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Spotlight: ANZ: How the Community is Maximizing Productivity for Better Outcomes

Sam Bock

There’s no doubt about it: the Relativity community in Australia and New Zealand is great at getting things done.

From a proud culture of innovation to a genuine passion for pursuing social justice, the legal tech and e-discovery communities in the APAC region are making waves the rest of the world can’t help but notice.

At our Spotlight: ANZ event in Melbourne, Australia earlier this month, we were honored to celebrate and support the important work these professionals do every day.

“Some of the things you’re doing here are far advanced of what’s being done in the US and Europe,” Chris Brown, Relativity’s chief product officer, told Spotlight attendees during our keynote. “We’re invested in trying to deeply understand those things, so we can build them into our roadmap—not only because they’ll remove friction in this market, but because they’re likely the way things are headed in other markets in the future.”

Indeed, much of what was shared at this year’s event focused on removing friction and enabling faster, more productive work for the Relativity community in Australia and beyond. Because greater productivity means more impactful results, fewer resources spent, and more time enjoyed at home, out from under the threat of impossible data volumes—and those are the benefits that really matter.

In case you couldn’t join us, read on to discover a bit of what was covered in Melbourne.

Ready for our next global gathering? Relativity Fest London takes place 16 May, and registration is now open.

AI: What Legal Professionals Need to Know

During an AI-focused session, Danica Xiao, Relativity’s vice president of research in machine learning, and Matthew Golab, director of legal informatics and R&D at Gilbert + Tobin, shared lessons on foundational concepts of AI’s usefulness in the legal space.

As we’ve already seen in applications like machine translation, fraud detection, and document classification, this industry stands to benefit quite a lot from the thoughtful use of AI. In Australia and around the world, teams are actively pursuing those benefits in each of their new matters.

Danica offered some encouragement to Spotlight attendees, courtesy of a ChatGPT-generated poem on the subject: “As this transformation starts, embrace the change with open hearts.”

Throughout the AI session, Danica and Matthew walked attendees through the science and mathematics of how machine learning algorithms are trained with data and, based on that knowledge, make decisions on new data—particularly in legal applications. They also emphasized the differences between types of models and algorithms, the possibility of errors (and what to do about it), and what’s likely on the horizon for AI in the legal realm.

On that last thread, you probably shouldn’t be surprised to hear that large language models—also known as text generation tools, or generative AI—and the dangers of misinformation and model bias were major trends of note.

Enabling the Next Generation of e-Discovery Pros

One of the announcements we were most thrilled to make at Spotlight this year was the launch of a free, global training program we’re calling Access e-Discovery. The course begins with high-level, self-paced videos that provide an overview of the EDRM and offer demonstrations of e-discovery work and Relativity in action; then, it provides immersive courses with hands-on exercises and certification prep.

Access e-Discovery was born of a request from Australia-based customers who asked us for resources that could help educate those new to and unfamiliar with the e-discovery space. Some of those same customers helped us develop and pilot the program, and we’re thrilled with the results.

During Spotlight, one of our sessions—“Enabling the Next Generation of e-Discovery Professionals”—featured Gulsun Demirel, a senior community enablement specialist at Relativity, chatting with Loren Harper-Moeskops, director of forensic and technology services at Clayton Utz.

The pair discussed just how many of the people in the e-discovery profession today “fell into it” by happenstance. And while it’s turned out beautifully for many of us, the time to enable more intentional career development in this space was—well, yesterday.

As a well-known Chinese proverb says, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now.”

Building a Community for Today and Tomorrow

It is a privilege—and great fun!—to participate in the Australian legal community and bring so many engaged, brilliant people together in one place each year. Doing so has helped build a solid foundation for a wonderfully supportive community in the region, and it’s so rewarding to continue to watch it grow.

Stellar Women also hosted a session during the event, which showcased this community perfectly. Entitled “Overcome Resistance to Get Your Yes,” the session featured advice from Relativity’s Blair Cohen and global legal tech advisor Anna Lozynski on how to advocate for yourself in a professional environment.

One of the most valuable insights from the session, shared by Anna, was also so simple: “You don’t win through arguments; you win through relationships.”

We also had sessions on Australia’s evolving threat landscape, increasing productivity with RelativityOne, and making a difference through service. Each emphasized the necessity of collaboration and teamwork to break down barriers and get more done. That’s true for discrete teams, but networking with a wider community and sharing knowledge with professionals with other perspectives and backgrounds can also make all the difference.

For this reason, all of us at Relativity extend our thanks to our community down under for joining us at this year’s Spotlight: ANZ event. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Relive the Spotlight: ANZ 2023 Keynote

Sam Bock is a member of the marketing team at Relativity, and serves as editor of The Relativity Blog.

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