Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Michael Bloomberg on technological disruption driving innovation

Michael Bloomberg delivered an address at Stanford University's 122nd Commencement Ceremony. During the speech, the former mayor of New York explained the critical role of new technology. He said:
"I started as a clerk at a Wall Street firm worked my way up to partner and loved every minute of it – right up until the day I was fired. But getting fired was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I had tried to convince the firm to develop new technology to deliver financial information faster and more efficiently. But companies, governments, unions, and schools tend not to like disruptions to their business models. And that’s exactly why new technology is so important. 
Technological disruption drives innovation. And the more disruption there is, the better markets perform and the harder it is for monopolies to survive. The idea that you can find a way to do something better, faster, and cheaper has driven American innovation for centuries."

Monday, 18 November 2013

Northern Ireland Bar Conference 2013

Richard Susskind with Brian Spencer at Titanic Belfast.
The Northern Ireland Bar Council conference 'Transforming Legal Practice Through Innovation' (preview here) was headlined by the eminent legal futurist Richard Susskind (@RichardSusskind). Ahead of his keynote address, a number of other esteemed speakers addressed the conference. Here they are in order:

Attorney-General John Larkin began by his address by admitting that he had not been at the forefront of transforming practice. He noted two errors that he and others have made:
One: That technology doesn't matter and we can get along with it. 
Two: Some have idolised technology and technological innovation for its own sake. 
John Larkin elaborated. On the first error made, he said: Those who ignore tech advance will soon realise the error of their ways in the exhaust fumes of their competitors. On the said error made, he said: The second is a subtler risk. Technological advancements for lawyers cannot be an end in itself. It can only be better so long as we can use it to better serve our clients. There is little value in wielding a technological masterpiece if we cannot be sure of its reliability. 

He said finally that: "We lawyers should also be solvers of problems. Seek better solutions. I commend this conference heartily as it takes its first step in that direction."

QUB alumnus and Supreme Court Judge Lord Kerr took to the podium. Lord Kerr began by confession. Until recently he said, "I couldn't think without a pen in my hand, I was a complete Luddite." But Lord Kerr is now a convert and advocate of technology as tool for enhancing justice and the work of legal practitioners.

Monday, 11 November 2013

The Irish Times - The sky's the limit for Irish legal eagles on Twitter

The Irish Times ran an interesting article by Fiona Gartland in the Monday 11 November 2013 edition of the paper under the title The sky's the limit for legal eagles on Twitter here. Fiona featured the experiences of three legal tweeters. Here's what they said:

Fiona de Londras (@fdelond) is a professor of law at Durham University and is a founder member of group blog humanrights.ie. She said:
"And it’s a way I can still contribute to debates in Ireland as well as in the UK, even though I am now institutionally located in the UK. I can engage with a Minister, or a TD or a Senator so easily through twitter and connect them into my research in a way that was previously almost impossible for academics to do,” she says. But she adds “you have to be quite good in figuring out how to boil a message down”."
Limerick solicitor Rossa McMahon writes on clatterofthelaw.wordpress.com said:
"I used to work in Dublin in a big firm where I had a lot of colleagues and now I’m in a much smaller situation and I find it quite a good way of keeping in touch with other people. Sometimes you know someone through it and then privately bounce ideas off them or see what they think about particular things."
Rossa McMahon commented on the business development potential of social media, saying: "From a marketing point of view, I couldn’t necessarily say that I gain anything specific, although I have gotten bits and pieces of work out of it."

Law professor at Trinity College Dublin Eoin O’Dell (@cearta) has written about law, education and policy on cearta.ie since 2006. He said:

"I consider that it is a very important part of my academic work to make my research and arguments available and to engage in discussion and debate online is just another means of disseminating research and engaging in discussion."
Eoin O'Dell explained that his blog posts tend to be “considered discussions” of 500 or 600 words in length. He also explained that his Twitter account is used to share interesting items with his 2,200 plus followers and to  respond to comments. He also said: "I think it’s a good thing and I think it is increasing the direction in which we are going."

Read the article from the Irish Times in full here. Read my blog post on Defero Law on the article here.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

We humans must upgrade our skills as regularly as we upgrade our technology

Ireland's 'Digital Champion' David Puttnam recently said:
"We as humans must upgrade our skills as regularly as we upgrade our technology." 
He continued: 
"Digital technology has fundamentally reshaped the world in which people of all ages make sense of, connect with and engage with society each other. Although the pace and speed of change can be bewildering the need to up our game is absolute."
"We are and always have been change resistant. This is troubling because I believe the world is shifting on its axis and because of the impact of digital technology this is happening significantly faster than most people seem to be prepared to acknowledge."
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