The Legal Technology Resource Center’s Women of Legal Tech initiative is intended to encourage diversity and celebrate women in legal technology. This initiative launched in 2015 with a list of innovators and leaders in legal technology and with this year’s additions, that list now includes 120 talented and influential women leaders. Every Wednesday, we will be featuring a woman from our class of 2020. This week we have Linn Alfredsson!
Linn Alfredsson is the founder and project manager at Tech Academy Nordic.
How did you become involved in legal tech?
After practicing for a couple of years and doing an additional year in San Francisco at UC Berkeley School of Law, I came back to Sweden with a lot of inspiration, especially within the field of technology and how we as lawyers can use technology in our daily work. During my time at UC Berkeley School of Law, I conducted research within blockchain technology, and as I learned, it became apparent to me that the applications were many and could provide efficient solutions within different industries.
I realized quickly, however, that this was not the reality. I started to do some research and looked up courses at universities within the Nordics, and there was basically nothing within technology geared towards lawyers and law students.
That was when I decided to start Tech Academy, which is a program enhancing tech literacy for law students to prepare them for the legal industry in the digital age.
During the past year, I have been working to build a platform helping law students and legal tech companies to connect. Hopefully, this will be the start of a new community—the legal tech community I wish was there back when I finished my studies in the USA.
What projects have you been focused on recently?
My projects are mostly driven by themes such as enhancing the participation of women in tech, inclusion and diversity, recruiting within the legal industry, and how the new generation of lawyers has different values than those previous. I try to see the projects I run or participate in and evaluate what I can bring to the table—what difference I can make and what impact this has going forward.
My main project at the moment is building a platform to enhance tech literacy for law students and perhaps even lawyers in the future. The ambition is to continue growing the platform we already have today and building a community between universities, companies, and other important players where we can learn from each other. I hope this will be a groundbreaking community, where we support the legal tech industry’s growth in Europe and the Nordic countries.
Is there a legal tech resource of any kind that really helped you when you were starting out in the field?
As a fairly young tech lawyer, I honestly don’t have one particular legal tech resource that I can mention. There are some tools developed for templates as well as work-life balance and the work atmosphere in the Nordics, but nothing that was used when I first entered into the legal industry as a practicing lawyer.
Currently, I am looking out for new exciting innovations within the field that are consumer-friendly; so far, not too many in terms of the advanced skills needed to adapt to a major law firm, but a few great tools for startups that might be able to replace some work done by law firms today.
I believe the key to a great product is to be consumer-friendly and adaptable as well as easy. It has to be easy and have a nice interface so that non-technical people will want to use it. A lot of ideas are truly amazing—and very technical. To combine that with a user-friendly interface is key.
What technology do you think lawyers could look at in a different way that would benefit society?
In general, I think lawyers need to get more into tech and to test new tools on the market. In Sweden, over 60% of young lawyers believe that the legal industry has not adapted to the new technology surrounding us that is having an impact on our profession. In the US, the numbers are better, however, this is still a new way of thinking for many lawyers and practitioners within the legal industry.
Stay open to new possibilities and to new ideas; embrace the change and see where that takes us.
The fundamental baseline is that lawyers are advocates for society and help shape laws and regulations. In order to do so, we need to adapt to the legal tech market to serve clients and customers in a new way to fit their demands.
What advice would you give to other women who want to get involved in legal tech?
Stay interested and read about the latest developments in legal tech and get your creative ideas flowing. Don’t be scared of trying new ideas and pitching new projects—it is always going to be a little nerve-racking, but as long as you believe in your skills and your product, the rest will follow.
Reach out to inspiring people, ask them for lunch, and pick their brain and discuss ideas you have.
Dare to be different. Unfortunately, there are not too many women in the legal tech field and lately, a lot of my focus has been diversity within tech to enhance women’s opportunities and exposure.
Give a shout-out to another woman in legal tech who you admire or have learned something from!
I recently connected with Anna Zofia Rzewuska, the Group Legal Counsel at Telia Company. Anna is an inspiration and a legal tech in-house genius. She describes herself as a legal tech experimenter and she has implemented several projects and new developments at Telia.
Not really legal tech, but I would also love to give a shout out to Angela Hultberg; she is just an inspiration to me even though we are working in different industries. Without her support, I would not have started Tech Academy. She is a true star and an amazing woman leading change within sustainable mobility.
Finally, Andrea Lindblom, the legal design guru of the Nordics and a true inspiration to the legal tech community.
Join us on February 26th at the Chicago-Kent College of Law for the 2020 Women of Legal Tech Summit. Get inspired by Ignite-style sessions from current and former honorees, a one-hour CLE session, and an interactive workshop. The event also includes recognition of the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center’s 2020 additions to the Women of Legal Tech.