ABA President, Hilarie Bass, delivered the keynote address at the sixth annual CodeX FutureLaw 2018 conference earlier this month, encouraging attendees to “continue to be bold, adventurous and creative,” when it comes to the integration of technology in the practice of law.
This challenge spoke to the heart of her address, “Partners in Law: Breaking Down Silos Between Law, Technology and Innovation,” where she emphasized the importance of embracing the “transformational change sweeping through the profession.”
And she isn’t just all talk.
As President of the ABA, Bass has been a prominent advocate for the innovative use of technology in the legal profession, both as a means to train law students as well as a tool to improve access to justice. The ABA Center for Innovation has several technology-driven projects in the works, including a blockchain service tool to help low-income individuals in court gain more control over the trial process and end-user apps that translate the Miranda warning into Spanish. During her time as Chair of the ABA Section on Litigation, she helped to launch the Implicit Bias Initiative, a website offering information and resources for ABA members and other stakeholders who want to learn more about implicit bias in the justice system or in the ranks of the legal profession.
As Co-President of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Bass and her firm walk the walk, offering fixed-fee arrangements in response to client demands. She also noted that the ABA was in the process of updating the Uniform Task-Based Management System (UTBMS) with 10 new code sets to better with electronic billing technologies and alternative fee arrangements.
“It is not easy to get unstuck from the past,” Bass told her audience. “If it were, more of the legal profession would be receptive to the transformational change sweeping through our profession. But Code X is leading the way. The ABA and the rest of the legal profession are watching what you do with much anticipation. The future is now. We must continue to be bold, adventurous, and creative.”