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Legal & Justice Tech Webinars 2020: Learnings from a Global Community
3 min read
We ran 12 webinars over the first 6 months of the pandemic to talk, connect, and engage with the legal and justice tech community all around the world. Here’s why. When the COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives, we decided to start a series of webinars all around the world to connect with our community and do something meaningful in a time where things were out of the “normal” routine. We thought of a format along these principles: We wanted to do it differently. Our webinars were not meant for any commercial purpose as we thought that would have not given an objective value to our audience. That's why we kept it free from time-consuming explanations of our products and instead focused on academic-level talks on smart contracts, blockchain and dispute resolutionWe thought that quality shouldn't come with compromise. That's why we left the participation free for all, and gave the option only to those who were really interested in Jur and our activity in the legal and justice tech industry to receive our newsletter updates. The initial goal of this program was to offer value through the digital channels, which were the only ‘places’ available at the onset of the pandemic. In order to make these uncertain times less frustrating, we thought of doing what we do best: looking into the future and providing value for our community. The results have been above expectations. These activities allowed us to engage with legal and justice tech enthusiasts, lawyers, arbitrators, professors, policymakers and students around the world. On average, each webinar had 133 participants (~90% legal tech lawyers), in which we got the chance to talk, connect, and engage with people coming from 65 countries and 254 cities who are all passionate about shaping the future of legal and justice tech. This impressive result for the legal and justice tech industry would have never been possible without the help of the amazing members of our extended Jur Community.  We would like to thank all the legal tech communities and organizations that co-hosted these amazing and productive webinars with us: Uganda 🇺🇬 with Alice Namuli, Head Innovation and TechnologyGreece 🇬🇷 with Mantalena Kaili, Policy Advisor, LLM-MediatorSouth Africa 🇿🇦 with Kristi Erasmus, Head Of Faculty at Futures Law Faculty Switzerland 🇨🇭 with Rolf W. Guenter, Executive Board Member at Swiss Legal Tech Association Mexico  🇲🇽 with the Guadalajara Legal Hackers Chapter China 🇨🇳 with Fan Xiaojuan Italy 🇮🇹 with 4cLegalIndia 🇮🇳 with Madhvendra Singh, International Arbitrator, FCIArb Cyprus 🇨🇾 with Anna Plevri, Assistant Professor at University of NicosiaAustralia 🇦🇺  with Eli Bernstein, Fintech & Commercial LawyerUganda 🇺🇬 and Tanzania 🇹🇿 with Alice Namuli and Madeline Kimei, Arbitrator & ODR ExpertsQatar 🇶🇦 with Georgios Dimitropoulos, Associate Professor of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University The reward and the enthusiasm that came with it has no price.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmwxPTKqGPo&list=PLsApGj_CztCU5OhSXOQ1fKm7CUTOuojLs&ab_channel=JurOfficial Take a look at Jur's YouTube playlist for the recorded versions of the webinars In a personal note from our CEO Alessandro Palombo: Honorable mentions to Raffaele Battaglini, Luigi Cantisani, Federico Angeloni, and Jur’s co-founder Luca Y. Daniel for being consistent and present in all the events. The further collected feedback from each community will allow us to improve the content of our future webinars and make it more tailored to the needs of the specific community. We have come a long way since March when I published a post about Jur being united at distance, over these hard times. Happy to see that we have made great progress in positively affecting so many professionals around the globe despite the challenges.Alessandro Palombo, CEO of Jur Want to know how legal tech is going all around the 🌎?  We’ve got just the thing! Thanks to our webinars, we met over 1,000 new friends from 65 countries and 255 cities who shared some interesting facts, insights, and even a few quick-witted anecdotes about how legal tech is going at their side of the world.  And we’re excited to let you in on some of the secrets 😉 Simply comment ‘#legaltechworld’ on our LinkedIn post or talk to us on Twitter, and if we reach 20 requests we’ll share the ‘Legal and Justice Tech World Map by Jur!  We are developing the first multi-jurisdiction online dispute resolution platform, the Open Justice Platform. Learn more.

