"The connections made with your peers are strong, forming bonds of friendship and potential business partners. It makes the whole experience worthwhile and remarkable."
I’ve long been passionate about business and law, but technology has always stood out for me. In 2018 I started an online platform for legal document automation, which was my starting point with legaltech. This led me to search for answers in various technologies, continually asking myself what the future of law will look like. In that sense, my drive and mindset as a lawyer shifted from traditional to fast-paced. So I was constantly pushing myself for ways to innovate within the industry.
Felipe González, Ecuador
- Program studied
Why did you decide to do a master in legaltech?
After the LL.M., I realized that Latin American firms have a traditional way of thinking and doing things. Unfortunately, this is not just true of the legal sector, but throughout most industries.
I began to look for a way to change the firm’s organization and interaction with its client base. I knew I had to rely on technology and out-of-the-box thinking, but I did not know where or how to begin.
The first step towards legaltech was my participation in one of the IE Venture Days—pitching a document automation platform—and then as a speaker at a legal hackers conference hosted by Técnico de Monterrey in Mexico. This paved the way towards becoming a more tech-driven lawyer as opposed to a traditional corporate lawyer, ultimately driving me back to IE and the Master in Legal Tech.
How has the master helped you after you finished it?
The master’s puts into perspective the different aspects of legaltech. Perhaps more importantly, it teaches how to differentiate between what’s considered mere hype and what’s actually game-changing. The fact is we’re still a few years, or even decades, away from a fully autonomous profession. But if we reach that reality, it will be one in which technology and humans work together in an unprecedented way. This master’s prepares us for such a reality.
The program provided the skills needed to implement digital transformation within my law firm, adding value to the way we render our services. Furthermore, it led the way for the firm to become part of a full-service, tech-oriented, fast-growing international law firm.
How were the on-campus experiences in Madrid, Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley? Which was your favorite one? Why?
I had a particular longing for Madrid, having lived there for a whole year. Going back for a few weeks made the experience even more enjoyable for me. That made it my favorite. Madrid was more academic, and being back in a classroom and having various tasks is quite thrilling and exhausting at the same time. It took me back to the most demanding days of my previous LL.M.! Madrid teaches those who are not accustomed to IE Law School’s method the ability to cope with multiple tasks at the same time, which can be challenging but rewarding.
Silicon Valley puts into perspective the reality of the tech world—in my opinion, a mix of hype and state-of-the-art innovation. The visits to various key players and tech giants are mind-opening.
The classes and visits to Tel Aviv are very insightful. Israel, also known as the “Startup Nation”, is a growing hub for legaltech. I would highlight the network opportunities, especially the one with Law Geex, a key player in the industry who have landed their contract review automation platform successfully in the United States.
Could you tell us your experience of doing the challenges during the master?
Challenges are the practical side of what is being taught. For example, there was one challenge in which they asked us to build a chatbot using IBM Watson. The online sessions leading up to the challenge were useful and insightful enough to build a decent chatbot. Every challenge allowed us to experiment with different types of technology firsthand.
How was the experience of doing a master with this format? Online and on campus?
Online sessions work flawlessly. There were, however, times when work got in the way of the online sessions, and I had to go back to the recorded session later.
The on-campus experience was fantastic. You get to be there in person with leading professionals in the legaltech world, as well as your classmates who are exceptional individuals and professionals with diverse backgrounds. This is where one gets the most out of the master’s.
How was your experience at IE?
Extraordinary! IE’s teaching methodology pursues and approaches both soft and hard skills. The connections made with your peers are strong, forming bonds of friendship and potential business partners. It makes the whole experience worthwhile and remarkable.
What is the best thing you took away from your time at IE Law School?
Network, knowledge and skills to cope with an ever-demanding profession that will sooner rather than later be disrupted. I believe that my career path has changed quite drastically, and the program left me on the right track to embracing an ever-changing landscape.