Should Your Firm Create a Legal Tech Summer Associates Program?
BigLaw generally leads the way in adapting legal tech, but any law firm can teach aspiring lawyers a thing or two about it.
Consider Reed Smith, a global law firm with more than 1,800 attorneys. The firm is offering summer programs for law students to create technology-driven solutions to legal problems.
It's a boon to young workers who otherwise end up in the doldrums of discovery or other mundane tasks, so why shouldn't your firm innovate, too? After all, it's not like teaching old dogs new tricks.
Legal Tech Associates
At Reed Smith, the summer associates will split their time between developing legal traditional skills and working with a practice innovation team.
In addition to traditional research, writing and other routine work, they will work on projects to enhance legal service delivery through technology, the firm said in a press release.
The firm expects 60 summer associates to take positions in Chicago, London, and Pittsburgh. Casey Ryan, the firm's global head of legal personnel, said "the capacity to innovate is becoming indispensable to the practice of law."
Law schools are already training students in legal tech, including clinical programs. Stanford, Chicago, Michigan have invested heavily in legal innovation and technology education.
Legal Tech Landscape
Legal tech is changing the legal landscape, according to leaders in the field. The Association of Legal Technologists held its inaugural conference this year to bring law firms and tech providers together.
Margarat Hagan, the keynote speaker, is an example of the "technolution" in the profession. While she was studying at Stanford Law School, she designed a learning program.
Now she directs the legal design lab at Stanford, where she teaches how to design legal products and services.
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