LawFest - Key learnings from a key NZ legal innovation & tech event.
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LawFest 2021

New Zealand’s premier legal innovation and technology event

2Shakes were at LawFest 2021, were you there? If you didn’t make it, here are our key takeaways.

Takeaway 1

You will get a high return on innovation in two areas

Mary O’Carroll (Director of Legal Operations at Google) recommended legal professionals focus on these two key areas:

  1. Data: Capturing and utilising data to better understand and optimise.
  2. Contracting: If your new intake process relies on paper or email, you are ‘locking away’ access to the data a contract contains (See this article). 
Key Takeaway

Using technology to improve your onboarding is a huge opportunity. I had to put this as our first key takeaway. This is exactly what 2Shakes does!

Contracting will get digitised and revolutionised.

Takeaway 2

Navigate your technology hype

A recurring theme of the conference was the need to look at the overall picture when innovating. We heard this from a panel of legal and technology experts (Gene Turner, Tila Hoffman, Lindie Walsh and Sam Kidd). They recommended mapping the customers journey and the overall process, but also starting with small improvements. 

Focus on what is repeatable that you do over and over in the same way. Find what gives you angst. Start small, but just get going.

Rebecca Grant from icourts and Jeremy Sutton from Bastion Cambers talked about how tech is providing efficiency; how it allows for new delivery models for Lawyers. The panel after lunch of Helen Mackay, Julian Benefield, Rebecca Robertshawe covered this, as they discussed how they had driven legal change in their organisations.

Nick Whitehouse (Onit AI) talked about the challenge of trying to transform part-time, while still working in your day to day job. 

Dashboards are a Super Power.

Nick cautioned about managing expectations, while you navigate the hype of new technology. I really liked his model: Moving from the initial hype of inflated expectations, to the trough of disillusionment, then up the slope of enlightenment.  

You can’t avoid change. Including change in regulation. Jarrod Coburn from Portia discussed future changes for the Law Practitioners Act.  

Key Takeaway

Focus on using technology to find better ways to give your clients what they want, not what you want them to want…

The key change to understand is in what customers wantThe keynote speaker, Gus Balbontin, warned us if we don’t deliver to our customers what they want, we risk becoming obsolete.

I really enjoyed the example he gave from his time at Lonely Planet. He said that while Lonely Planet developed a website to sell people more travel books, trip Advisor were developing a website to help people travel.   

Takeaway 3

Covid has changed things for Lawyers

LawFest is a conference that knows all about Covid change. After all, it has been rescheduled for two years running. Change from Covid was a strong theme of this year’s conference.  

The need for ultra professionalism is being replaced by a much more human, more personal approachable way of working as a lawyer.  

 

Sara Cole Stratton from Tech Futures Lab reminded us all to let ourselves be authentic.

There is a deep discomfort of who we are in New Zealand. 

Under Covid, things that were previously considered impossible, became possible.

Even through we had no jury trials for 24 weeks, the NZ court system had more trials last year than ever before!

From using video conferencing technology to quick decision making, Erin Ebborn, Emma Priest, Julian Benefield, Hayden Wilson and Louise Taylor reflected on the changes. 

Grant Pritchard (Spark) talked about how technology can help to support the mental health of our teams.

Key Takeaway

You need to make a safe place to be uncomfortable, to explore innovation.

2Shakes at LawFest - Can we help you?

I hope there was something of interest or value for you here. Please reach out if you want to find out more, or if you want to see how 2Shakes could help you. Contact us and we can have a chat!

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