LawTech.Asia

Asia's Leading Law & Technology Review

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LawTech.Asia: Strategic Media Partnership with Singapore Academy of Law

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LawTech.Asia is proud to announce a Strategic Media Partnership with the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL)!

Through this partnership, LawTech.Asia will be qualitatively supported by SAL through its networks, platforms and information, for LawTech.Asia to be the portal on all things law and technology in Asia.

With a proliferation of publications and platforms showcasing legal innovation and technology in the Western Hemisphere, lawyers in the US, UK and the Europe have no lack of sources of information and inspiration to embark on legal transformation.

But what about Asia? This is not a space lacking in innovation – from the blockchain courts in Dubai, legal tech firms in Korea, to Singapore’s Legal Technology Vision, Asia has long been a hotbed for legal industry innovation. There is a need to share this innovation journey with the rest of the world – to let them know that innovation is an essential element of the DNA of Asia’s legal industry.

Commenting on the strategic media partnership, Paul Neo, Chief Operating Officer of SAL shared, “This strategic media partnership with LawTech.Asia is a timely one. It allows us to support a neutral and credible partner in growing and driving thought leadership in law and technology in Asia.” 

Huiling Xie, Head of Partnerships & Revenue in LawTech.Asia, said, “We are proud that SAL has chosen LawTech.Asia to be its strategic media partner. This is a testament to the credibility and quality of LawTech.Asia. We look forward to paving the way forward in the law and technology space with SAL, and driving Singapore and more broadly Asia as a hub for innovation in this space.

LawTech.Asia is proud to embark on this ambitious journey to cover and push the frontiers of innovation in Asia’s legal industry!

The LawTech.Asia Team

Legal Technology and its potential to improve client collaboration

Reading time: 5 minutes

Guest Post By Marc May | Edited by Josh Lee

“Legal technology” (or “legal tech“) a term that is incredibly broad and encompasses any technology or software that is able to improve the provision of legal services. Many a time, the mention of legal tech brings to the minds of lawyers technology that bring internal process improvements, such as improved legal research, contract review or drafting. 

However, aside from the promise that legal technology can free up time for lawyers so that they are able to build better client relationships, there are also innovative ways legal technology can help lawyers directly to become more collaborative with clients. Here are two ways legal technology could do so:

  1. Collaborative drafting; and
  2. Automation-as-a-service.

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Disruptive Legal Technologies – Is Ethics Catching Up?

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Written by Alvin Chen and Stella Chen (Law Society of Singapore)

Editor’s Note: This article was first published in the August 2018 issue of the Singapore Law Gazette, the official publication of the Law Society of Singapore. Reproduced with permission.

In December 2017, DeepMind, a leading AI company, sent ripples through the AI world when it announced that it had developed a computer program (known as “AlphaGoZero” or “AlphaZero”) which learned the rules of three games – chess, Shogi and Go – from scratch and defeated a world-champion computer program in each game within 24 hours of self-learning.1 What was remarkable about DeepMind’s achievement was the program’s “tabula rasa” or clean slate approach which did not refer to any games played by human players or other “domain knowledge”.2 Yet, DeepMind’s program was able to develop an unconventional and some say, uncanny,3 methodology in surpassing current computer understanding of how to play the three games.

Referring to an earlier version of DeepMind’s program (“AlphaGo”) which defeated the (human) world champion in Go in 2016, the legal futurist Richard Susskind considers such innovative technologies to be “disruptive”. In his international bestseller Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future (“Tomorrow’s Lawyers“)Susskind defined “disruptive” as something that would “fundamentally challenge and change conventional habits”.4

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E-Discovery: Artificial Intelligence & Predictive Coding – Discovering the Way Forward

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Written by Emily Tan | Edited by Jennifer Lim Wei Zhen, Josh Lee, Maryam Salehijam (Resolve Disputes Online)

Introduction

Cases turn on their facts. Lawyers depend on both the law and the specific circumstances of their client’s case to make a convincing argument for their client. This makes the discovery process, where the available information is sifted through to identify relevant evidence, a crucial step in any case.  

However, discovery is by its nature a slow and laborious process. Countless hours are spent digging through documents, emails and other such sources, searching for the key factors which may make or break a case. This “time-drain” has been exacerbated by the digitalisation of work, which has exponentially increased the volume of documents that lawyers have to analyse. In addition, it is typically the junior lawyers who are delegated to do the discovery task — which explains the television stereotype of young lawyers poring over cartons and cartons of documents late into the night. 

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LawTech.Asia – Internship Portal

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As part of our plans to help the development of talent in Singapore’s legal tech scene, LawTech.Asia is proud and honoured to announce the opening pilot of our very own Internship Portal.

The Internship Portal puts together internship opportunities available in firms and companies in the legal tech space. As a natural extension of our core product, the Portal provides a convenient entry point for students, lawyers and those interested in legal technology to quickly find avenues to develop their interests quickly and easily.

