“Is it just me,” asks a regular CBA FuturesChat participant, “or is there greater discussion and interest on ABS and technology than ethics and regulation?”
It’s not just him.
Since the CBA’s Legal Futures Initiative began conducting its Tuesday night Twitter chats in October, the greatest engagement and participation came during discussions about innovating within the legal profession with new kinds of business structures, many of them made possible by technological advances.
“Ethics” seems an immutable concept, something for philosophical debate late into the evening rather than an action item – as Joshua Lenon, in-house-lawyer for Clio, said in the last Twitter chat of the year, lawyers are officers of the court with a sworn duty to the law as well as to clients. Full stop. The job of lawyer and membership in a law society bring with them a requirement to uphold certain ethical principles and professional regulations.
Technology, now, that’s constantly changing and opening up new opportunities for new ways of doing business, original thinking which leads to whole new business structures. There’s plenty of room for blue-sky talk – and plenty of evidence from people who’ve transformed those blue-sky words into deed.
Lawyers may have a well-deserved reputation for being averse to change, but at the same time there is obviously appetite for innovation, and evidence of creative minds at work in the Canadian legal profession.
It’s that appetite and creativity that the Futures team wanted to tap into with the consultation phase of the initiative. The public consultations wrap up at the end of the month, but invitation-only consultations with selected interest groups – small and solo practitioners, diversity leaders, innovators and students, to name a few – will continue into February.
Twitter chats will continue in the new year as well – not weekly, but we hope to do them monthly, to keep the conversation going, to keep adding to our knowledge base. We have enjoyed hearing from you, learning what interests legal professionals in Canada and around the globe. Meat or subtle flavour, it will all be added to the pot.
Leading up to the release next August of our second-phase report, we plan to periodically update you on what we’ve discovered so far. So stay tuned to cbafutures.org, and if you haven’t filled out our survey yet, do so. There’s still time to join the conversation.