To Infinity and Beyond:

how technology and innovation can transform access to justice

“Robots in suits”, “the uberisation of the legal services market”, “thinking like a Kardashian” and “making science fiction a reality” are just some of the engaging topics being discussed, debated and analysed at the Law Society of NSW’s annual Future of Law and Innovation in the Legal Profession (FLIP) Conference and Innovation Dinner at the Sydney Hilton on Thursday 25 July 2019.

The Law Society of NSW has announced a stellar program for the FLIP conference featuring more than 50 Australian and international leaders in law, innovation and technology, including legal futurists Professor Richard Susskind OBE and Mitchell Kowalski.

More than 600 lawyers, innovators and technologists will attend the FLIP Conference and Innovation Dinner, alongside stalwarts of the Australian legal system including former High Court Justice, Michael Kirby, and Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, Melissa Perry.

President of the Law Society of NSW, Elizabeth Espinosa, said the conference program will empower members of the profession to re-think how they provide legal services and at the same time, provide them with the skills to harness technology and innovation.

“The legal profession is in the middle of what is being referred to the next industrial revolution,” she said.

“As the use of legal technology products picks up pace, it is important that lawyers understand and anticipate how technology will affect the way they practise law, provide access to justice and, in turn, understand how their clients use technology.

“We see it as the Law Society’s role to make sure that members of the legal profession can adapt to this rapidly changing legal landscape and re-imagine how they will provide legal services.”

Highlights of the 2019 FLIP Conference & Innovation Dinner program include:

  • Canadian professor/author Mitch Kowalski will open the conference with his keynote speech on “Lawyering in 2050: Robots in Suits or Just a Slightly Better Version of 2019?”
  • Professor Richard Susskind OBE will present (via webcast) on “How lawyers can prepare their business mindsets for the future”.
  • Shara Evans, CEO, Market Clarity on “Making science fiction our reality” - how drones, robots, AI and 3D printing are changing society.
  • “The reality of artificial intelligence” panel discussion with The Honourable Justice Melissa Perry, Federal Court of Australia, NSW Privacy Commissioner, Samantha Gavel and Chair, Standards Artificial Intelligence Committee, Aurelie Jacquet.
  • A Great Debate on the impending uberisation of the legal services market, with the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG as the adjudicating judge. Team leaders are President of the Law Society of NSW, Elizabeth Espinosa, and NSW Legal Services Commissioner, John McKenzie.
  • A panel discussion on “Digital transformation and institutional integration in our courts” featuring a range of speakers from the courts, regulators and police.
  • The latest research from the Law Society’s FLIPStream project with UNSW Law.
  • An “Emerging Technology Lounge” where technology-focused legal start-ups can showcase the newest technology product shaping the evolution of the practice of law in Australia.
  • A Law Tech Theatre featuring bite-sized pitches by providers of legal tech products.
  • The “Today and Tomorrow Alley”- an interactive walk-through display showcasing some of the most exciting technology products forecast to make lawyers’ work easier in coming years. Participants will put on headphones and be able to see, hear and experience predictions for life as a lawyer in the decades up to 2050.

“This thought-provoking and immersive program will give delegates the tools to survive and thrive in an everchanging legal landscape,” Ms Espinosa.

“The FLIP Conference is part of the Law Society’s ongoing commitment to prepare lawyers for a dynamic and exciting future.”

The FLIP Conference will conclude with an “Innovation Dinner” with Mitch Kowalski as the guest speaker and the finalists of the #InnovateLaw2019 hackathon presenting their solutions to real life challenges set by the Supreme Court and the Law Society.

The winner of each challenge will be announced at the Innovation Dinner.