DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — can we really do it without lawyers?

Earlier this year, I was invited to be one of the speakers at the launch of the Collective of Applied Law and Legal Realism (CALR) — the event title was “The End of Lawyers, The Future of Law”.

The launch was a great success, and the report was the front page headline of The Star the following day.

No really, the front page headline of The Star!
No really, the front page headline of The Star!

CALR is an initiative led by my friend Edmund Bon, and is one of the many initiatives which have been discussed (formally and informally) by myself and Edmund with different groups of people in relation to innovation in the legal industry.

Many traditional industries (and they don’t come much more rigid and traditional than the legal industry) have seen varying degrees of disruption globally, with technology being the primary engine of change.

CALR has wide-ranging goals, which they briefly summarise as follows:

  1. Revolutionalising the law — bringing legal practice to a level relevant to contemporary times for public benefit.
  2. Radicalising lawyers — training advocates to be masters and actualisers of their own lives, with the freedom to focus on public interest and social causes.
  3. Reshaping legal education — implementing experential learning with university students through programmes like street law and legal surgery clinics.

Don’t worry if the above seems vague or verbose — that’s typical of anything Edmund is involved in!

You can read more about CALR on their website (still in beta) and Facebook page.

At the launch, I was asked to share about conveyancing and (to a lesser extent) corporate law work, and was assigned the session title — What’s wrong with conveyancing and corporate law work?

Taking the attendees through basic conveyancing issues.
Taking the attendees through basic conveyancing issues.

The general idea was to give the attendees (mostly non-lawyers) a very brief whistle-stop tour of what’s involved in a standard conveyancing transaction and highlight some problem areas.

This would then enable the CALR (joined on the day by the team from Legal Hackers KL — the local chapter of Legal Hackers, who describe themselves as “a community of technologists, policymakers and lawyers solving pressing issues at the intersection of law and technology”) to ideate possible innovations or solutions which could improve the way conveyancing transactions are carried out.

As I said on the day, before you can ideate the future, you must understand the present.

In the upcoming posts, I’ll be writing about what I shared at the event.

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