Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has called on legal practitioners in the country to embrace technology to remain relevant in their practice.
The governor gave the advice on Wednesday when he declared open the 2021 Law Week of the State branch of the Nigeria Bar Association at the International Culture and Event Centre in Akure.
NAN reports that the theme of the event is: “Evolving Trends in Legal Practice: Challenges and Prospects”.
Akeredolu said that the introduction of technology into legal practice has completely transformed legal research methods.
He added that case law reporting had also taken a digital form with the introduction of the electronic law reports.
Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the landscape of the legal industry in Nigeria had witnessed some significant changes in the way and manner legal practice had been carried out over the last two decades.
The governor said that the marriage of legal practice with technology continues to throw up new trends as the technology itself continues to evolve.
According to him, it has made the Nigerian legal practice global by creating opportunities for legal practitioners to interface with and get clients from anywhere in the world.
“It has improved the service of court processes as courts now have rules that allow for the issuance of Hearing Notices through electronic means such as emails and mobile phones.
“Platforms for the electronic filing of court processes are also being developed and introduced, which will allow a legal practitioner to file his processes from the comfort of his law office without the need to physically go to the court registry,” the governor said.
He said that a legal practitioner now has the opportunity to carry his law library with him and access it from anywhere unlike the traditional law library filled with hard copies of law books and law reports.
“The recent discussions on evolving trends in the legal profession have extended to the introduction and use of Artificial Intelligence in legal research, which would improve the speed, accuracy and quality of legal research and in turn help legal practitioners advise their clients, draft documents or handle cases better.
“With these trends, it becomes obvious that the evolution of legal practice is not likely to cease anytime soon.
“It is therefore advisable that today’s legal practitioner must evolve along with these trends to improve the quality of his legal practice and continue to attract the patronage of clients in need of his services.
“For instance, Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Multi-Door Courthouse System was introduced into our judicial system in the wake of the new millennium.
“As a result of the successes that have been recorded by this introduction, several states have now embraced the Multi-Door Courthouse system and a lot of legal practitioners are obtaining training in that area of practice to meet the demands of that area of legal practice,” he said.