3 Ways to Realize Your Legal Potential

FEBRUARY 18, 2021

The business world has seen an abundance of innovations. Netflix has made physical video rentals remnants of a past era. Wikipedia has created an international hub for easy-access information. And, Zoom has boomed communication and connectivity. 

 

The legal industry has followed suit in a growing movement to transform pockets of its legal ecosystem. As part of that movement, many buoyant conversations about the role of innovation within the legal profession have taken place.  

 

The Ottawa Legal Innovation Hub (OLIH) built upon this conversation in its first event, Innovation in the Firm – Legal Innovation in Practice Series, with Aaron Baer, Partner at Aird & Berlis; KC Miu, Partner at Fasken Vancouver; and Kimberly MacLachlan and Kathleen Leighton, Practice Innovation Lawyers at Stewart McKelvey. According to these legal experts, legal transformation requires investing in people as innovative lawyers of tomorrow. The road to that outcome starts with three simple steps. 

 

1. Chase your childhood curiosity and ask why.

Albert Einstein once said, “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” Einstein’s philosophy has merit in in legal practice, as the status quo is not inherently better or more risk-free than new approaches.  

 

So, ask yourself “why”. Why do we do things the way we do? Write down things you find odd or inefficient because your observations could lead to a new business idea or process improvement. And don’t discount yourself for being “new”. Being “new” is innately powerful because you bring a fresh perspective. 

 

2. Lead by example and mentor others to be more innovative.

Legal innovation is a long-term play that requires developing people, not just technology and programs. So, take the time to mentor others in legal innovation. Share articles, engage in events and discussions, and be receptive to feedback. After all, no one has a monopoly on good ideas. By your lead, you will inspire others in the profession to push the boundaries to make things fairer and better. 

 

3. Extend yourself beyond traditional legal knowledge and skills.

 

Clients today demand more cost-efficient and effective solutions that harness technology and business.  

 

To meet this demand, listen to podcasts from experts in other fields and uncover tools that can be adopted in legal practice. Advocate for legal innovation courses in your law school curriculum. Attend classes like the Institute for the Future of Law Practice bootcamp to learn about data analysis, project management, business and more. Through these classes, you can learn a new instrument that will join the legal orchestra to play a harmonious tune–from legal design, legal process, knowledge and project management, AI governance and more. 

 

As a student, you can jumpstart your practice in legal innovation by participating in OLIH’s first-ever Legal Innovation Hackathon. Come learn, collaborate and realize your innovation potential. Find more information here.