Latitude recently sponsored Vanderbilt Law School’s Summit on Law and Innovation (SoLI), which brought together many of the country’s most acclaimed thought-leaders and professionals from across the legal industry for a two-day conference in Nashville on April 29-30, 2018. Cat Moon and Larry Bridgesmith, in conjunction with the Vanderbilt Law School’s Program on Law & Innovation, organized this fantastic, sold-out conference on various areas of legal innovation focused around the goal to break down silos and build connections in the legal industry. Latitude’s President, Ken Clarke, and I participated on behalf of Latitude.
The session topics started at the law school level, asking how we can better prepare students to enter the ever-changing legal profession. Both through the speakers and in our small group conversations, the general consensus was a push to focus on practical, hands-on learning (e.g. partnerships with local businesses and law school clinics) and to integrate the law school curriculum by allowing (or even requiring) students to take courses within other schools at the university. The sessions then continued on to innovations in the practice of law, as well as a session specifically on legal technology. Process improvement and the operational side of the practice of law were a major focus, specifically with the rise of the now separate legal operations roles at several law firms and in-house legal departments. Innovation topics included alternative fee arrangements for clients and the decline of the billable hour, outsourcing of legal services ($10 billion was spent just last year on legal services companies like Latitude!), and utilizing technology in the practice of law to increase efficiencies. The star of the show was the increasing use of technology in the legal field, ranging from blockchain to Watson to chatbots that can rate – and communicate – a potential case’s value nearly immediately. As speaker Andy Daws, Chief Customer Officer of Kim Technologies put it, if you’re not on the AI train now, then you better figure out how to board it!
SoLI was an exciting conference on the budding innovations in the legal industry starting at the law school level to better prepare for the constantly changing practice of law, better serve clients in a more efficient, business-minded way and increase connections in the industry.
By Anna Gernert Carr, Latitude’s Director of Business Development