What does the future hold for legal innovation?

What does the future hold for legal innovation?

In the legal profession one is often hit by the word ‘innovation’. At present, you cannot read about the future of the industry without coming across something about new ‘innovative’ practices. Many of these articles are focused around ideas such as: the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI), legal tech, new business practices and many more.

But many of these articles fail to cut through the hype and explain the true meaning of innovation, and what it really means for the future of the legal profession.


What is the true definition of innovation?


Interestingly after a quick Google to find the meaning of ‘innovation’ it appears that there is no one clear definition. Some describe innovation as something new—such as a new idea, process or product and others suggest it is ‘the action or process of innovating’—which by anyone’s standards is not a very helpful definition.

At the latest Legal Futures Innovation Conference Christie Guimond, co-founder of a network for women who lead legal innovation—She Breaks the Law, highlighted the same very fact that no one really knows the true meaning of the word innovation. She noted that even academics themselves tend to disagree on the understanding of the word and concept. However, she pointed out a key factor: that the true meaning of innovation lies in the eye of the beholder.

Innovation can be something and mean something different for everyone. Something old to me, may be brand new to you. It depends on circumstance and knowledge. Innovation moves at an individual pace, which is something that should be addressed when looking at the future of legal innovation.

LexisNexis believes that innovation is not just about something new, but looking at your old practices, identifying gaps and creating something better than what came before it. For LexisNexis, the key formula for innovation is:

Innovation = experimentation = not being afraid to fail = learning from failure and advancing/progressing from it


Innovation and progress


In the legal sphere, innovation can often be understood

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About the author:

Hannah is one of the Future of Law blog’s digital and technical editors. She graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in History and Politics and previously freelanced for News UK, before working as a senior news editor for LexisNexis.