University of Denver

Australian Legal Technology Carving Its Own Path

IAALS Intern

aus_tech.jpg

Technological advances in the legal field are growing around the world, but different countries are seeing that growth manifest at different speeds and in different ways. In the United States, we’ve seen a boom in technologies that improve the exchange of data through trends like e-discovery and technologies that improve court processes like online dispute resolution. In Australia, legal technology is just beginning to explode, and very quickly, as described in a recent Legaltech News article.

Australia’s legal technology boom has taken a different path than in the United States; where U.S. legal technology companies tend to focus on e-discovery, Australian legal technology companies are more focused on data analytics insight and increased collaboration. Former Supreme Court of Victoria Justice Peter Vickery said of the recent boom in legal technology down under was brought on by the “document tsunami” facing Australian litigants today.

“The wisdom enshrined in the English-language proverb ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ rings true. The primary driving force has been the sheer volume of documents generated by computers on a daily basis in large enterprises or in the course of large commercial or development projects. The volumes are unprecedented and in some cases are staggering.”

These changes have led to the creation of new positions like “innovation manager” in corporate legal departments. Positions like these are still more plentiful in the United States, but Australia is catching up.

“It has been noticeable how many people have been appointed to dedicated legal ops roles in the last year, and I expect that trend to continue,” said Sheldon Renkema, general manager for legal in an Australian conglomerate.

Heather Buchanan is a third-year law student at the University of Colorado Law School and contributes to the IAALS blog. Please direct inquiries about this post to iaals@du.edu.