• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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‘Law practice can’t do without technology in today’s world’

‘Law practice can’t do without technology in today’s world’

Speakers at the opening of the 15th Annual Business Law Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) on Wednesday harped on the need for constant adoption of technology as an essential tool for law practice in today’s world.

This is against the backdrop of the immense technological developments and disruptions that have happened in recent times, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two-day conference, themed “Re-tooling Businesses for Change: Leveraging the Tech Explosion”, takes a hybrid form, with virtual and on-site content to ensure maximum reach.

The hybrid nature of the conference, said Adeleke Alex-Adedipe, chairman, Conference Planning Committee, not only reflects the challenges of the past 18 months but, more importantly, foretells a new and exciting beginning, demonstrating new possibilities that are available when society embraces innovation.

Read also: Technology critical in today’s law practice – Akpata

He said technology, rather than diminish the law profession, actually enhances it and makes lawyers more relevant amid rapidly changing times.

“Businesses depend on us not just to dot their I’s and cross their T’s, but to provide the frameworks that drive growth and make sense of a world in a motion. We cannot fulfil this critical role without embracing the innovations of the 21st century,” Alex-Adedipe said.

“Technology doesn’t diminish our profession or encumber the critical role we play in helping businesses thrive. Instead, it enhances what we do and more importantly, makes us even more relevant in these rapidly changing times,” he said.

Ayuli Jemide, chairman of NBA-SBL, said this year’s conference theme is a clarion call to business lawyers and the business community “to get in the tech craft, fasten our seatbelts, and enjoy the ride to places that only a tech-enabled person can travel to; a world made faster, smarter, yet smaller by the transcendental changes induced by technology”.

The conference, he said, is designed for lawyers to become “better listeners, listening to experts in various fields (medicine, electioneering, governance, transport, currency, and more) as they draw the connect between technology and our day-to-day lives, particularly how it affects our business environment”.

Stressing the increased relevance of technology, Olumide Akpata, president, Nigerian Bar Association, said it was technology that helped most law firms survive the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Technology has already begun to revolutionise the practice of law in Nigeria in significant ways and affected the speed of delivery of quality service, efficiency, billing/accountability, practice management, et al,” Akpata said in his welcome remarks at the conference.

“Of course, we all know that without the use of technology, most law firms would not have survived the extraordinary year we faced in 2020,” he said.

Akpata commended the NBA-SBL for a well-thought conference theme, which he said is “as topical as it is critical, especially in the context of the extraordinary times which the legal profession and indeed the Nigerian society have faced in the past 18 months”.

He said the choice of the topic erases any lingering doubts about “the continuing relevance of the NBA-SBL to the overall attainment of the aims and objective of the NBA as outlined in the Constitution of the Nigerian bar Association 2015 (as amended)”.

“It is also a testament to the utilitarian value of technology that we are able to organise this hybrid conference in a move that signals a gradual return to normalcy – whether it be the old normal or in all likelihood, the new normal,” he said.

He recalled his promise in the build-up to the 2020 NBA election to engage the Council of Legal Education to effect a transformational change to the legal training that prospective lawyers in Nigeria receive.

“Amongst other things, technology and its overall interaction with law will be at the forefront of this agenda,” Akpata said.

“It is in this regard that we have empowered the Committees created by the NBA Constitution and equipped them to execute their mandates. I have the assurance of the NBA Legal Education Committee that in the coming weeks, we will see traction in this area,” he said.