FutureLaw 2024 with Valentin Feklistov

FutureLaw 2024: Exploring Legal Frontiers

The Port of Tallinn hosted the prestigious FutureLaw 2024 conference. This event, a hub for legal innovation, attracted 400 attendees from 40 countries eager to unravel the complex interplay between law and technology. It was a testament to collaboration, uniting legal experts, technology pioneers, and policymakers to shape the future of the legal sector.

While GenAI was a prevalent topic, it was not the central theme. Instead, the spotlight was on the transformative power of 'data,' which has become the lifeblood of every organisation – like oil in terms of value and sovereignty. Engaging with various GenAI tools can be intriguing, yet their potential is unlocked only with well-curated, processed, and managed data. It's important and inspiring for law firms to acknowledge this reality to benefit their clients, legal and support teams, and business prosperity.

Valentin Feklistov: A New Dawn for LegalTech

Opening the event, Valentin Feklistov, the organiser, addressed the audience with a powerful message: technology is not the adversary we once feared. Reflecting on lessons learned in 2023, Feklistov highlighted how legal tech has become a beacon of efficiency, enabling lawyers to achieve a harmonious work-life balance while enhancing service delivery.

Data and Knowledge Management: The New Legal Bedrock

The conference highlighted data and Knowledge Management in sessions by Alan Ragueneau and Aku Sorainen. They emphasised the critical importance of these components as the new foundation of legal practice, illustrating the need to effectively utilise data to establish new benchmarks in the accessibility of legal knowledge. However, the legal industry traditionally lags in using data for operational management and strategic development.

Nobody denies that the knowledge accumulated in lawyers' heads is the most valuable asset of every law firm and legal department. But this asset disappears daily and might not show up the next morning. Knowledge Management—the process of transferring knowledge from people's brains into an accessible repository—is crucial to staying competitive in the 21st century.

Adapting to Change: The Legal Sector's Evolution

Olga V. Mack's session stood out as she coined the term "nervocited," capturing the legal sector's mixed feelings towards AI. Her talk stressed the urgency for legal professionals to embrace technological progress to stay competitive. Adapting one's mindset and culture is crucial for transforming and thriving in a digital-first economy.

Investment Trends: Reflecting LegalTech's Rise

Pekka Puolakka's analysis of investment trends in legal tech ventures highlighted the growing demand for innovative solutions. He inspired professionals to consider investing in promising areas of innovation, indicating a strong growth path for legal technology.

He concluded with an inspiring message that the greatest opportunity in legal tech lies within the lawyers themselves, where they should innovate and create solutions that will benefit their practice of law.

Hybrid Legal Teams: Pioneers of Progressive Change

Dazza Greenwood's discussion on hybrid legal teams illuminated their essential role in driving progressive change. He illustrated how combining legal acumen and technological proficiency prepares teams to tackle complex issues and drive the legal industry forward.

Cultivating Talent: The Legal Industry's Lifeline

The conference featured insightful panel discussions on talent management, with input from law students, experienced professionals, law schools, and bar associations worldwide.

LegalTech adoptions are moving slowly because of the absence of technology-focused courses in legal education. If we continue to produce law students who have never experienced the impact of technology on legal work, the pace of adoption will continue slowly.

They delved into effective strategies for nurturing the legal industry's vital resource—its talent—highlighting the significance of continuous learning and adaptability. Students with basic knowledge about process optimisation and automation and familiarity with today's tools can become future change agents.

Legal Standards: The Universal Legal Lexicon

Damien Riehl's session on legal standards was impactful. He explored the essential task of developing a universal legal lexicon to improve transparency and efficiency. Riehl's concept of legal standards allowing practitioners to converse in a shared legal data language is advantageous for multinational organisations and research groups, easing the global journey through intricate legal landscapes.

Takeaway for Legal

FutureLaw 2024 was more than a conference; it was a beacon for the legal industry, signalling a new era of innovation, unity, and transformation. It provided predictions that indicate a future where legal functions are more integrated with technology, aiming for greater efficiency and adaptability in a rapidly changing environment.

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