09 December 2019

CLI Establishes Global Working Group on Lawyer Tech Competency

Published on 09 December 2019

The Centre for Legal Innovation (CLI), through its Legalpreneurs Lab, has launched a global Working Group to research the evolving trend in North America that requires lawyers to demonstrate competency in the use of technology. “We believe CLI, with its core remit being a think tank for the legal industry and supporting its transformation, is well placed to establish this global initiative. We want to understand and draw on best practice in the development of these requirements but also and most importantly, support a collaborative dialogue with outcomes that can be used to assist regulators and the practising profession in defining and developing their frameworks” said Terri Mottershead, Executive Director, CLI.

“The Working Group will comprise lawyers and allied legal professionals from jurisdictions that have adopted rules relating to this competency, those that are contemplating it and those that have not. In the spirit of legalpreneurship, with this initiative, we want to provide a regulatory sandbox and much more. There may not be a ‘one size fits all’ regulation about this or the need for regulation at all, but the discussions, deliberations and outputs of this Working Group will encourage the exchange of knowledge, promote experience sharing and provide guidance about this hugely important guideline for legal practitioners.”

“We also believe the depth and breadth of these discussions and the nature of the competency itself, requires the input of a number of specialists so, we have invited membership of the Working Group from lawyers, those working with and developing legal technology, learning and development professionals, academics, and legal educators and so the list goes on – everyone is welcome. We’re established in a multi-disciplinary, global collaboration focussed on proactively looking at something that has the potential to significantly change the legal industry.”

The initial Terms of Reference for the Working Group are:

  • To scope out the nature, type and origin of the requirements/guidelines/regulations relating to lawyer competency in technology;
  • To define the common key criteria/indicators of these competencies;
  • To determine if this competency is the same for all lawyers or is best described with reference to available funds, access to technology and the like (a progression and/or range of competencies);
  • To develop a framework of questions to be answered if or when requirements/guidelines/regulations are being developed;
  • To identify the consequences of these requirements/guidelines/regulations on such things as e.g. standards of professional negligence; and
  • To determine key areas for immediate education of lawyers so they might meet a reasonable standard of competency. 

If you are interested in joining the Working Group, please email us at LPLab@collaw.edu.au by 31 December 2019. We’ll look to kick off the first meeting via videoconference in early 2020.

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