Handing over the reins and letting others shine, is something that I believe is a must as a manager. Giving my team the skills, confidence and ability to develop is what our Innovation & Legal Technology Team is all about. From the offset we've created new career paths and sought a variety of opportunities for those in the team to excel.


Olivia, a trainee solicitor in my team and one of the first technology trainees at AG talks in today's blog about her role, overcoming milestones and developing solutions that not only make AG standout from the crowd, but have seen her shortlisted and win numerous awards.

Why I chose to join the team.

When I made the decision to accept one of the first training contracts as part of a permanent role in the Innovation and Legal Technology (ILT) team, instead of the more traditional Training Contract I was originally offered, it could have been seen as a bit of a risk. No one had done it before, so there was no clearly structured career track, and no well-trodden path to follow. Over a year into my training contract, I know that, risk or not, it was the right decision. My work is varied, interesting and challenging and continues to be exciting even after being in the team for over three years. 

I'd been working in the ILT team as a Paralegal for a couple of years before the start of my training contract – I started at AG as a Commercial Paralegal but quickly got involved in some of the legal technology projects which were starting to emerge throughout the firm. The problem-solving, logical and creative aspects appealed to me over the more traditional work, and it's not often as a Paralegal you're challenged to come up with solutions for aspects of managing significant client projects. The prospect of a training contract that combined legal training within the progressive and dynamic environment of the legal technology team was too good to pass up!

I've been lucky enough throughout my time at AG to support with, and help to design solutions for, some of the largest client matters in the firm. Being involved with such significant projects from the beginning, and supporting them through to conclusion, has been really rewarding and it's great to see how much of a difference innovation can make to the delivery of a key piece of work. 

A typical week…

Some of the work I might be involved with during a 'typical' week could be working on a matter management project, an upcoming pitch for a piece of new work, and a document automation project.

A typical matter management project involves working with a client, and some of the AG client team to evaluate and analyse the best way to have transparent access to their matters which are being worked on by AG. Giving the client access to bespoke information such as who is dealing with them and where they're up to – as well as allowing them to generate bespoke, detailed reports to analyse trends across their work – has become a vital component. 

Our team is often involved with pitches for a piece of potential new work, to help demonstrate to a client how legal technology can assist on a project, by helping to manage the progress of a transaction, reviewing documents using AI, or automating some of the template documents needed. If there's an upcoming pitch, I might be involved in producing some collateral, mocking up a demo project or inputting ideas into how the tools we have could be best deployed. 

Document automation is a key part of many projects throughout the team, and is used as a simple and effective way of increasing efficiency and accuracy across a project or a team. This helps to save huge amounts of time and makes daily processes more streamlined and efficient. 

Highlights

There have been so many highlights of my training contract so far, but if I had to choose just a few:

  • attending my first client pitch for one of the firm's biggest clients, to discuss and demonstrate how our application of legal technology throughout a division was helping with process efficiency; 
  • being invited to present to the Board of AG about the innovative approach we're taking to matter management and reporting for one of our largest new clients;
  • working on a large contract automation project, which involved running client and stakeholder workshops for testing, and building reporting and tracking as part of the same system. Even better when it was awarded 'Best Contribution to Process Improvement' at the National Grid Property Awards this year (where I was also lucky enough to win an individual 'Young Professional' award);
  • attending the British Legal Awards, and collecting our award for Best Use of Technology, in recognition of the work that we, CMS and Sainsbury's had put in to matter management and reporting. 

Key contact

Kerry Westland

Kerry Westland

Partner, Head of Innovation & Legal Technology
London

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