2023 Legal Innovation and Digital Law Conference examines the technologies and ideas shaping the future of law

Conference returns to in-person format for the first time since 2020

Carmen Rojas - 31 January 2023

A year ago, the prospect of Artificial Intelligence (AI) being used to write passable academic papers still seemed like a distant concern. Today, professors need to actively caution students against using programs like ChatGPT for their assignments. 

The organizers of the student-run Legal Innovation & Digital Law Conference are fascinated by these types of innovations and their real-life implications – particularly as they prepare to start careers in a profession that’s rapidly being transformed by technology.

The day-long conference, which is focused around the theme of “The Intersection of Law and Technology,” is being jointly presented by the Law and Business Association (LBA) and the Digital Law and Innovation Society (DLIS). It takes place on February 10 at the Lister Conference Centre, with the option to attend virtually for those who are unable to come to campus.

“We wanted to tackle topics that are practical, legitimate and timely,” says third-year law student Olivia Pietras, co-president of the LBA. “These changes are happening as we’re entering the profession, and it’s incredible to see.”

The conference features panels of industry leaders examining the benefits and issues created by advances in technology. Topics include AI and legal automation, ethical and privacy issues, as well as access to justice and corporate governance. 

It will be capped off with a keynote address by Doug Schweitzer, a senior advisor for technology, media and telecommunications at Deloitte and the former minister of jobs, economy and innovation for the Government of Alberta. 

Organizers hope to draw a cross-section of attendees – both students and professionals with backgrounds in law, business and computer science. 

“These things don’t exist in silos,” explains third-year law student Raj Oberoi, president of DLIS. “One of the biggest needs right now in the industry is for lawyers to understand tech people and for tech people to understand lawyers, to make sure that they can walk hand-in-hand into a better future without running into all sorts of problems.”

“Tech is growing so big in Alberta,” adds second-year law student Sereena Dosanjh, VP Innovation Conference for the LBA. “ I think it’s important for legal and business professionals to understand the potential and limitations that come with that.” 

From a law student perspective, Pietras points out that the conference will also expose their peers to the prospect of diverse careers that go beyond the traditional path of working at a large firm.  

The conference will end with a reception, giving attendees a unique opportunity to network with people from other fields. 

“Having a network beyond just other legal professionals is really important when you’re starting a career,” says Dosanjh.

“Building bridges between these worlds can really serve to make for a better future,” adds Oberoi. “I think the coolest thing would be if a business person, a lawyer and a computer science person got together because of this conference and it wound up turning into something bigger.”

For the complete list of speakers and to register for the conference, click here.