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By ILTA Press posted 05-20-2020 13:19


Check out this introductory piece around #CreatingTheFutureTogether, brought to you by @Jackie Nagtegaal, one of ILTA's 2020 Influential Women in Legal Tech awardees, Futurist & Managing Director, Law for AllWhat immediately comes to mind when you read this? Share your thoughts in the comments here or within the blog post.

COVID-19 is a seismic event, reshuffling our carefully planned strategies, rearranging our societies and changing human behaviour in powerful ways. It has thrown most of us off-kilter, challenging the confidence we started the new decade with.

As we kicked off in January, we believed we had the luxury of time. We were going to address the justice system, which dangerously towers like a Jenga-game. We would roll-out cloud solutions, enhance our cybersecurity, pilot work-from-home options and think of ways to augment the client experience. And data, many of us were finally going to get cracking on those analytics.

But by the end of January we were witnessing a new world unfold. Thrust into deep levels of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity). Suddenly all the words we’ve rehearsed in workshops like agility, collaboration, collective, reflective were being called on. We witnessed our firms respond rapidly to survive, frenetically reacting to the chaos and in the process we have started reshaping and reforming ourselves.

This is not a fire drill, this is the real deal.

Chaos erupted. We are in panic-mode, but unfortunately that won’t see us through. This is a time to keep our limbic systems in check. We need to remain calm, move slowly and decisively, to allow us to make the right decisions to survive, but also to influence the future.

This series challenges us to stand still in the chaos and think about what we are designing for tomorrow. We need to consciously decide what we want to enhance, what we wish to leave behind and what we would like to reshape. We do this through a series of questions to start conversations and aid us to imagine tomorrow.

It is critical to question the time we are in, and the future. What do we see? What do we anticipate? What futures are possible? Which futures do we prefer? How do we get there?  

Normally the biggest challenge in creating the future is the struggle to align. Currently we have the great benefit of unity. Events like these help us, as everyone faces common challenges and our focus is on the future of recovery. By co-creating a preferable future in the legal sphere, we ensure we are not merely reacting.

This will play out on various levels. In the micro level we adapt and re-imagine our firms. On the macro-level we have the opportunity to work together as an industry, steer development strategically to a collective future that give rise to systemic changes we imagine in the meta-level, changing behaviours and rights.

Whichever level we focus on, it is a time for conscious acts, decisiveness and foresight.

Time to Reflect

To start the process, we have designed a series of questions to reflect on how we started this year and how we have changed since. By answering these, we take a moment to assess where we’re at to foster new thoughts for the future.


Tech has been regarded as the biggest thing to hit the legal industry since the 80s. The industry has seen much development and new platforms. While 50% of firms were planning AI/ML projects for 2020, how is our notion of tech changing in the face of the ‘new’ future.

How would you have answered these questions at the start of January? How would you answer them as you enter June?

  1. What will be your most important tech investment for 2020?
  2. What should tech providers be including in their offerings?
  3. How will tech shape the future of the legal ecosystem?


We talk about our teams a lot. Understanding the buzz of human capital and the importance of culture. Recently we have seen our teams perform miracles, completing mammoth projects while working from home. We have moved closer to each other, seeing our pets and mess, seeing people perform under pressure and fear. This has given us a rare opportunity to see our teams in a way no 360-assessment could ever show us.

How would you have answered these questions at the start of January? How would you answer them as you enter June?

  1. What is the greatest challenge for your team for 2020?
  2. What is your team’s greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  3. What skills will be critical to shape the future?


Major shifts are taking place. Customer behaviour is changing, demands are instant and onscreen, commercial agreements are taking new shapes and systemic changes will shape our economies.

How would you have answered these questions at the start of January? How would you answer them as you enter June?

  1. What do your clients want from you?
  2. What is your greatest business challenge for the year?
  3. When you think of the industry, what would you like to redesign?​​