Three things: first, thanks to everyone who took part in Legal Innovators in London last week and made it such a great success! Next, Artificial Lawyer returns to regular publication in April. And, Legal Innovators California takes place in June.
Legal Innovators London
This latest two-day event was our fourth so far in the City of London and yet again it was packed on both the Law Firm and also the Inhouse days. It’s always hard to summarise what happened across so many sessions, so many panels and presentations, among so many conversations, but a few things that stood out were:
- It was full of people doing real things. While theoretical discussions are important – after all, that’s where ideas that become real things begin – it was great to see so many teams showing AI (both generative and NLP) tools that had got buy-in and were fully operational. So, for example:
- Dentons and its fleetAI generative AI platform developed with Springbok AI and based on OpenAI’s LLM capabilities.
- DLA Piper and its Aiscension compliance tool.
- Robin AI, which is working hand in hand with Anthropic, showed off what its doc review capabilities can do now with generative AI – and totally filled the demo room.
- LexisNexis with its new gen AI research capabilities; DISCO, the ediscovery company, which has developed its Cecilia AI assistant; and ALSP Integreon which is working with generative AI-based The Contract Network. All real, all happening now. All creating value right this minute.
- And many more… in all cases the products and services here are real. They work. This is way beyond theory. This is making a difference. And many in the audience communicated that this meant a lot to them.
- It was very international. It may have been Legal Innovators UK in London with attendees from up and down the country, but we also had companies, law firms, ALSPs, consultancies, and audience members who were from all over the world. We had people from across several European countries, from across the Middle East and Asia, and of course plenty of folks from the US and also Canada. We’d very much like to keep growing that global aspect too, as legal innovation has no borders and it is not hemmed in by legal jurisdiction, even if case law clearly has a local dimension. As they say: ideas have no borders.
- It was fun, but seriously useful. Conferences should have plenty of great networking and enjoyable sessions. But, they’ve also got to be seriously useful to the attendees. After all, the law firms and corporates from where the attendees are coming from are businesses. There are major economic, compliance and risk issues to consider here. In short, what is discussed matters and should be at a level that connects to people in the audience who are grappling with chunky challenges and where the panels and presentations really make a difference to them. Again, the audience, packed with decision-makers, communicated they were very pleased to see this aspect.
- The number of partners and senior inhouse lawyers. One thing that you sometimes spot when you move from the world of legal conferences to legal tech events is the absence of lawyers at a senior level. In particular, one can find at legal tech conferences there is not a single partner-level lawyer from a law firm there – which seems mad when you consider they are the ultimate owners of the legal businesses that then buy legal tech, or work with ALSPs. However, at Legal Innovators it was great to see senior lawyers attending in the audience or speaking. Personally, that is very important and also helps to raise the quality of the discussions and increases the breadth of topics explored, i.e. firm owners, or senior managers of legal divisions, want to consider how innovation changes their business for the better – not just know how cool a new tool is (although cool new tools are great to see!). Legal Innovators always seeks to answer the question: ‘What does this mean for my business?’ (And, this conference focuses a lot on that because it reflects Artificial Lawyer’s editorial perspective.)
There is plenty more to say and many attendees have already shared their feedback online that covers much more than the above. So, thanks to all who have done that! Also, a huge thanks to the Cosmonauts team, which yet again did a great job organising the conference and making it run smoothly on both days.
To conclude: it was fun, there was some great networking, with refreshed connections and new friends made, but perhaps of most importance plenty that is directly useful was learnt and seen. It was also high-level in terms of the topics discussed and went to the heart of many business issues in the legal sector.
In short, it really felt this year that Legal Innovators has become the type of event I always wanted it to be. There are many other events out there that also have a legal tech component. Each have their own qualities and I believe that Legal Innovators is now a distinctive conference on everyone’s calendar that cannot be missed.
Artificial Lawyer Returns in April
Many have asked: when is Artificial Lawyer coming back in terms of regular publication of articles? The answer is April 10, 2024. It will be a rapid canter to Christmas, then New Year, and in the blink of an eye we’ll be heading for the Spring – which is when Artificial Lawyer will recommence coverage of all that’s happening in the legal innovation ecosystem – or at least the things that matter!
One thing that I’ve certainly noticed is just how rapidly things move in legal innovation now. Cycles of product discovery, testing, and then application (or not) seem to be moving ever-faster – even if the core challenges facing the legal sector remain the same.
Just take one example: Generative AI does seem to be embedding itself already across the ecosystem – and unlike NLP, a lot of the foundational tech behind it is improving at an incredibly rapid rate as well. In which case, by early June 2024, i.e. in just over half a year, there will be an enormous amount to talk about, see and explore again at Legal Innovators California.
Legal Innovators California will be held in the global tech centre of San Francisco again, in a new, exciting venue, and will once again be held over two days. We’re looking forward to this event already.
We are also – yep, already – planning Legal Innovators in London for November 2024! Given the success of this year we decided it was probably best to get our skates on right away to give those who like to plan ahead plenty of time to get involved so that they don’t miss out on what will hopefully be an even bigger event!
In both cases, if you’d like to speak at or sponsor the US or UK conferences, please contact:
See You Soon!
Right, that’s all for now. I am heading to Los Angeles for a couple of weeks to enjoy the California vibes and meet some old friends. But I’ll be back in London from December, so let me know if you’d like to catch up ahead of Artificial Lawyer’s return in April.
All the best and see you soon!
Richard Tromans, Founder, Artificial Lawyer and Conference Creator.