First, I would like to start by congratulating the class on the successful completion of the Law Hacks presentations. I thoroughly enjoyed all the presentations which exposed me to some great ideas regarding legal innovation. I am excited to know that at least one of those ideas, Summons, is already on its way to becoming reality; I hope that more follow. As we look towards our future and the innovation of legal practice, there is a caveat to be considered.
In his article “The failure of legal innovation“, Jordan Furlong introduces the readers to the nature of the start-up market. Furlong points out that we live in the age of start-ups, a phenomenon that brings about significant social and economic benefits, but one which is characterized by the risk of failure. For every successful start-up, there are far more failed ones. As Furlong points out, the reason for failure is not always a bad idea, sometimes its bad execution, or worse still, pure bad luck. The point that he is trying to drive home is that there are immense challenges in the way of start-ups, which we got a taste of by getting grilled by the ‘dragons’.
As we learned during the semester, the legal profession is going through a transitional period as we play catch-up with the technological advancements. As much as it scary, it is a good sign that we have chosen the route of innovation rather than extinction. It is no doubt that the need of the hour is investment in bold and fresh new ideas. However, I would like to add one caveat to this process: know when to stop. As mentioned earlier, a start-up’s failure isn’t always due to a bad idea; there are numerous other variables that account for success. Therefore, it is important to know when to give up on an idea, lest we end up chasing down a rabbit hole.
As part of the first graduating class of L21C at TRU Law, we are well on our way to start contributing meaningfully to the transition. The challenges ahead of us, as lawyers, are greater in way because lawyers don’t like to be told that they have been doing something wrong, especially when they hold considerable power in terms of regulating the practice of law. However, incremental changes by way of resilience will make sure that we come out stronger at the end of every battle. As Furlong said “[o]ne LinkedIn or Uber is worth many pets.com”; let’s keep trying for our LinkedIns and Ubers.
Finally, I would like to thank Professor Sykes for putting this innovative course together and introducing us to the future of our legal careers.