Written by Thijiba Sinnathamby.
On July 10 and 11, the Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ) and the Law Practice Program (LPP) successfully launched its inaugural Legal Innovation Bootcamp, offered to LPP alumni. Held at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson, our alumni participated in workshops led by experts in the field of lean methodology, coding, data analytics and design thinking.
As an LPP alumni, I felt that the Bootcamp provided us with the tools we needed to make our legal practices and training more in line with a 21st century approach to lawyering. This was the first event of its kind and for new lawyers, this was a valuable training opportunity to ensure our legal skills would be current and relevant.
On the first day of the Bootcamp, we had design thinking workshops led by Steven Gedeon, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at Ryerson University and Matteo Vignoli, trained in Design Thinking from Stanford University and currently a professor of Design Thinking at the University of Modena in Italy.
We learned what entrepreneurship in the practice of law means and how to spot opportunities and design a business model. Alumni were broken up into teams and were asked to create a customer persona and solve specific problems for that customer. This allowed our alumni to really refine and understand how to improve the customer experience in the practice of law. One main takeaway was to continue to ask “Why” five times in order to get to the root of a problem. Our first day also included an inspiring talk by Deloitte’s Conduit Law founder, Peter Carayiannis about the need to innovate and Mona Datt, founder of Loom Analytics, on the power of data and hints on ways to use it to our advantage.
Our second day opened with a lean methodology workshop run by Carla Goldstein, former Associate General Counsel and Director of Strategic Initiatives of BMO Financial Group. Our alumni were led through various exercises focused on how to create value for clients and eliminate waste in their legal practice. Following that, a coding workshop took place with Ryerson Professor Ahmed Sagarwala. Many of the alumni had commented on how accessible they found the workshop because they had limited to no background in technology, but were able to walk away from the workshop with a basic understanding of coding. I really enjoyed this workshop in particular because I always assumed that learning to code was something beyond reach, however, Ahmed ensured that we had a basic foundation before we left.
After lunch it was time to put our skills to the test as Chris Bentley and Hersh Perlis, of the Legal Innovation Zone, challenged our groups to use the skills we had learned to build prototypes for a more consumer focused legal experience. The Bootcamp finally finished with inspiring words from Joe Milestone, from Axiom Law and Caravel Law, on how he took chances and changed the way his firm serviced their customers. After the official conclusion of the Bootcamp we were invited for a LIZ Social, which included their startups and advisors, for an informal networking session as a way to celebrate the intensive two days and meet people from the other groups.
Overall, the two days were exciting and informative! I, along with many of the other LPP alumni walked away feeling like we learned valuable skills needed to keep our practices in line with 21st century lawyering.
For more photos from the event, check out our Facebook page.