Aug 20 2013

ILTA 2013: Get Ready for the Immortal Lawyer

Futurist Rohit Talwar ponders the impossible during keynote at the International Legal Technology Association’s annual conference.

What if lawyers could live forever? Depending on how you feel about the legal profession, that could be a sweet dream or a horrid nightmare. It could also mean that the mind of Johnny Cochran might live on in perpetuity.

While speaking in Las Vegas to an audience of legal IT professionals at the International Legal Technology Association’s annual conference, Rohit Talwar, a futurist and CEO of research and consulting firm Fast Future, threw up this image of a project timeline for avatars.

In theory, humans could transplant their brains into artificial bodies and “live” forever (stop me if you’ve seen this plot in a sci-fi movie).

Talwar’s keynote is part of ILTA’s Legal Technology Future Horizons Project, which is “designed to examine how emerging technologies could impact the design and delivery of legal services over the next 10 to15 years.”

So while it might sound out of this world, robo-lawyers are actually being considered as a possibility in the future.

Attendees at the conference were both amazed and uncertain about some of Talwar’s theories on the future of legal IT.

While the android theories are fun to speculate about, Talwar did have some concrete suggestions about how law firms can future-proof their organizations.

Step one: Have an appetite for change and revolution.

Step two: Plan for the short, medium and long-term simultaneously. Don’t let one supercede the other.

Like other business sectors, legal services is poised for evolution. While law firms can never be fully prepared for the unexpected, it helps to at least plan for change even if the specific changes aren’t clear.

But here’s a question for those of us who have trouble keeping our smartphones and tablets charged: How are we going to keep our immortal robo-lawyer avatars fired up and ready to go?

For more updates from ILTA's annual conference, check out our 2013 ILTA hub.

<a href="https://twitter.com/consiliopete/status/369851995386957824">Pete Feinberg/Twitter</a>

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