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Blockchain and Online Dispute Resolution in Qatar at Hamad Bin Khalifa University
The webinar saw outstanding participation by HBKU’s students and we were pleased to engage in an interesting Q&A session with the University’s Dean, Susan L. Karamanian. On the 23rd of September, we were invited by the prestigious Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) in Qatar to talk about how blockchain technology can impact dispute resolution. Professor Georgios Dimitropoulos, Associate Professor of Law at HBKU Law and Research Associate at the University College London Centre for Blockchain Technologies, chaired the event. HBKU's webinar page The webinar saw outstanding participation by HBKU’s students and we were pleased to engage in an interesting Q&A session with the university’s Dean, Susan L. Karamanian. In her words: Technology already has and will continue to have a major role in improving the efficiency of courts.  The webinar we co-organized with Jur was eye-opening, as our HBKU Law students learned about dispute resolution in the virtual world.  For them, it is very likely that the trip to the courthouse will no longer involve a lengthy commute followed by a wait to appear in front of a judge.  It may very well involve some clicks on a keyboard. This change will be profound. HBKU Law looks forward to having more interactions with Jur to help lead this conversation in the Middle East.Dean Susan L. Karamanian, Hamad Bin Khalifa University College of Law The participants reached the conclusion that blockchain can disrupt the justice system and contribute to increasing its transparency and impartiality. We have seen this as a recurring theme during our webinars across the world where we got in touch with communities from Mexico to South Africa to China. The response to the previous webinars was overwhelming, with an average participation of 133 registrants (90% legal tech lawyers) per webinar, in which we got the chance to connect, talk, and engage with around 300 law firms in 65 countries and 254 cities.  Our answer to the major problem of access to justice is our upcoming product 1, the Open Justice Platform, which we plan to release in Q1 ‘21. If you want to know more about it, please check out justice.jur.io. As in the past series of webinars, our speakers mostly focused on the relationship between smart contracts and traditional contracts (our CLO, Raffaele Battaglini), dispute resolution and blockchain with a specific focus on alternative dispute resolution (our legal engineer, Luigi Cantisani), how decentralization and blockchain solutions should be built in stages progressing from simple to complex features, and how complex is to create a blockchain-based platform compared to a traditional centralized platform (our CEO, Alessandro Palombo). It has been an extremely valuable session and experience. I think our students got important insights into how blockchain can impact certain aspects of the dispute resolution process. It is extremely important for them to hear from individuals that are shaping the field and have an impact on the “future of justice”.Professor Georgios Dimitropoulos, Associate Professor of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University Law College of Law I believe that blockchain technology will have a major role to play in the upcoming years, also because of the COVID pandemic, and I look forward to seeing the launch of the Open Justice Platform and letting our students test it - added professor Georgios. A final Q&A session was moderated by Prof. Dimitropoulos together with our CTO, Luca Y. Daniel. This section saw the participation of a lot of students and showed how interesting these topics are to a young legal audience eager to know more about blockchain technology and how it might affect their future careers. https://youtu.be/mK_9w9n5pvU Check the replay of the webinar We stopped by after the webinar to ask our hosts to share their thoughts on the webinar and the impact of technology when it comes to dispute resolution. A final thought from our CEO Alessandro Palombo: I was impressed with the community’s reaction to this event. It was in the pipeline for a long time and I am pleased that despite COVID, we were able to get in touch with HBKU’s students and share our knowledge of blockchain technology with them and discuss how it can impact their future careers as lawyers and dispute resolution professionals.Alessandro Palombo, CEO of Jur I am looking forward to collaborating more with HBKU and other universities in the Middle East to spread awareness of blockchain technology and involve them in testing our upcoming Open Justice Platform - he added. Get started with the Open Justice Platform
Swiss LegalTech Association with Jur for a Webinar Panel on Legal Tech
Join our weekly webinars: a platform to share ideas on legal Tech On May 27th, Rolf Guenter of the Swiss LegalTech Association (SLTA) met the Jur team for an informative discussion on the role of blockchain as a disruptor of the legal industry. Like our previous weekly webinars, the audience has taken an active role in leading the discussion through a series of professional questions. This is not surprising considering that the Swiss LegalTech Association is a fast-growing independent think-tank with over 250 individual members and 50 corporate members, all of whom are used to exchanging ideas and initiatives regarding legal technology. The Swiss LegalTech Association (SLTA) is a driving force in the industry Similar to previous webinars, Jur’s CLO Raffaele Battaglini introduced the audience to the concept of smart legal contracts. This time, the audience was quick to quiz him on the changing role of lawyers in the future. Battaglini was adamant that lawyers would need to adjust their styles to fit into the legal workspace of the future. Lawyers will be needed to understand the legal implications of technology and make sure clauses are represented in a proper way. Lawyers need to be accustomed to IT and understand how a computer developer thinks. Most importantly, lawyers don’t need to be developers. What’s important is we start to talk with developers and computer scientists because in the future we will be working alongside software devs.CLO Raffaele Battaglini This is a sentiment that Rolf Guenter agreed with. Rolf spoke about how many current lawyers were worried about the direction the legal space was heading, fearing obsolescence or the “cannibalisation” of the industry. Guenter believes that lawyers shouldn’t fear technology, but instead learn to work with it. That is one of the reasons he is so devoted to developing the SLTA. Webinar participants filed questions from the community I’ve had many discussions in Switzerland where people ask ‘Why are you pushing it [legal technology] so much?’ The possibilities and tools are coming — why not do it ourselves, with solutions closer to the customer needs. If we don’t do it, someone else, such as data-driven companies, will do it for us.Rolf Guenter, SLTA Jur’s Legal Engineer Luigi Cantisani and CTO Luca Daniel also gave talks, on online dispute resolution and the business side of legal tech development, respectively. The audience was quick to engage, asking questions about how leads will be generated in a decentralized ecosystem. This is an interesting topic for a decentralized ecosystem that might lack the clearly defined roles of a traditional law firm. However, Luca believes that like a decentralized marketplace such as eBay, the individuals and platform both play a role in marketing the solutions. In fact, the combined efforts of all the ecosystem players will have a network effect, making lead generation more widespread, where the efforts of one member can benefit everyone. With everyone working together, the platform can grow much faster than a traditional centralized law firm. https://youtu.be/tikXIIrGOBM Check the replay of the webinar The webinar ended with a reminder from guest host Rolf Guenter that legal professionals really need to open their mindset. When asked about mass changes to the legal landscape, Rolf replied “Absolutely, this is coming. It’s just a question of time.” The webinar can be viewed in its entirety here: https://youtu.be/AdZagODKxxI  Get started with the Open Justice Platform