Co-authored by Thomas Connor, Technical Specialist, and Karyn Harty, Partner, of McCann FitzGerald, Technology in Practice 2017 Thursday Morning Keynote Speakers.
Instead of fighting the change that is prevalent in the legal industry, McCann FitzGerald embraced it by turning disruptive, cutting-edge technology to their advantage, and using it to support their expert legal advice to the ultimate benefit of their clients.
"The onus is on us to ask ourselves: how can we leverage these new and emerging technologies to create innovative and sustainable revenue streams?”
In March 2016, McCann FitzGerald launched its Data Investigations Group – a pioneering model for the management of high volume document review and agile resourcing. Since then, the group has grown exponentially and now houses over 60 qualified lawyers and technical specialists supporting projects across each of our business sectors, including disputes, regulatory, corporate and finance. As part of this initiative we also developed an innovation team who are responsible for implementing our ‘Design Thinking’ process when designing client facing solutions. This involves strategically trialing emerging technologies to meet ever increasing client challenges, which resulted in our partnerships with leading providers of artificial intelligence software including Kira Systems Inc. and Neota Logic Inc.
Our unique ‘design thinking’ approach to innovation allows us to assess where new emerging technologies can improve our own existing internal business processes, and identify where we can merge our expertise to develop client-facing solutions.
We encourage members of our innovation team to express themselves creatively and to come up with new ways to solve complex problems. One of the ways we do this is to take a human-centered approach to design, which allows us to design applications from the end user’s perspective. It also involves a less rigid approach to recruitment for our firm as our goal is to achieve an ideal mix of legal understanding with tech capability.
Law firms face many challenges when trying to develop AI solutions for clients, not the least of which is risk aversion, which can hamper innovation. To stay relevant in the age of the algorithm, firms must adapt. A recent report predicted that nearly 40% of jobs in the legal sector could end up being automated in the long term. Whilst this dystopian future may not materialize, the onus is on us to ask ourselves: How can we leverage these disruptive technologies to create innovative and sustainable revenue streams?
Cutting-edge technologies like augmented intelligence and Blockchain offer great opportunities for firms to create brand-new roles within their organisations and compete in new sectors of the digital economy.