By: Kathryn Marshall
The future of our profession is always a major topic of conversation within the legal industry. We live in an rapidly changing world, and the the legal industry must always be evolving to keep up.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Fred Headon, the Assistant General Counsel at Air Canada and past President of the CBA, who also happens to Chair the Canadian Bar Association’s Legal Futures Initiative.
This initiative is an ongoing project that studies the future of the Canadian legal marketplace and how it is evolving – looking specifically at how lawyers can meet the needs of a changing legal landscape. “Technology won’t replace the real value of lawyers, but it can help” says Headon. Some major changes in the legal marketplace include the increasing number of Apps and other technological innovations that help the public gain access to justice.
“As a profession, we need to be where our clients are” says Headon, adding that there have been significant changes in the market for legal services, and there are opportunities for lawyers to play a larger role if they can understand that change.
The initiative has conducted extensive research and heard from a wide array of stakeholders – from the public to legal professionals. They have released numerous fascinating reports, which you can read here.
Headon singles out some of the priorities of the initiative as technology and innovation, saying “lawyers are changing the way they do things”.
That is certainly true. Many firms are embracing technology and changing the way they do things – even though this sometimes means changing a system they have followed for 50 years,.
Others areas of focus for the initiative include education – there is currently a call out for proposals on how legal education can be transformed to equip lawyers with the skills for a changing legal landscape.
Time will tell what the future truly looks like for law, but fortunately the CBA Legal Futures initiative is there to help.