CLI Innovation Week
18 November 2020

Your opportunity to shape the legal practice of tomorrow

Published on 18 November 2020

What does the legal practice of tomorrow look like? And what would you say if you were given the opportunity to help co-design it?

Introducing the CLI-ALPMA Innovation and Legaltech Week 2021 – a one-week conference that culminates in a very special one-day workshop. Titled ‘Building the next legal practice’, this collaborative, interactive full-day experience will empower you to take a proactive role in determining a possible future of the legal industry – and the future of your own practice.

The end is just the beginning

Facilitated by KPMG Australia Director Nyk Loates, the workshop will run on the final day of the Innovation and Legaltech Week. This five-day virtual conference (8-12 February) will be hosted by The College of Law’s Centre for Legal Innovation (CLI) and the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA).

Nyk says, “The timing of the workshop is very deliberate. By this point in the conference, we have a group of people who have participated in up to four days of novel discussions to shift their thinking.

“Attendees will have been given new contexts and ways of thinking, which will inspire them to build something that’s different.

“They will be ready to embark on this exciting, collective journey,” he says.

The day’s format

“The workshop will be very action oriented. It will allow everyone to have their say and share their perspective on the possible future,” Nyk says.

“It will be based around ‘collaborative sprints’… sprints are typically used for responding to critical business needs through a process of design, prototyping and testing.

“This workshop will have three micro sprints, between 90 to 120 minutes each.”

Taking a trip to 2040

“The first sprint will capitalise on the fact that the week has opened attendees’ minds to different ways of thinking. It will inject some newness into that conversation. This is a scan phase where we will look at a possible future in 2040, exploring how the world may have changed.

“We’ll then look at what could change in the shorter term and specifically within the legal sphere. This is all about creating new context for us all – before we co-design a potential future.

“The workshop will also incorporate breakouts so that smaller groups can look at the future through a particular lens – such as say, technology. They’ll spend 20-30 minutes ‘in the future’, discussing what could happen with that specific area in 20 years’ time.

“Then everyone will come back together so that each team can talk about the main themes that came up and how these will impact their practices,” he says.

Looking forward from a position of success

If you were starting from a blank sheet of paper, how would you create the legal practice of the future? This question is the premise of sprint two.

“Sprint two is a visualisation ‘backcasting’ exercise where people are asked, ‘If you were in charge, what would you do?’"

An alternative planning method to forecasting, backcasting involves travelling to the future and imagining the desired state.

“With this method we remove the barrier of, ‘I don’t know what will happen tomorrow’.

“If we time travel to say 2025, and I ask you to think about what your dream job looks like, how you’re working and the tools you’re using… your mind is suddenly liberated.

“You can’t get there from here, but you can get here from there,” Nyk says.

Coming back to the present day

After attendees look into the future, both far and near, they will be brought back to the present day.

“Our third and last sprint will give people an opportunity to pull the different perspectives together and co-define possible business models, people, processes and technology of the future.

“Attendees will then reflect and ask, ‘Given all this, what themes are we seeing and how do they impact or matter to me and my practice?’,” says Nyk.

Key takeaways for the day

At the end of workshop, the goal is for attendees to come away with a clearer picture of what the legal ecosystem might look like in the future – and what the roadmap could be.

“They will have thought about the challenges ahead for our industry and how to overcome them. They will also have considered the behaviours legal professionals may need to be successful in the future.

“And of course, they’ll then delve into how these issues will impact their own practices in the coming years,” explains Nyk.

Free – but in high demand

While conference hosts CLI and ALPMA have charged for events in the past, they decided not to do so this time. This is in recognition of the struggles legal practitioners are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic and, in keeping with their ongoing support of the legal community .

Keeping the event free means the two professional bodies can reach as many people as possible.

However, to allow for high levels of engagement and participation, workshop numbers have been capped.

When the first workshop on 12 February sold out, KPMG agreed to hold a repeat session on 19 February. This second session is also sold out – with a waitlist now in place.

Book your place today

Register online to secure your spot for the live program from Monday to Thursday (8-11 February) – and to join the waitlist for the second ‘Building the next legal practice’ workshop on Friday 19 February.

About the presenter

Nyk Loates has been designing and facilitating collaborative, engaging workshops for over 20 years. Never a fan of a cookie-cutter approach, Nyk bespoke designs sessions to focus in on conversations attendees need to be having.