D.C. Bar, Withum to Host Institute on Technology and the Law

By John Murph

May 28, 2019

“Every law firm today, in my opinion, is a technology company,” says Jim Bourke, a partner and managing director of advisory services at Withum Smith & Brown, PC, a technology-driven advisory and accounting firm. “Without technology — and the right technology — the [law] practice doesn’t exist. Whether it’s protecting confidential client information or accessing applications needed to conduct a procedure, law firms need to embrace technology.”

On Wednesday, May 29, tech experts from Withum will speak at the 2019 Institute on Technology and the Law, a daylong event cohosted by the D.C. Bar Continuing Legal Education Program and Withum. The institute will offer seminars on cutting-edge technological advances such as artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, blockchain technology, digital currency, and machine learning.

Other speakers include Tracy D. Drynan of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Yodi S. Hailemariam of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Dan Schumack of Shumack Law Firm PLLC, and Anand Raj Shah of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.

Some lawyers may be intimidated — even resistant — to some of the emerging technology, but Bourke says no lawyer hoping to succeed in the changing legal landscape can afford to become a Luddite.

“Years ago, maybe not every attorney needed to be tech savvy. Attorneys and law firms would keep records in-house with their own servers. Now all the technology vendors in the legal space are migrating most of their applications out to the cloud. So, with that, attorneys need to be aware of the risks and what they can do to protect their clients’ data,” Bourke says.

Bourke says the tech institute will show attendees how AI, for instance, can automate manual tasks dealing with shareholder agreements and contracts.

“Taking prior contracts then modifying them for existing conditions takes a lot of manual steps that could be automated using AI and bots. That is something that will totally change the legal profession and will have an impact on the legal profession, similar to what the internet did to the legal profession,” Bourke says.

Bloomberg Radio’s “Politics, Policy, Power and Law” will broadcast live from the Bar between 12 and 2 p.m. and will interview several presenters and D.C. Bar leaders about key takeaways from the event.

Don’t miss this important event — register now for the 2019 Institute on Technology and the Law and stay on top of the latest developments and trends.