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Lawyers and Innovation

In the most recent issue of The Economist, I found an ad for the upcoming “General Counsel West Coast Roundtable.”  Kent Walker, Google’s GC, will give the keynote presentation.  According to the ad copy, he “argues that lawyers play a critical role in promoting innovation.  In the face of change, the lawyer’s role is not about protecting the status quo, or even just promoting legal compliance — it’s about helping the law get it right, taking new approaches to new issues, and maximising [sic — remember, this is The Economist] the benefits of new technology for everyone.”

The lawyer’s job is to maximize [I’m in the U.S.] the benefits of new technology for everyone?  I’d like to know more, but I won’t be going.  According to the website, “This is a closed, off-the-record meeting that has been designed exclusively for general counsel, in-house legal officers and corporate management. The meeting is closed to external counsel, law firms and solution providers.”