2020 Legal Innovation Conference

2020 Legal Innovation Conference: The Changing Nature of Law; Friday, January 17, 2020; 8:00am - 5:00pm; Timms Centre For The Arts; UAlberta Law; Law and Business Association

The Changing Nature of Law is the theme of the third annual Legal Innovation Conference, hosted by the University of Alberta Faculty of Law in partnership with the Law and Business Association.

The conference will focus on the need for the legal industry and legal professionals to understand and respond to the dramatic changes that emerging technologies and new modes of thinking are creating in the law.

Guests at the Legal Innovation Conference are the ones breaking barriers, pushing the limits of traditional legal institutions, and redefining the ways we think about the law. The event will bring together lawyers, entrepreneurs, academics, industry leaders and students to highlight the ideas, innovations and solutions that are transforming the legal world as we know it.


Keynote Speaker

Jonathan Schaeffer

Jonathan Schaeffer

Jonathan Schaeffer is a professor in the department of computing science and the former dean of science at the University of Alberta. His research is in the area of artificial intelligence, and he is well-known for using games to demonstrate his work. His checkers-playing program, Chinook, was the first computer to win a human world championship in any game (1994). He is co-founder of UAlberta's not-for-profit spinoffs Amii (amii.ca; Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute) and Onlea (onlea.org; creating engaging online learning experiences).


Panel Speakers

Mark Bowman

Mark Bowman

Mark Bowman is counsel at Fasken in Toronto, where he practises Technology Law. Mark is also a professional software engineer and founder of Meese Al, a legal technology company that creates various software tools that leverage artificial intelligence to help lawyers automate their digital tasks while seamlessly fitting in with their existing legal practice. An entrepreneur and avid coder, he is involved in Fasken's Start-Up Entrepreneurial Services initiative, supporting start-ups, early stage companies and entrepreneurs, and the firm's blockchain, cryptocurrency and smart contract working group.


Hero Laird

Hero Laird

Hero connects people to the institutions that govern our society. They are the Lead Pathfinder for People Exchange at the Canada School of Public Service. Previously, they have been chief of strategic partnerships at Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Digital Collaboration Division, foresight strategist at the Government of Alberta, and policy lead at the Ontario Non-profit Network. They are on the board of Volunteer Alberta and an advisor to Powered by Data. Hero studies at UAlberta Law and co-founded its Digital Law & Innovation Society.


Scott McNaughton

Scott McNaughton

Scott McNaughton is lead for the Regulatory Innovation Demonstrator Projects (Artificial Intelligence and Rules as Code) at the Canada School of Public Service. He has a background in design thinking, AI and policy and acts as the translator between the regulatory nerds and the tech nerds. Scott previously worked with Transport Canada, leading an AI project and establishing the Service Innovation Hub, and with the Community of Federal Regulators, leading projects and working groups with departments and agencies. He has held roles at Health Canada and the Department of National Defence in policy, program and administrative roles, learning the importance of how technology and client-centric approaches can transform programs, policies and services to better meet the needs of Canadians. He holds an undergraduate degree with joint honours in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Ottawa.


Jason Morris

Jason Morris

Jason Morris is a lawyer and programmer who operates the virtual firm Round Table Law. He is an interdisciplinary LLM student in Computational Law at the University of Alberta and a member of the university's explainable artificial intelligence lab. He was an ABA Innovation Fellow for 2018/2019, where he developed software to automate legal reasoning by analogy to prior cases. As a sessional instructor, he teaches students how to automate legal services using open source software. He is a consultant on legal automation with Lemma Legal Consulting, and the developer of Blawx.com, a cloud-based drag and drop legal reasoning automation tool.


Amir Reshef

Amir Reshef

Amir Reshef is the co-founder and CEO of dealcloser, a cloud-based legal transaction management platform for business and tax lawyers. Prior to starting dealcloser in January 2017, Amir practised corporate law at an international law firm in Edmonton. He received his joint MBA/JD from the University of Alberta in 2014.


Jennifer Raso

Jennifer Raso

An Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Law, Jennifer Raso studies how humans and data-driven technologies co-produce institutional decisions, and their implications for procedural fairness and substantive justice. An award-winning socio-legal scholar, her research has been funded by Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and Australia's Endeavour Fellowships Program. Her recent work appears in the Canadian Journal of Law & Society and PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review.


Scott Robson

Scott Robson

Scott Robson is an associate in the Calgary office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, and a member of the Securities and Capital Markets Group. His practice is focused on assisting clients with a broad range of securities and corporate matters, including public and exempt market offerings of debt and equity securities, mergers and acquisitions, and reorganizations and restructurings of corporations, partnerships and other entities. Scott is also involved with the BLG Business Venture Clinic at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law.


Kyla Sandwith

Kyla Sandwith

Kyla Sandwith is the founder of De Novo Inc., a legal operations consulting firm. She works with lawyers, law firms, and corporate counsel to reimagine how they work and deliver legal services. With a keen focus on process efficiency, technology and value, Kyla helps legal organizations achieve greater profitability, client service and professional satisfaction. Kyla also teaches Leadership for Lawyers at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law. Her aim is to help equip a new generation of lawyers to meet the challenges of the evolving legal landscape.


Rex Shoyama

Rex Shoyama

Rex Shoyama is an online development manager at Thomson Reuters, where he is developing new legal research products and enhancements to WestlawNext Canada. His background combines law, engineering and library/information science. He holds a JD and an MI (Library & Information Science) from the University of Toronto, and a BASc (Systems Design Engineering) from the University of Waterloo. Prior to joining Thomson Reuters in 2010, Rex was the assistant director of Osgoode's IP Law & Technology Program, corporate counsel at Yahoo! and an associate with a leading Canadian IP firm.


Kate Simpson

Kate Simpson

Kate Simpson is the national director of knowledge management at Bennett Jones LLP.

Prior to Bennett Jones, she was a consultant to many Canadian, UK and global law firms advising them in the design and implementation of useful, usable and engaging knowledge management solutions that benefited both the lawyers and their clients. She writes a regular column in Canadian Lawyer and holds an LLB and post-grad from the College of Law in London.

Eleni Stroulia

Eleni Stroulia

Eleni Stroulia is a Professor in the Department of Computing Science, and the Project Director, Integrated Strategic Data Systems with the Faculty of Science, at the University of Alberta. From 2011-2016, she held the NSERC/AITF Industrial Research Chair on Service Systems Management, with IBM. In 2011, as a co-lead of the Smart-Condo team received the UofA Teaching Unit Award. She has played leadership roles in the GRAND and AGE-WELL NCEs. Today, she is the lead of the AI4Society UoA signature area. In 2018 she received a McCalla professorship, and in 2019 she was recognized with a Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring. She has supervised more than 60 graduate students and PDFs, who have gone forward to stellar academic and industrial careers.