I joined the legal automation and technology team at Herbert Smith Freehills - one of the Big 6 law firms in Australia - on August 2021 as a consultant. My responsibilities revolved around building automated contracts using third party solutions and developing in-house tools to automate legal work.
My motivation for leaving Deloitte to join Herbert Smith Freehills was fuelled in part by my pivot back to tech and, more specifically, also in part to go back to my roots and experience working in legal tech once again. As such, joining the legal automation and technology team was a great fit for what I was looking for in my career at the time.
The team had three core functions within the firm:
- Developing automated contract templates using ContractExpress.
- Developing in-house tools that automated some aspects of the lawyer’s day to day work.
- Consulting with clients to develop legal applications for them using no-code platforms, such as NeotaLogic.
What Did I Do At HSF?
The following are some of the tasks, projects and responsibilities during my time at HSF:
- Worked closely with a number of firm stakeholders to develop and deploy a simple .NET application that automates the generation of multiple legal and compliance documents via a user-filled questionnaire form.
- Was the point of contact for the global Corporations team and worked closely with a sole partner to develop a ContractExpress based application that automatically generates legal forms and documents required to incorporate a company legally in Australia.
- Worked together with the Melbourne and Sydney TMT team to develop a Kira-based application that assists lawyers with conducting the first layer of review when completing due diligence as part of a merger or acquisition.
The users for my applications encompassed both the lawyers within the firm and a few select clients outside the firm looking for innovative legal applications and systems that they can use for their own day-to-day legal work.
Legal technology divisions within law firms was a new breed of business in the traditional legal industry and every day was full of new challenges that I relished and adored. Working in tech at HSF just solidified my view that tech was where I belonged all along and I was keen to continue down the path of tech, and in particular to go back to working on developing bespoke products collaboratively with developers and designers.
Why Did I Leave HSF?
I had left Deloitte with the twin goals of not just working in tech again but also to work in product management. There was no scope for developing our own bespoke legal products at HSF for more clients outside the firm.
Although I was enjoying developing legal tech products for lawyers, ultimately I yearned to go back to creating and developing products with a larger team for a wider audience.
As such, I decided to accept the offer to become a product manager at PERSUIT and left HSF in November 2021. Despite my short tenure with the firm, I still hold many fond memories of my time at the firm and honed my prioritisation, communication and decision making skills while working on a number of projects during my time with HSF.