The associates will split their time between developing legal skills and knowledge, and working with the firm's Practice Innovation Team. In addition to traditional research, writing and other routine summer associate work, the five associates in the inaugural program will work on projects which will enhance legal service delivery through technology. Indicative projects will include an initiative to explore the application of blockchain and smart contract technology to real estate transactions, the development of an automated contract execution platform for clients and the design of an internal knowledge analytics tool. As they conduct their legal work, they will also be expected to consider how technology can assist in improving efficiency and service delivery.
The Legal Technology Summer Associate Program is the latest initiative in Reed Smith's global push for innovation. On April 11, Reed Smith announced the launch of Reed Smith Global Solutions, due to open in Leeds in early July, and which will provide a creative environment for lawyers, analysts and business services professionals to work alongside each other to find new approaches to problem solving. Each project exemplifies Reed Smith's on-going, pioneering work to transform legal services.
“The Legal Technology Summer Associate Program grows out of Reed Smith's longstanding focus on meeting clients' legal needs with technology-based solutions,” said Lucy Dillon, the firm’s Chief Knowledge Officer. “We are keen to see how these students’ perspective and fresh insight can help drive further progress providing clients with new types of legal services, delivered in innovative ways.”
In choosing students for the inaugural Legal Technology Summer Associates program, Reed Smith focused on candidates with a demonstrated interest in innovation and technology. In recruiting U.S. law students for the program, Reed Smith expanded its selection criteria to include real-world experience in the field of legal innovation. The three U.S. summers in the program are from Michigan State University College of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law, and University of Pittsburgh School of Law; each has completed academic coursework in computer science and all three of the law schools have well developed technology program and distinguished academics in the field.
“Developing the next generation of practitioners requires giving them meaningful opportunities to work in a law firm environment with attorneys and clients helping to create and deploy efficiencies for our clients,” said Casey Ryan, Reed Smith's Global Head of Legal Personnel. “The capacity to innovate is becoming indispensable to the practice of law and the lawyers of tomorrow need the type of experience they will get in this program.”
This summer the program will take place in the firm’s London, Chicago and Pittsburgh offices, with plans to expand to other firm offices in subsequent years.
“The future belongs to law firms that create a culture of innovation and continuous improvement,” said Professor Daniel Linna, Director of LegalRnD – The Center for Legal Services Innovation at the Michigan State University College of Law. “Reed Smith's Legal Technology Summer Associates program demonstrates its understanding that increasingly, clients want a firm whose lawyers possess both legal acumen and the ability to work collaboratively to improve processes and leverage data and technology to increase efficiency and quality and obtain better outcomes for clients.”
About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is a dynamic international law firm, dedicated to helping clients move their businesses forward. Its long-standing relationships, international outlook and collaborative structure make it a go-to partner for speedy resolution of complex disputes, transactions, and regulatory matters.
For further information, please visit reedsmith.com.