Foreword: J. Michael Bernard

J. Michael Bernard discusses how WSG strives to be an agent of change that helps facilitate progress.

Here at World Services Group, it is our pleasure to introduce you to the second in our series of GC special reports examining the present state of technology use by in-house legal departments around the globe.

Based on the stories and experiences shared as part of this report, there appears to be no denying that the use of technology in the legal sector is flourishing across Latin America. From blockchain-backed smart contracts to law firm relationship management software and everything in between, evolution is evident in all aspects of legal life – much of which is being driven by in-house legal departments. With positivity emanating and uptake rapidly increasing, the point of maturation for legal technology is not just on the horizon, but rapidly approaching.

As private practice lawyers, this means that we must also be at the vanguard of technological development. With the range of novel applications being implemented by forward-thinking counsel and their businesses, it is crucial that we understand the disruptive potential of technology in order to ensure that we remain relevant as trusted advisers in an ever-changing corporate environment. General counsel have made technology a business priority, which means that we must make it a business imperative.

Getting buy-in and leadership from all corners of the profession will be an essential component for long-term success. New solutions will require new thinking and, as the report reveals, implementing technology into legal functions is not always a straightforward matter. Considerations around the ethics of different innovations and the impact they can have on businesses and their legal departments is just one prominent example shared of the new challenges being faced by counsel of all walks. Oftentimes, these will have no clear and obvious precedent to follow, which speaks to the importance of engaging with members across the legal fraternity.

At World Services Group, we do not want to be passengers as our profession changes around us; we strive to be agents of change that help to facilitate progress. Partnering on projects like this provides us an opportunity to directly engage with thought leaders from across the legal world and glean insights into what the future of the legal profession may look like, as we collectively chart a renewed path for the practice of law and enable our member firms to add value for their clients.

Finally, I would like to extend my thanks on behalf of everyone at World Services Group to all of those who took the time to contribute their views and opinions as part of this project. The insights you’ve shared will undoubtedly ignite discussions and establish a dialogue about the impact technology stands to have on the legal sector – both in Latin America and further afield – but more importantly, help us all to consider how we can harness its potential for the betterment of everyone in our profession.

J. Michael Bernard

World Services Group

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