The Harvard Legal Technology Symposium

From The Practice January/February 2019
Highlighting key stories about the profession you may have missed

As we explore in “Marketplace of Ideas,” technology is not the same as innovation. Nevertheless, technological advancements have inarguably expanded the bounds of what is possible in the legal profession. This past November, legal innovators and practitioners met at Harvard Law School to examine how lawyers can use—and already are using—technology as a tool for innovation. The Harvard Legal Technology Symposium—a collaboration between the Harvard Association of Law and Business, the Center on the Legal Profession, the Library Innovation Lab, the Journal of Law and Technology, the Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project, and the Harvard Law and Technology Society—featured panels on technology in law firms, technology in corporate legal departments, new legal roles, and natural language processing, as well as a workshop on using artificial intelligence (AI) in contracts. Below we have included the full video of some of those sessions.

The Next Generation Lawyer. Professor David B. Wilkins moderates a panel with three distinct vantage points on the legal profession of tomorrow—the associate general counsel of a major company, the chief legal personnel and development officer of a major law firm, and the chief technology officer of a technology company—to discuss what is driving innovation in law and what obstacles are impeding it.

Using AI and Data in Contracts. The cochairs of the Harvard Legal Technology Symposium, who also work at AI startup Evisort, host a workshop focused on the intersection of contracts and AI. The session works off a case study about their company—“Evisort: An A.I.-Powered Start-up Uses Text Mining to Become Google for Contracts”—to discuss how to solve contract problems with and without machine learning and what type of data is used in the process.

Technology in Legal Departments. Four general counsel and a CEO join this discussion organized by the Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project. Topics include how panelists incorporated new technology at their companies, how it changed their lawyers’ work, how it augments legal work at in-house legal departments versus large law firms, and where panelists see it going in the future.

Natural Language Processing Technology and Law. A panel of four—including a general counsel, a CEO of a legal analytics company, a CTO of a company that produces AI tools, and a Harvard access to justice and technology fellow—discuss some of the roles AI and natural language processing play in the law and where it has the potential to go.