Colin Lachance – AI Powered Legal Research with Canada’s Chief Legal Informatics Officer (#10)

Anything in legal tech or informatics always begins with somebody saying: ‘There has got to be a better way’. ~ Colin Lachance

Colin Lachance (@colinlachance) is a legal information innovator. He spent much of the past decade making the world better in areas like legal technology, free access to law and legal publishing. 

If you are a legal professional in Canada, you’ve probably already enjoyed the benefits of his work. After helping to make the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) an essential part of the legal landscape, Colin is now dedicating his talents to the development and expansion of a new, ambitious effort to bring artificial intelligence (AI) to legal research.

As legal professionals, information and knowledge are at the core of our work. Colin has been a driving force to deliver platforms and processes that make legal research easier, faster and better.   

Our conversation isn’t just limited to legal research! We kick things off by hearing him describe his reasons and his approach to a self-induced destruction and reboot of his Twitter account.

Topics Covered

  1. Social media and lawyers
  2. Access to free legal information
  3. Distribution of primary and secondary sources of legal information
  4. Technology-based legal research tools
  5. Artificial intelligence

Listen to “10 Colin Lachance – AI Powered Legal Research with Canada’s Chief Legal Informatics Officer” on Spreaker.

The Quiz for this episode is here

Pre-approved by the Law Society of BC for 1.8 hours of CPD credits.

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Show Notes

Colin’s Twitter reboot / rebirth 5:00

Colin’s view on lawyers and Twitter 12:20

How Colin describes his work 22:00

How Colin found his way into law 23:10

Advice Colin would give to himself on his first day of law school 24:50

Working at Telus 27:00

Colin’s LLM in Law and Technology at the University of Ottawa 29:00

What Colin would do differently in law school 31:00

The Dunning-Kruger effect (cognitive bias) 33:00

LLM studies with Michael Geist and Ian Kerr 36:40

Getting a position at CanLII 37:39

What Colin sought to do during his time at CanLII 39:17

Cornell Legal Information Institute and AustraLII 42:06

Lexum 42:50

Federation of Law Societies of Canada 43:00

vLex Canada 45:15

Maritime Law Book 49:50

vLex’s AI tool “Vincent” 57:30 

AI’s benefits for legal researchers 58:30 

Actual, deployed AI vs sensational, speculative claims about robots taking law jobs 1:14:00

Future legal technology & AI-based improvements to legal research 1:16:40

Integrating research tools into legal professionals’ workflow 1:20:45

vLex’s project with CIPPIC 1:23:00 

Colin’s concerns about the future 1:32:33

How Colin defines success for himself 1:40:30

The tough choices Colin made to get where he is today 1:41:40

How Colin would pack a week’s worth of work into 3 hours 1:43:15

Hobbies or practices Colin uses to look after himself 1:44:20

Before my work in the law is done, I want to… 1:45:09
Favourite book of the last year: Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialidini 1:46:20

Favourite podcasts: The Geek in Review, LawNext and Ongoing History of New Music 1:48:32

Colin’s posts on 1:49:18 1:49:30

The Justice Education Society of BC 1:49:45

Colin’s calls to action 1:51:39

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