Global Law Firm Launches Summer Tech Associate Program

Reed Smith, a global law firm with over 1,500 attorneys, announced the launch of its new Legal Technology Summer Associate Program, which will give participating students a unique experience at the intersection of law and technology. 

The new program will combine a traditional summer associate experience with a focus on technology. Summer associates will work alongside Reed Smith attorneys and the law firm’s Innovation Team to develop technology-driven solutions.

“Developing the next generation of practitioners requires giving them meaningful opportunities to work in a law firm environment with attorneys and clients helping to create and deploy efficiencies for our clients,” said Casey Ryan, Reed Smith's Global Head of Legal Personnel. “The capacity to innovate is becoming indispensable to the practice of law and the lawyers of tomorrow need the type of experience they will get in this program.”

Summer associates will spend time developing traditional legal research and writing skills, as well as other summer associate work. However, the five associates selected for the tech-focused program will also work on projects relating to the delivery of legal services through technology.

The first few projects may include the application of blockchain and smart contract technology to real estate transations, the development of an automated contract execution platform, or the design of an internal knowledge analytics tool.

Participating associates will be asked to consider how technology can help the law firm improve efficiency and legal service delivery.

The Legal Technology Summer Associate Program is the latest initiative in Reed Smith's global push for innovation, according to a press release.  Reed Smith announced the launch of Reed Smith Global Solutions in April, which will provide a creative environment for lawyers, analysts and business services professionals to explore innovative approaches to problem solving.

“The Legal Technology Summer Associate Program grows out of Reed Smith's longstanding focus on meeting clients' legal needs with technology-based solutions,” said Lucy Dillon, the firm’s Chief Knowledge Officer. “We are keen to see how these students’ perspective and fresh insight can help drive further progress providing clients with new types of legal services, delivered innovative ways.” 

In choosing students for the inaugural Legal Technology Summer Associates program, Reed Smith focused on candidates with a demonstrated interest in innovation and technology. When recruiting U.S. law students for the program, Reed Smith expanded its selection criteria to require real-world experience in the field of legal innovation.

The three U.S. students who were selected for the program are from Michigan State University College of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law, and University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Each student has completed academic coursework in computer science, and all three of the law schools have well developed technology programs.

“The future belongs to law firms that create a culture of innovation and continuous improvement,” said Professor Daniel Linna, Director of LegalRnD – The Center for Legal Services Innovation at the Michigan State University College of Law. “Reed Smith's Legal Technology Summer Associates program demonstrates its understanding that increasingly, clients want a firm whose lawyers possess both legal acumen and the ability to work collaboratively to improve processes and leverage data and technology to increase efficiency and quality and obtain better outcomes for clients.”

This summer the program will take place in the firm’s London, Chicago and Pittsburgh offices, with plans to expand to other firm offices in subsequent years.


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