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Exciting Programme of Speakers Announced Ahead of UCC Law Society Annual Conference

22 Oct 2018
Image advertising UCC Law Society's Conference Titled "New Legal Technologies: Are Lawyers an Endangered Species".

The Law Society of University College Cork is pleased to announce the 18th Annual William Fry UCC Law Society Conference entitled: “New Legal Technologies: Are Lawyers an Endangered Species?” The conference will be held on the 30th of October between 8:30am - 2:00pm in the Aula Maxima, University College Cork.

Ian Galvin, Conference Director of the 2018 William Fry UCC Law Society Conference states: “I chose this topic as I believe it is extremely timely and pertinent. I believe it is a topic which must be understood by lawyers and students and that it is necessary to examine the possible implications of these technologies. The way in which law is practiced is changing, we need to be proactive in keeping up with this change. It is important to understand the impact these technologies can have and not just blindly accept them without critically examining them firstly. This development needs to be thoughtful and discussions like this are extremely important.”

Commending the work of Ian and the Conference Committee, Garry O’Sullivan, Auditor of the Law Society, said, “The 89th Session are immensely proud to ignite a conversation around such a pressing and topical issue to the practitioners and students of Cork. The Law Society has in the past led legal discussions on Article 41.2, the European Refugee Crisis, and sexual violence reform. The 18th Conference promises to be an even more prescient discourse for the future of our profession.”

The Conference aims to examine the potential for new legal technologies to radically transform the practice of law. The event is one of the highlights of the UCC Law Society’s academic year, enabling students to engage with an important legal topic while also succeeding in bridging the gap between law as learnt by students and how law is practised on a day to day basis. The UCC Law Society would like to acknowledge the generous sponsorship of William Fry without whom, the conference would not be possible.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald, principal of Fitzgerald Tech Law, states, “The organisers have assembled a great line-up to consider two pressing issues for the contemporary legal practitioner: 1. online dispute resolution and modernisation of our traditional court systems and 2. the impact of legal technology on society and the practice of law. It promises to be both a glimpse into the future and an aid to identify the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

Jennifer Hourihane, UCC School of Law alumna and CEO of Oathello, states: “Law and Regulation play a critical role in today’s business and financial world.  At Oathello we are delighted to join a diverse set of attendees who have the power to make the right decisions today for the success of these sectors tomorrow.”

“Ireland”, notes Simon J Boehme, “continues to be a leader in dispute resolution through its research and hosting an international forum on online dispute resolution to examine its impact across the country, the European Union, and the world.” Boehme, who will travel from Silicon Valley, says that he is “excited to learn and exchange ideas at the William Fry UCC Law Society Conference to increase access to justice and prepare the next generation of lawyers and mediators.”

Colin Rule, VP of Tyler Technologies, and former Director of Online Dispute Resolution [ODR] for eBay and PayPal, similarly lauds how “ODR can expand access to justice.” Noting that the “topic is very exciting”, Rule adds that “the legal environment is changing rapidly, and discussions such as this one are essential to ensure these changes occur in a thoughtful and deliberate manner."


The morning session will examine legal technologies more generally while the afternoon session will look at how Online Dispute Resolution is altering the legal landscape.

The Conference Committee are proud to present a highly impressive range of speakers, including;

  • Elizabeth Fitzgerald, principal of Fitzgerald Tech Law;
  • Professor Arno Lodder, University of Amsterdam;
  • Colin Rule, VP of Tyler Technologies in Silicon Valley;
  • Gavin Sheridan, Vizlegal
  • Matthew Holmes BL
  • Dr Ciara Heavin, Senior Lecturer in Business Information Systems at Cork University Business School, University College Cork,
  • Simon J Boehme, Disputly; and
  • Jennifer Hourihane, Oathello.


Attendees must pre-register online at eventbrite.  Sign-in on the day will take place between 8:30-8:50am sharp. The Conference is free for students and the registration cost is €45 for practitioners. The event carries four CPD points recognised by the Law Society of Ireland.

School of Law

Scoil an Dlí

Room 1.63, Aras na Laoi, T12 T656