October 6, 2016
In recognition of the increasingly vital role innovation and technology play in the Canadian legal industry, Gowling WLG is pleased to announce the Gowling WLG Visiting Professor in Legal Innovation, a unique new professorship at the University of Calgary Law School established through a $125,000 gift from the firm.
Each year for the next five years, the professorship will bring a leading scholar, thinker or practitioner to the law school to share expertise and insight into how innovation has shaped, and continues to shape, the legal industry — in Canada and around the world.
“Every day, powerful and creative new tools continue to improve how legal service providers deliver solutions to their clients. As such, a deep understanding of — and appreciation for — those tools is essential for students entering the practice of law,” said Mark Tamminga, partner and leader of innovation initiatives at Gowling WLG. “Through this professorship, we hope to inspire and enlighten the next generation of Canada’s legal innovation leaders.”
Mitch Kowalski, a renowned legal services innovator and adviser who has taught at the University of Calgary for the past two years, is the first to assume the visiting professor position. Kowalski has an ICD.D designation in corporate governance and was named a Fastcase 50 Global Leader Innovator in 2012. His course on legal innovation will teach students how to leverage technology to streamline, automate and expedite a range of legal services in their future careers.
“It’s an honour to be selected as the inaugural Gowling WLG Visiting Professor in Legal Innovation. Calgarians are known for their willingness to try new ideas and to break new trails, so it’s fitting that Calgary is the site of this new initiative with Gowling WLG, itself a trailblazer in legal service innovation. I’m very excited to be but a small part of the firm’s continued commitment to a bold new vision of legal services,” said Kowalski.
The professorship is yet another testament to the strong relationship Gowling WLG continues to enjoy with the University of Calgary. This semester, Rick Kathuria, Gowling WLG’s national director of project management and legal logistics, is also teaching a course at the law school on legal project management. The course includes guest lectures by firm partners John Cusano and Frank Sur.
With cutting-edge approaches to legal service like Practical LPM and XClaim and an exciting roster of forthcoming products, Gowling WLG is dedicated to harnessing innovative tools and creative thinking to bring more cost-certainty, efficiency and value to its clients.
The Financial Times recently ranked Gowling WLG as one of the top two most innovative law firms in Europe at its FT European Innovative Lawyers Awards 2016. The firm also took home top honours in the “Innovation in Driving Value for Clients” category, and achieved the second-highest ranking for legal expertise. Last year, the firm also took home the OpenText Elite Award for Most Innovative Project in the Legal Sector.