panel stressed the importance of teaching the principles of law and the ability to critically analyse and apply it. This is only going to increase in salience as technology further enables the instant recall and organisation of data. We should not be testing students on their ability to rote learn legislation and cases, but rather their ability to comprehend, analyse and assess the legal principles.

We should not be testing students on their ability to rote learn legislation and cases, but rather their ability to comprehend, analyse and assess the legal principles.”

The education needs to ensure it is assessing students on what makes an effective lawyer in the modern world. While the mindset of lawyer - the logical application of legal principles to facts - might not change; the practical methods of modern lawyering have evolved.

It is a truism to say that learning never stops. And to survive in the legal profession, your rate of learning needs to be superior to the rate of environmental change. This means that effective lawyers need to not be actively be engaged on the newest methods and developments in the industry. By keeping ab

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About the author:
Mark is one of the Dispute Resolution blog’s technical editors. He qualified as a lawyer in Australia and worked in private practice before joining LexisNexis. In addition to contributing to the Dispute Resolution blog, he also writes for a number of LexisNexis blogs, including the Future of Law blog.