15:28, April 23 82 0 abajournal.com

2018-04-23 15:28:05
Reed Smith launches legal tech summer associate program

This summer, five of the firm’s expected 60 summer associates in the U.S. and U.K. will gain traditional legal experience, but with a technology focus.

“The Legal Technology Summer Associate Program grows out of Reed Smith’s long-standing focus on meeting clients’ legal needs with technology-based solutions,” said Lucy Dillon, the firm’s chief knowledge officer, in a press release. “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 innovative ways.”

The summer associates will work with the firm’s attorneys, but also the firm’s Practice Innovation Team in the development of technology that improves legal service delivery. Beyond the traditional legal research and writing done by all summer associates, the legal technology associates will also work on applying blockchain and smart contract technology to real estate transactions, for example.

“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, the firm’s global head of legal personnel, in the release. “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.”

In the U.S., the firm has accepted three students into the program from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Michigan State University College of Law and University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Both Michigan State and Chicago-Kent have invested heavily in legal innovation and technology education. The U.K. participants have not yet been selected, the American Lawyer reported.

The program will be run out of the firm’s Chicago, London and Pittsburgh offices.