Impact of technology on legal practice - TUS Athlone to host national conference

Alison Hough, Senior Lecturer in Law at TUS Athlone campus

Alison Hough, Senior Lecturer in Law at TUS Athlone campus

The impact of advances in technology on legal practice in Ireland will be the subject of a conference which will feature a panel of experts working in the area, at TUS (Athlone ) on Tuesday, January 10.

Organised by the law team of TUS Midlands, the event ‘New Frontiers and Tech Pioneers’ will engage in creative dialogue and will highlight the challenges and opportunities created by legal technology.

Alison Hough, Senior Lecturer in Law and one of the event organisers, said: “Digital transformation is occurring in every area of life and the professions. The courts and legal practice are no different, and the skills needed to succeed in legal practice are rapidly changing. The event will focus specifically on the impacts of technology on the areas of access to justice, entrepreneurship and legal education, through a mix of short presentations from experts in the area and interactive panel discussion with the audience.”

She said that the pace of changes in technology has accelerated in recent years, driven by the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing digitization of workplaces and this has widespread impact on the entire industry.

“We aim to bring together a wide range of perspectives on the issue of how legal technology is affecting legal practice, as this is the new landscape our students will have to navigate,” Karen Costello, Solicitor and Law Lecturer in TUS, said of the event.

Mr Frank Clarke SC, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ireland, will open proceedings with a keynote address at 9.30am. His presentation will be followed by three panel discussions which will feature a range of expert speakers. This will be followed by an intensive panel discussion with the audience.

· The first panel at 9.50am will focus on Access to Justice. The panel members will include University of Galway Law Lecturer Dr Rónán Kennedy; Head of Litigation at Ken Kennedy Solicitors, Nap Keeling and Dr Brian Barry of TU Dublin. Discussion will centre on the positive and negative impacts of legal technology on the administration of justice and the rule of law.

· This will be followed by a panel on Entrepreneurship in Legal Technology at 11amwhich will feature some of the country’s leading legal tech entrepreneurs. The panel will consist of CEO of Vizlegal, Gavin Sheridan; Founding Editor of, Mark Tottenham BL and CEO of RegSol, Annemarie Whelan BL. Entrepreneurial opportunities that have emerged as a result of the development of disruptive legal technologies will be highlighted.

· The third panel discussion, at 12pm, will discuss the impact of technology on legal education. This panel will feature A&L Goodbody Assistant Knowledge Services Manager Fiona Lacey; Dr David Cowan of Maynooth University School of Law and Rory O’Boyle from the Law Society of Ireland. The panel will examine practical challenges and ethical considerations, in addition to ongoing research and scholarship in the area.

· Proceedings will be brought to a close during the wrap up discussion which will involve a reflection on the three sessions and final discussions with the audience.

“This event will be of interest to legal practitioners and in-house lawyers, as well as law students and those interested in the impact of technology on law and society,” Ms Hough added.

The event is open to the public and also the TUS campus community. Attendance is in person, on TUS Midlands Campus, Athlone and tickets are free of charge. Those wishing to attend should register in advance on Eventbrite at: Early booking is advisable, to ensure guarantee of a place.


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