Clifford Chance Launches Automation Academy To ‘Break Down Tech Fears’

Global law firm Clifford Chance has launched the pilot phase of a legal automation training programme, Automation Academy, through its Create+65 innovation lab project in Singapore. The firm also hopes to expand the programme for its staff into Australia, Hong Kong SAR, and Mainland China in the coming months.

The aim is to ensure all trainees have a basic understanding of how legal documents can be automated by ‘breaking down the fear that many legal graduates, who often identify with being non-technical/non-mathematical, have around technology’, the firm said.

The firm will be using the ‘build it yourself’ no code legal bot platform, Josef, for this. Josef’s team of legal designers and technologists will support the initiative. Artificial Lawyer profiled Josef last year – see here.

The Automation Academy, which provides staff with a 12 week experience, is intended to give trainees a foundational understanding of how to automate legal contracts and other tasks using the no code platform, the firm added.

Clifford Chance Innovation Lead, Laura Collins-Scott, said: ‘This training will equip our future lawyers with the skills to identify automation opportunities, and develop, test and build ‘bots’ to solve real world challenges within the firm.’

Tom Dreyfus, Josef CEO, concluded: ‘These bots will automate lawyer-client conversations, the provision of legal guidance and advice and the production of legal documents, thereby improving both the client experience and the day-to-day lives of our lawyers.’

Is this a big deal? For Josef it certainly is. Having one of the world’s largest law firms effectively saying your software is good enough to train its lawyers on is a stamp of approval.

For Clifford Chance, the issue is more around them making a serious effort to train up younger lawyers in tech, and with a tool that provides a practical and useable outcome.

Also, the story is interesting given the previous article about law firms using no code toolkits to build applications, see Neota Logic earlier.