Lawyers have called for the adoption of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in legal practice. The appeal was made at a symposium organized by Odujinrin and Adefulu, a commercial law firm that recently commemorated its golden jubilee heroes in Lagos.
The symposium is labeled “The Future of the Legal Profession: The Next 50 Years”. “The seminar aims to positively advance the legal business in Nigeria,” said Damilola Adetunji, head of the firm’s corporate finance practice, in his opening statement.
In his keynote address, author of the best-selling The Future of Professions (2015) and A World Without Work (2020), Ph.D. Daniel Susskind encourages legal professionals to embrace technology, not see it as the enemy.
He points to the need for early education, especially in law school. “Today’s world is so digitalized that many legal professionals often fear that they may be useless in the near future. That’s why law schools offer flexibility or opportunities for professionals to retrain and relearn throughout their careers The importance of skills,” he suggested.
Susskind, who also joined a distinguished group of practitioners in a presentation titled “The Business of Law Through the Years”, said: “A more useful way of predicting the future is to think about how we provide services to clients who use technology, so the legal profession People need to be more customer-centric.”
Discussing further how the practice of business law has evolved over the years, the panel was comprised of Managing Partners Odujinrin and Dr Adefulu. Adeoye Adefulu as Moderator, Principal Partner, Shan Consulting, Sylvia Nzekwu; Founding Partner of George Etomi and Partners, Mr. George Etomi; Founding Partner, Gbite Adeniji ENR Advisory; Andrew Skipper, Chair, Africa Practice; Hogan Lovells, General Counsel, First Exploration and Petroleum Development Company Limited and Defolu Olufon.
When asked how commercial lawyers can better serve their clients, Adeniji said: “The practice of law is not what it used to be. There is always room for specialists, but you have to know how to speak the language of the profession because clients are looking for custom solutions to their problems.”
Olubukola Olabiyi, head of the firm’s corporate business practice, moderated the second panel discussion on “Post-Pandemic: Navigating the Digital Age”.
The panel of prominent experts included Moe Odele, Founder of Vazi Legal; Rotimi Ogunyemi, Co-Chairman of Digital NBA and Feizin Amlani, Co-Founder/CEO of Excellent Consulting.
They discussed technology’s impact on legal practice post-pandemic. Touching on the topic, Amrani said that while lawyers may be experts in various fields, some of them don’t have a core knowledge of marketing because they didn’t study it in law school.
Lawyers, as rainmakers for their firms, must use social tools to make connections and attract clients to their firms, he said.