BusinessDay

Technology critical in today’s law practice – Akpata

The place of technology as an essential tool for law practice as well as the benefits of leveraging technology to facilitate access to justice in Nigeria resonated at the 15th Annual Business Law Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) on Wednesday.

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

Amid the disruptions caused by the pandemic, it was technology that helped most law firms to stay afloat, said Olumide Akpata, president, Nigerian Bar Association.

“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.

Read also: 15th NBA-SBL conference to explore how businesses can leverage tech for growth

“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.”

Akpata commended the NBA-SBL for a well-thought conference theme, “Re-tooling Businesses for Change: Leveraging the Tech Explosion”, a theme 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)”.

The two-day conference is taking a hybrid form due to the pandemic, with virtual and on-site content to ensure maximum reach.

“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.

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