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Nov Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE 881 VOL. 75 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2017 PETER A. ALLARD SCHOOL OF LAW FACULTY NEWS By Dr. Cristie Ford* INNOVATION AND THE FUTURE OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION Every day on my walk down the hallway to my office in Allard Hall, I pass by a plaque dedicated to the founding dean of the law school, George F. Curtis, OC, OCB, Q.C. On that plaque, he is quoted as saying: “Law schools are not teaching or laying the foundation for practising tomorrow morning. You’ve got to think 20 years ahead if you can.” Readers of the Advocate will be no strangers to discussions about the changing nature of the legal profession, and the potential impacts of technology and competition on legal practice, the administration of justice and legal education in Canada. I am pleased to introduce myself as the Peter A. Allard School of Law’s faculty lead on a new one-year project, supported by the Franklin Lew Innovation Fund, to study innovation and the future of the legal profession. My research over the past several years has been engaged with questions about innovation, while my role as director of the Centre for Business Law and previous experience in practice in both Vancouver and New York have given me a front-row seat to the changing nature of legal practice. I feel a strong sense of responsibility to both students and the profession, which is well captured in Dean Emeritus Curtis’s words, and I am delighted to have this opportunity to put this experience to use as the law school positions itself to educate its students for a future that is coming at us quickly. Some would say that rumours of the death of the existing model for providing legal services are greatly exaggerated; others have for decades been predicting fundamental, transformative change to the profession. What is probably beyond dispute is that the legal profession is facing some keen * Dr. Cristie Ford is an associate professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law.


Nov Advocate 2017
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