Why It Matters

Legal sector gets future-ready

The Community Justice Centre's launch last week of an online help centre for litigants-in-person - those who are not represented by a lawyer - is in harmony with the push to make Singapore a smart nation.

It will help the man in the street keep pace with how digital technology is changing the way we work and live. "By harnessing technology to improve your operational efficiency, you are delivering better services to litigants-in-person," Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah said at its launch.

The "self-help e-Web" - given the acronym SHeW - guides users to put together basic court documents, and appears to be the latest in the legal sector's digital drive to deliver smart services.

Earlier this month, the Singapore Academy of Law and Corp Agency organised the multi-dimensional Techlaw.Fest 2018, where nearly 500 industry players gathered to address the challenges from technological disruption in legal services.

Separately, Singapore's world leader in arbitration facilities and services, Maxwell Chambers, launched the "Smart Maxwell" initiative, which, according to Ms Rajah, "will take hearing facilities into the digital age and redefine for users and practitioners what a truly world-class hearing experience means".

These efforts are part of an ongoing push to transform the legal sector in the digital era.

Mr Ronald DeKoven, chief executive of myLawyer, a global network of lawyers platformed on an app aimed at revolutionising practice, said 2018 promises to be a breakout year. "This is why myLawyer released its global app in Singapore this month."

Said Law Society president Gregory Vijayendran: "A smart nation needs smart lawyers. The legal industry must future-ready itself to remain relevant in an evolving and complex landscape. We have already started adopting technology-enabling productivity tools, innovation software and artificial intelligence, but we still have some distance to go on our tech journey."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2018, with the headline 'Legal sector gets future-ready'. Print Edition | Subscribe