Denise Howell, a technology lawyer, blogger, columnist, and host of This WEEK in LAW. Find her on Twitter @dhowell.
How did you become involved in legal tech?
I practice technology law and policy within the tech industry and for other clients and am a lifelong tech enthusiast.
What projects have you been focused on recently?
I practice technology law and do a weekly show on tech law and policy called This WEEK in LAW. Lately, there has been a big focus on the GDPR, and the effective disclosure of contractual terms concerning data use, privacy, IP rights, and other things.
Is there a legal tech resource of any kind that you find yourself returning to or that was particularly formative for you?
The Web, particularly in its open, non-paywalled, non-walled gardened, net neutral form. It’s the most meaningful advancement in the legal field since the establishment of an independent judiciary.
What technology do you think lawyers could look at in a different way that would benefit society?
Lawyers and policy makers need to rethink how people can have a meaningful understanding of the various contracts to which they routinely bind themselves without reading, particularly those governing use of their personal data, or imposing responsibilities on them, or requiring them to forfeit rights. Artificial intelligence, blockchain, and privacy by design all have roles to play in improving this landscape.
What advice would you give to other women who want to get involved in legal tech?
My advice to anyone seeking to deepen their professional involvements is to put passion first. Decide what you’re passionate about, find others doing it, and get to know them. Or, if others aren’t doing it, forge ahead and invent how it works.
Give a shout-out to another woman in legal tech who you admire or have learned something from!
Just one? Nikki Black and Carolyn Elefant are my go-tos on the subject. Both are knowledgeable, insightful, and witty.
Feature image by #WOCinTechChat