Our experience at Legal Geek 2023

As we approach the end of 2023, it is time to take stock: what have we achieved with JuriBlox and how do we look to the year ahead? I would like to take you through the journey of our organisation.

My most recent work trip took me to London, where I had the chance to immerse myself in the world of Legal Tech at Legal Geek. As Europe’s largest Legal Tech conference, this event proved to be an enlightening experience full of interesting speakers, discussions and meetings.

The AI madness

As I walked around the crowded conference room, I could not help but notice that one predominant theme, as expected, took centre stage: artificial intelligence (AI) and its increasing role in the legal field. I had fascinating discussions and listened to many interesting 10-minute speeches on the subject. The endless possibilities and limitations of AI are explored, with the aim of discovering the most effective applications of this transformative technology within the legal field.

Many possible applications are discussed, such as contract review, contract management in the form of a chatbot, e-discovery, knowledge management and optimisation, translation, document formatting/compilation and AI as a vast legal knowledge base. The possibilities seem endless, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty about how the enormous potential of AI will be applied.

Some argue that AI should be used for all the simple, repetitive tasks that lawyers and solicitors did not choose the profession to do, leaving more time for real ‘human work’. On the contrary, others advocate the use of AI in complex cases because AI can process all the information and provide insight in a fraction of the time.

While there is no single definition of what AI should do, there is agreement on the hierarchy in the future legal sector: AI will not replace lawyers/lawyers, but will support and improve them. It seems only a matter of time before lawyers/lawyers who do not embrace AI will be sidelined.

Document automation and CLM: Silent heroes

Amidst the AI hype, there was another topic that clearly came to the fore; Document Automation or CLM. Tools and ways to make the document process better, faster and more efficient. Interestingly, many of these tools also implement an AI element. In some cases, it is questionable whether it actually adds value or is more of a marketing strategy. The tendency now seems to be that document creation or automation is already ‘old’ in nature. Certainly not the hip and sexy edge that AI does offer. There is a wide range of proven tools out there, so why isn’t every law firm or corporate legal department using a document process tool?

What became clear to me was the fact that technology itself is not the thing holding us back. Instead, the real challenge is to successfully put these tools into practice and get people and organisations on board.

After talking to several providers and industry experts, it became clear that having access to advanced technology is just one piece of the puzzle. The real obstacle is getting individuals, teams and organisations excited and empowered to take full advantage of these innovative and powerful tools. While many promises have been made about the transformative potential of these technologies, a concrete roadmap for turning these promises into reality seemed to be lacking.

By creating awareness and providing appropriate training, we can help individuals understand the immense potential and benefits of these tools. In essence, it is not just about acquiring cutting-edge technology; it is about knowing how to use it effectively to bring about real change in the legal profession.

The conference was proof that, in the ever-changing landscape of legal tech, the ‘how’ is as important as the ‘what’.

What next:

While we get caught up in the excitement around AI and its potential, it is crucial not to forget what is already proven and works practically: document creation and automation. These tools have proven themselves valuable to businesses and organisations around the world. They have streamlined processes, increased efficiency and reduced costs.

Understandably, the spotlight is now on AI, with all its promise and potential. But let’s not forget that implementing new technologies like AI can be challenging. In practice, implementing already existing tooling is already proving to be a huge challenge. We need to think not only about “what” we can do with AI, but also about “how” we can implement and leverage it in a way that actually adds value.

Instead of continuing to stare at the latest shiny objects, we need to strike a balance between exploring new technologies like AI and optimising what we already have. Document creation and automation can still offer much more than we currently exploit. It is time to bring these quiet heroes of the tech world back into the limelight and invest in the training and awareness needed to use them effectively.


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