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"Despite its relatively nascent state, for far too long it has felt as if we are racing to understand what AI can do for us, rather than what we need it to do," said Stephanie Barrett at the 2024 Law Schools Global League Venture Day.

Taking place at Riddel Hall, the Venture Day is a competition for start-ups revolutionising the legal technology landscape. Organised by The School of Law at Queen's University Belfast, this year's event has been sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills.

Stephanie Barrett, associate director, Legal Technology (UK, US & EMEA) in Herbert Smith Freehills' Digital Legal Delivery practice, said: "When it comes to placing bets on the legal technology that will best serve clients' needs, it starts with user cases, questions about what problems need to be solved and how technology can provide an answer. After all, even the shiniest new tech can be dulled and tarnished if left on the shelf through as a result of poor development and low rates of adoption."

The competition will see startups working on cyber, due diligence, generative AI and other areas of emerging tech pitch their ideas to a panel of industry experts including Stephanie. She adds: "Over many years, our own experience has taught us that successfully embedding and deploying legal technology involves multi-disciplinary teams and rigorous planning. As with all new legal technologies which have come before it, Generative AI will certainly develop at pace and will only be as effective as the people and processes built around it. 

Lyn Harris, a partner in Herbert Smith Freehills' digital legal delivery practice is one of the panel of judges for the competition. Their role will be to identify three finalists who will go forward to a Global Venture Day final in Madrid, later this year. She concludes: "The onus is not just on the technology to succeed. The digital lawyer of the future will need to embrace technology and the future legal technologist will be a role which will grow in importance. This fusion of technology, law and tech skillsets will see the blending of artificial and emotional intelligence, paving the way for law firms to open their future doors to non-legal skillsets and a broader range of talent."

Key contacts

Stephanie Barrett photo

Stephanie Barrett

Associate Director, Legal Technology (UK, US and EMEA), London

Stephanie Barrett
Lyn Harris photo

Lyn Harris

Partner, Legal (Disputes) - UK, US and EMEA and Digital (Legal Technology) - Global, Belfast

Lyn Harris

Media contact

For further information on this news article, please contact:

Mike Petrook

Communications Manager

London

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London Europe Belfast (ALT) Digital Legal Delivery Stephanie Barrett Lyn Harris