Future trends and impact to legal profession covered at Futures Summit
21 September 2018
All focus shifted toward the future at the Law Council's Legal Futures Summit which was held in Sydney on 13 September.
Law Council President Morry Bailes told delegates in his opening address of the need to maintain the fight for the maintenance of justice and take-up technology where it may be useful, but maintain the professional practice and skill set in very specific and deliberate ways.
“We need to be sophisticated, adaptable, alert to change but always mindful of our fundamental professional responsibility to uphold the rule of law regardless of the circumstances, and despite changing circumstances,” he said.
Close to 100 participants attended and put forward their views on:
- What is great about the Legal profession and, therefore what should be a key part of its future?
- In a perfect world, what role could the legal profession play in society and how it operate?
- Realistically what role can/should the legal profession play in society and how can/should it operate?
An illustrator was on-hand to capture the responses graphically in an inspiring and colourful way.
There were punchy and provocative talks on future trends likely to impact the profession and a panel which explored a range of views on the form legal services will take in the future.
In small groups, participants discussed the profession's present assumptions as to the characteristics of the legal profession which may prove untrue in the future and what challenges or opportunities this may present.
By live poll each group was able to present their top challenge and opportunity around ethical and regulatory implications of New Technology and Unbundling of Legal Services.
Participants were able to glean an international perspective from Jim Klotz, Secretary-General of the International Bar Association (IBA) who travelled from Canada to take-part. Mr Klotz presented “Drivers of Change” and spoke about how he perceived the changes affecting the profession and what the IBA is currently doing to respond.
The summit was an opportunity for thought leaders to explore these key national and international issues which may shape and influence the future directions of and for the Australian legal profession.
It was also an opportunity for the Australian legal profession to discuss ways in which it might best prepare itself for the foreseeable, and even unforeseeable changes that ultimately await.
The outcomes of the summit will assist the Law Council to identify areas of future policy focus to prioritise now so that the legal profession is at the forefront by having an actionable future vision for the provision of legal services in the future.