Legal Geek’s aim in 2016 was to make London the best city in the world for starting a LawTech startup. The 500+ delegates who attended our inaugural LawTech Startup Conference last year showed us that the appetite amongst London’s legal industry for achieving this ambition is clearly there and we were super surprised by the international attention the event got so in 2017 we are expanding to promote LawTech adoption across borders with the Legal Geek Road Trip.
Or are we wrong and could this is this just be a London bubble? One that’s artificially inflated by the city’s thriving technology scene whilst elsewhere in Britain, the appetite for LawTech treads water?
The view from the Law Society of Scotland is ‘no’.
Last month the Society published a blog post titled: “Technology and the law: who, where and how?” which explored how the legal industry can get up to speed with technology – posing the question of whether change is best implemented by a young generation of tech-savvy legal professionals; or from the current leaders at the top of the industry?
What the article had no quibbles over was that technology is a coming force in today’s legal industry.
So Legal Geek endeavoured to pick the brains of the blog’s author Rob Marrs – the Law Society of Scotland’s Head of Education – to find out more about how the Society is supporting LawTech north of the border.
He told Legal Geek:
There was a recent survey of law firm leaders by BDO, which polled the result that 98% of partners at 50 national and international law firms see technology as a major challenge for the industry.
When polls such as this emerge you have to take note.
With technology being increasingly important to the Law Society of Scotland’s members, we’ve increased our activity in this area. Last year, we hosted a 24-hour hackathon for legal and IT professionals to come up with new apps and other online solutions to help deliver legal advice and services, and staged a major Technology and Cybercrime Conference.
We have also pioneered an innovative ‘Smartcard’ which provides a digital signature for our members and allows them to cut storage costs, exchange missives instantly, and submit documents online to courts and tribunals.
And just last week we hosted our first Intro to Coding event for members and we are also beginning to think about how we can accommodate legal technologists within the Society.
I’m confident that the Scottish legal profession is responding positively to the challenge of how to incorporate more technology into everyday operations. But this won’t just be achieved by coders, it will need to come from industry leaders as well.”
Legal Geek Founder, Jimmy Vestbirk, commented:
One of our team members recently blogged about whether law students should learn to code, a hot topic in education. It’s great to hear from Rob that the LawTech scene in Scotland is thriving. At Legal Geek we’d love to host an event north of the border in the near future. High Fives.