If you have been interested to explore legal technology for some time but are not sure which companies are offering internship positions, then this Portal is for you!

We will continue to develop the Portal together with our partner firms and stakeholders. In this regard, we’d like to sincerely thank Asia Law Network, the Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP), INTELLLEX, Legalese, Lex Quanta, and Rajah & Tann Technologies for partnering us in making this Portal possible.

The Internship Portal can be found here. If you are interested to find out how to have your legal tech company listed in the Portal, feel free to reach out to us through our Contact Us page.

Legal Tech 101: Journeying into Singapore’s legal technology space

Reading time: 7 minutes

Written by Tristan Koh | Edited by Ian Lee, Josh Lee, Utsav Rakshit

Student readers of LawTech.Asia would be familiar with interviews and opinion pieces available on this site on Singapore’s legal technology (“legal tech”) industry. Nevertheless, interested students may be curious to explore further avenues into this buzzing, high-tech industry.

Written from the perspective of a university student, this article covers several basic ways of journeying into legal tech in Singapore. While this article aims to be comprehensive, the examples raised herein are certainly non-exhaustive. The ideas shared here may also be useful for working professionals.

In our view, there are four broad ways of entering the legal tech industry: (a) developing skills, (b) enrolling in a relevant degree(s), (c) participating in legal tech activities and events, or (d) through writing.

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LawTech.Asia Quick Chats – Associate Professor Goh Yihan, Dean, SMU School of Law

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Interview by Josh Lee & Wan Ding Yao | Edited by Amelia Chew

In June 2018, the Singapore Management University (“SMU”) School of Law won a major grant of $4.5 million from the National Research Foundation (“NRF”) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (“IMDA”) following a competitive application process among several Institutes of Higher Learning in Singapore. With the grant, the SMU School of Law set up a new Centre for AI and Data Governance (“CAIDG”). CAIDG aims to drive thought leadership on AI and data governance in Singapore, and serve as a centre for knowledge exchange with experts worldwide.

LawTech.Asia received an exclusive opportunity to interview Associate Professor Goh Yihan, Dean of the SMU School of Law and Director of CAIDG. Here, Prof Goh shares his view on how and when technological disruption will make a major impact on the local legal industry, and how the SMU School of Law is preparing its students to face that disruption.

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LawTech.Asia in the State of Legal Innovation Report 2019

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LawTech.Asia is proud to have a place in the inaugural Asia-Pacific State of Legal Innovation Report 2019! We have been described as a “leading law and technology review that aims to be a thought leader in legal technology in Asia”.

The Report, which was released at the Stanford University’s FutureLaw 2019 Conference on 4 April 2019, is a product of the academic partnership between the Singapore Management University and the Singapore Academy of Law’s Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP). The Report aims to be an authoritative industry reference on legal innovation in the Asia Pacific, and comprehensively surveys the state of legal innovation in such jurisdictions as Australia, China, Korea, Malaysia, Russia, and Singapore.

Besides being mentioned alongside heavyweights and notable names in the legal technology industry, we are proud that our Josh Lee also served as the Report’s lead designer.

We would like to thank and congratulate the Singapore Management University, the Singapore Academy of Law and the Future Law Innovation Programme, as well as all who contributed to the Report for a job well done!

Get your copy of the Report at this link today!

Hacking Through the Gordian Knot – The LIT Hackathon 2019

Reading time: 9 minutes

Written by Josh Lee | Edited by Jennifer Lim, Wan Ding Yao

Introduction

It is a classic Gordian Knot. A legal industry that is highly risk-averse, and heavily reliant on precedents and traditional ways of work. Lawyers who are too occupied with work to generate innovative ideas, let alone implement them. Technology that is believed to be too inaccessible and alien to a profession that is beginning to struggle with disruption. All these, with the backdrop of rising costs, inefficiencies (and long hours), and barriers to access to justice.

The legal industry’s solution to this? The hackathon.

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Zegal 2.0: Product Report

Reading time: 6 minutes

Written by Tristan Koh, Utsav Rakshit | Edited by Josh Lee

Introduction

Zegal is a collaborative cloud-based legal technology platform that aims to transform the way legal services, such as document generation and legal workflow management,  are delivered. Formerly Dragon Law, it has come a long way from starting off purely as an automated contract generation software. Today, the platform integrates automated contract generation seamlessly with legal workflow management in the cloud.

LawTech.Asia was given a chance to meet with Zegal Singapore’s Co-founder, Stephan Hablutzel, and view an in-depth product demo of Zegal’s latest product, Zegal 2.0.

Stephan formerly worked as a top-level executive in several MNCs. From his frequent use of legal services in the past, he and the Zegal team have used their deep understanding of common pain points in legal services to create a product that is client-centric. In particular, Zegal makes legal services far more accessible to small and medium-sized companies and eschew the traditional reservation of full-scale legal services for large corporations.

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