In late 2018, Whitespace Legal Collab by Baker McKenzie, the Firm’s multidisciplinary collaboration lab, hosted “Seeding New Career Paths in Law,” a powerful workshop.

The timing is critical. Law firms need to hire newly skilled talent to meet clients’ evolving demands; in-house law departments need to deliver more value; law schools need to revise curricula to be in step with hiring organizations; students and talented young lawyers need to be prepared to work in new ways that their education doesn’t support; and new paths forward need to be imagined. 

“Seeding New Career Paths in Law,” designed by Gillian Hadfield, Professor of Law and Professor of Strategic Management, University of Toronto, and by Dan Ryan, Professor, Faculty of Information, tackles the challenge with creativity. Hadfield and Ryan are bona fide leaders in law and design- and information-centered innovation, and are teaching the University of Toronto Law School’s first Legal Design Lab in Winter 2019.

“The kind of colleague you want on your interdisciplinary team to solve tomorrow’s problems is made not born,” says Ryan. “That’s what we’re working on.”

Adds Kevin Coon, Chair of Baker McKenzie’s Global Policy Committee: “Gillian and Dan are influencing law school thinking about teaching and skills needed by new grads but also in the current market to drive innovation in our profession. This aligns well with some of the thinking Baker McKenzie has done around training and recruitment and it is for that reason we’re pleased to support the workshop.”

Theo Ling, Partner and co-founder of Whitespace Legal Collab elaborates: “Offering our collaboration lab to Gillian and Dan for the workshop provides a unique opportunity for Baker McKenzie people, our clients, legal tech professionals, U of T students and others to influence the future of legal education, technology and practice.”

Sanjay Khanna, Director of Whitespace Legal Collab, notes, “A future with more uncertainty requires a legal ecosystem where barriers to better ways of collaborating, learning and lawyering are consistently overcome.”

 “Seeding New Career Paths in Law” contributes to developing fresh sources of insight and experience for revolutionizing the legal education and legal careers in the 21st century.