CBA Partners with MaRS Discovery District's LegalX Cluster

  • March 09, 2016

OTTAWA – The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) is partnering with MaRS’ legal innovation cluster LegalX to launch an event at the CBA’s legal conference this summer in Ottawa.

“The CBA is delighted to announce a partnership with one of Canada’s leading legal innovation clusters that will allow us to offer our members unique opportunity to see firsthand some of the newest technologies, services and developments that are directly impacting the changing practice of law,” says CBA President Janet Fuhrer.

The concept is to invite a few legal tech startups to present their products and visions to a group of investors. The event will be open to the conference’s attendees and an invitation will also be extended to the business and investment community.

“Beyond the obvious entertainment value, lawyers will have the opportunity to challenge what they hear and offer feedback to the budding entrepreneurs,” says Janet Fuhrer.

The innovation event with LegalX is part of a year-long partnership that will see the parties sharing insights with their members, operating events showcasing legal innovations, and developing other means of supporting legal innovation in Canada.

The LegalX team at Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District is dedicated to moving the legal sector forward through enterprises — whether startup or established corporates and law firms. It has organized successful conferences, established cross-border collaborations and shepherded legal entrepreneurs down the path to building sustainable companies.

The partnership with LegalX opens the next chapter in the CBA’s commitment to provide guidance to members in embracing change. The landmark 2014 report, Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada, contained 22 recommendations which have been largely well-received and which are coming to life in exciting ways.

Since its release two years ago, over 4,000 people have attended presentations about the report and the CBA has garnered a widespread reputation for its leadership in promoting change. Its work has also been recognized abroad for its contribution to dialogue happening around the globe.

“We are seen as a role model for this work internationally,” says Fred Headon, chair of the CBA’s Legal Futures initiative.

The CBA efforts are moving forward a number of fronts. Do Law Differently, launched in February, provides a new tool for law students and young lawyers to imagine new ways of practising law which are rooted in the changing client expectations the report studied.

“Through our partnership with LegalX, we are addressing the specific recommendations that call for us to encourage and stimulate innovation. It also showcases innovators, which we hope will inspire our members to embrace new ways of practising, as we must all do our part in providing Canadians with the vibrant and relevant legal profession they expect and deserve,” says Fred Headon.

"The CBA and their Legal Futures work have really resonated with us," says Aron Solomon, Head of LegalX. "We feel that what we've built at LegalX matches perfectly with the mission and vision of such a forward-looking organization."

The CBA is dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Some 36,000 lawyers, notaries in Quebec, law teachers, and law students from across Canada are members.

About MaRS Discovery District

MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs. MaRS supports promising young ventures that are tackling key societal challenges in the health, cleantech and information and communications technology sectors. In the last three years, these ventures have raised $1.3 billion in capital and earned $640 million in revenue. In addition to helping startups launch, grow and scale, the MaRS community is dedicated to cross-disciplinary collaboration, commercialization of discoveries and driving ideas to impact.

MaRS LegalX is dedicated to moving the legal sector forward through enterprises — whether startup or established corporates and law firms. Working at the intersection of high-growth ventures, technology, design and the legal industry, LegalX connects the technologists, designers, engineers and lawyers who are driving change.