EVENT May 19
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The Role of Lawyers in the Age of Disruption: Emerging Regulatory Challenges

Organization: The Law Society of Singapore
Categories: Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2020-05-19 Abstract Due: 2020-02-14 Abstract Deadline has passed

Call for Papers

The Law Society of Singapore’s Legal Research and Development department will be organising a Colloquium on ‘The Role of Lawyers in the Age of Disruption: Emerging Regulatory Challenges’. The Colloquium will be held at Maxwell Chambers Suites on 19 May 2020 and aims to be a platform for legal practitioners, emerging scholars, industry experts and students to contribute to developing thought leadership in topics relating to the ethical and regulatory challenges arising from technology’s impact on the legal profession.  

The Colloquium will comprise of four thematic panel sessions. We welcome submissions of proposals on any of the following themes:

1)    Legal Ethics & Technology: The proliferation of technology has meant that today’s lawyers can no longer afford to remain inexperienced or unaware of technology and its developments. For one, the American Bar Association has recommended an ethical duty of technological competence in its model code of conduct for lawyers. However, technology also presents a host of ethical challenges for which there are few legal guidelines or rules. For example, how should lawyers ensure that the use of technology does not compromise their ethical obligations? Should lawyers be permitted to delegate the exercise of their independent professional judgment to technology? We will consider how technology will have an impact on lawyers’ ethical duties, and vice versa.

2)    The Role of Lawyers in the Age of Disruption: Disruption is unavoidable in this “new age” of the legal profession and requires a re-evaluation of the role of the legal practitioner. We will examine the ways in which disruption in its various forms (e.g. artificial intelligence, online dispute resolution) may aid or hinder the role of lawyers, and consider whether and how the role of lawyers should be reinvented so that legal professionals can remain trusted advisors to their clients.

3)    Law Practices and the Future of Work: What will the future of legal work look like? Are current law practice structures and infrastructure adequate to meet the challenges posed by, for example, non-lawyers who may be permitted to carry out legal work? Should virtual law practices co-exist with conventional law practices in the future? We will examine whether, and the extent to which, non-traditional law practice structures and infrastructure are useful for the legal profession.

4)    Alternative Legal Service Providers – To Regulate or Not to Regulate?: The emergence of new players in the legal profession – in the form of alternative legal service providers or ALSPs – has brought about a rethinking of the traditional legal service delivery model. While ALSPs leverage technology to offer efficient, easier access to, and more cost-effective legal assistance and solutions to consumers, they also present new regulatory challenges that have yet to be adequately addressed or even considered. We will examine and where appropriate, propose new approaches to addressing these challenges to ensure that new models of legal services delivery remain rooted in the core values of the legal profession, which include protecting the public, ensuring access to justice, and upholding the rule of law.

Proposal Submission Procedure         
Interested participants may submit proposals for their paper as an abstract of between 150-300 words along with the following information:

·         Full name

·         Name of Law Practice/Institution/Organisation

·         Contact Details

Abstracts and participants’ information should be submitted via e-mail to the Legal Research and Development department at lrd@lawsoc.org.sg. Please indicate “LRD Colloquium 2020" and the theme in which the paper is to be presented in the subject line. All proposals should be submitted by 14 February 2020.

Final decisions will be communicated to shortlisted participants on a rolling basis and by no later than 6 March 2020. Further details on the submission procedures for the final and complete drafts of the proposals will also be directly communicated to shortlisted participants.

Shortlisted participants will be required to submit a full and final draft of their papers of between 3,000 and 6,000 words by 5 May 2020.           

Authors of accepted papers will be invited to present their work at the Colloquium, and accepted papers will be compiled and published by the Law Society of Singapore.

Queries may be addressed to the Legal Research and Development department via e-mail at lrd@lawsoc.org.sg.



Nisha Rajoo