Seminar: How is Technology Disrupting Irish Legal Practice?

A seminar discussing the impact of technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain on legal practice in Ireland will take place at Athlone Institute of Technology on Wednesday, 25th September. Legal practitioners and academics at the forefront of technological change and innovation in Ireland will deliver a series of talks intended to update students and fellow practitioners on evolving skill requirements and new career opportunities in the legal profession.

Among the speakers is Gerard Groarke, a Midlands Circuit Court barrister and early adopter of cloud-based technology for legal briefs, who will explore the relationship between technology and the bar, a traditionally conservative institution that has been slow to adopt new technological tools.

Following that, Fred Logue, a data, IP and privacy lawyer from FP Logue Solicitors, will discuss technology and transparency in litigation as a form of legal aid. Mr Loake has been involved with a number of extremely high profile cases, including Right to Know, a not-for-profit focussed on vindicating Irish citizen’s access to information.

Anne Marie Whelan, a barrister and founder of RegSol Ltd, a regulatory compliance company that develops software packages for companies to help them with their compliance, is to deliver a talk focussed on regulatory compliance and technology.

Client technology lawyer Denise Daly will discuss how A&L Goodbody Solicitors is embracing technological change and how it benefits clients as well as the opportunities this presents for the lawyers of the future. Ms Daly’s job, which entails coming up with technology-based solutions for clients’ legal problems, is a great example of a new role that has been created as a result of technological advancement.

The final speaker, Mark Potkewitz, co-director of the Legal Innovation Centre at Ulster University, will discuss non-traditional roles for lawyers and legal minded people as a result of evolving technology. Mr Potkewitz, who is currently also undertaking a fellowship with the University of Ulster, has seen huge growth in new roles for people with both technology and law backgrounds, including in data and security.

Following the talks, attendees will engage in a workshop to determine how legal educators should react to technological disruption in legal services. “It’s imperative that we respond to changes happening across the sector and adapt our educational provision accordingly to ensure we’re adequately equipping our students with the skills needed for the jobs of the future,” Alison Hough, barrister and law lecturer at Athlone Institute of Technology explained ahead of the seminar.

“Technology can be used to enhance legal practitioner’s work and is changing the job of the lawyer in many respects. In the UK for example, most legal practices are using artificial intelligence, smart contract technology and e-discovery whereas in Ireland it’s only the really big firms that have offices abroad that have adopted new technologies. A roundtable discussion detailing the needs of legal practitioners will be immensely helpful in determining which computer science modules or additional legal skills training we need to add to the curricula.”

This event has been funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Ireland. Click here to register for your free ticket.

An educational powerhouse defined by a commitment to academic excellence, rigour and applied education, Athlone Institute of Technology has enjoyed considerable successes in the academic arena this year, most notably being named ‘best in class’ for research across the technological higher education sector. Further solidifying its reputational prowess, the institute was recently awarded ‘Best Academic Partnership’ at the prestigious national Education Awards for its part in developing SURE, Ireland’s first academic network dedicated to promoting undergraduate STEM research across the technological higher education sector. These accolades build upon the institute’s success in winning the Sunday Times Good University Guide ‘Institute of Technology of the Year’ award in 2018.

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